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Washington Co. BOE approves plaques for new schools

Donna Brightman's name will not be included on commemorations

Donna Brightman's name will not be included on commemorations

June 04, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

Donna Brightman's name will not appear on plaques that are being placed at three elementary schools currently under construction.

The Washington County Board of Education has discussed whose names will appear on the plaques since April when Brightman, the board's vice president, learned that she would be the only sitting board member not listed.

The board voted 6-0 Tuesday to approve the plaques at an estimated cost of $4,000. Brightman abstained from the vote.

The board first voted on the issue in May, but two votes failed to pass with a four-person majority. On Tuesday, the seven-member board did not discuss the issue before taking a vote, as they did during the May meeting.

Brightman asked in April that the board discuss why her name would not appear on plaques being placed at Maugansville, Pangborn and Rockland Woods elementary schools, all of which are slated to open in August.

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Brightman joined the board after initial contracts for the schools were in place.

The current policy states that school board members, the superintendent of schools and the Board of County Commissioners "holding office at the time of the construction contract award will be represented on the plaque."

Brightman has said the policy should be more inclusive to allow for exceptions like one the board approved last month. She said Tuesday that a committee could discuss changing the policy, which is about six years old.

On May 20, the board voted to place two plaques at Mike Callas Stadium at North Hagerstown High School. One of those plaques follows the current policy; the other recognizes the community's involvement in that project.

"That does not follow policy," Brightman said of the second plaque.

She'd like the committee to review the plaque policy and include allowances for public-private partnerships, like the stadium, and also in cases when a vacancy is filled, Brightman said in an interview Monday.

Brightman, who was appointed to the board in May 2007 and whose first meeting was June 5, 2007, replaced W. Edward Forrest, who resigned earlier that year.

According to drafts approved Tuesday, Forrest's name will appear on the plaques.

Forrest and Brightman are both candidates for the board in November's general election.

Current and former board members whose names will appear on the plaques are Roxanne R. Ober, Wayne D. Ridenour, Paul W. Bailey, Ruth Anne Callaham, Forrest, William H. Staley and Bernadette M. Wagner.

Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan's name also will be listed on the plaques.

The names of Washington County Commissioners John F. Barr, Terry L. Baker, Kristin B. Aleshire, James F. Kercheval and William J. Wivell also will appear.

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