Fischer seeks return to county board of education

January 11, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

She's been involved in education in some way since she was 5 years old.

Now, Jacqueline B. Fischer, 61, says she would like to continue her involvement with another four-year term on the Washington County Board of Education.

Fischer, who lives near Clear Spring, served on the seven-member board from 2002-06, but lost her bid for re-election in the 2006 general election. She has filed as a candidate in the 2008 election, which is a nine-way race for four open seats. The primary election is Feb. 12.

Fischer taught English and journalism for more than 31 years in Washington County, with the bulk of that time spent at Clear Spring High School. After she retired in 2000, she was a substitute teacher for two years.


If elected to another term on the board, Fischer says she will push for increased opportunities for students, more environmentally friendly construction and for changes to board procedures.

She says she would like to increase the number of magnet programs or "signature" programs at schools and also make those opportunities more available to students. Fischer said that includes making transportation available for students who need it.

"Some students can't take advantage of these (opportunities) because there is no transportation," Fischer said.

She says more mentoring is needed in the county's schools to help students succeed.

"There are so many children who don't have the encouragement from home," she said.

Fischer said that if the school system made more environmentally friendly decisions on things like recycling and energy efficiency, it could save taxpayers' money. While she was chairperson of the board's facilities committee, she says a few "green" items were put in place.

"It might be a little more expensive, but there are future cost savings (on things like) utilities," she said.

Fischer says she is advocating that the board start meeting publicly more often and also begin using Robert's Rules of Order ?a guide for parliamentary procedure ? during board meetings.

"There so much more the Board of Education has to do than they did years ago," she said. "They should meet more often."

More public meetings would allow the board to respond more quickly and openly to citizen questions and concerns on issues like redistricting or a recent incident involving a kindergartner who was dropped off two miles from his home after taking the wrong bus home from school.

She said instead of two monthly business meetings, there should be weekly meetings.

Fischer is under contract with the school system as a proofreader. If elected, she will resign from this position, as well as from the volunteer committees on which she serves.

Fischer said that with all of the challenges facing the school system, there are opportunities for improvement. That, she says, is why she continues to advocate for the students, teachers, staff and parents of Washington County.

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