School board candidates field questions

January 21, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The field of nine candidates running in the Feb. 12 primary election for the Washington County Board of Education includes two incumbents and three former board members.

The candidates are competing for four open seats on the board. Eight will move on to the general election Nov. 4.

The candidates are Donna Brightman, Jacqueline B. Fischer, W. Edward Forrest, Meredith Fouche, Justin M. Hartings, Tom Janus, Margaret Lowery, Wayne D. Ridenour and Russell F. Williams II.

Brightman and Ridenour currently sit on the board. Fischer, Forrest and Williams previously have served.

Two Washington County Board of Education incumbents did not file to reclaim their seats in next year's election. Board President Roxanne R. Ober and board member Bernadette M. Wagner have said they decided not to run to give others a chance to serve.


With the primary election only three weeks away, The Herald-Mail will give the candidates a chance to respond to a specific question each Monday through Feb. 4.

Their answers to the first question regarding redistricting were published Jan. 14.

On A3 of today's paper, you will find the candidates' responses to the second question.

The Herald-Mail asked the nine candidates vying for four open seats on the Board of Education whether they believe the board could reduce its budget and still maintain existing services, or whether the county should provide additional funds.

Each candidate was asked to verbally respond to the question, which they did not receive in advance.

Most said the next few years would be "lean" for the school system's budget. Large increases in state funding that were there in the past are not expected.

However, most also believe that drastic cuts in services or programs within Washington County Public Schools will not be necessary. Some candidates say they want to maintain small class sizes, and good salaries and benefits for teachers.

A few candidates offered solutions for what they see as a limiting budget process.

Submit a question

Do you have a question for one of the nine candidates vying for four open seats on the Washington County Board of Education? Each Monday through Feb. 4, The Herald-Mail will publish candidates' answers to one question. Some of those will be from voters. E-mail questions you have for candidates to reporter Erin Cunningham at or call 301-733-5131, ext. 2041.

On the Web

To learn more about the candidates for the Washington County Board of Education, go to and click on the 2008 Election Coverage box.

At the site, you'll find a video of each candidate explaining why voters should vote for him or her, profiles of each, and more.

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