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School board candidates discuss North High track

October 12, 2008

Donna Brightman, 56

Southern Washington County

What is your favorite book? Why?

My favorite book is always the one I'm reading. On my bedside table right now is "The Soul of Capitalism," by William Greider. This is a non-fiction book which explains how we can make capitalism work for all of us in a more balanced, ethical and inclusive manner. This is a rather timely discussion, with the present economic meltdown at the forefront of all our thoughts. Paul Hawken states, "Greider unearths ... signs of a new ethos: workers, investors and pioneers who are re-imagining from the bottom up America's jobs, factories and companies."

What are your thoughts on the situation with the North Hagerstown High School track situation? Would you have handled it differently? If so, how?

The Washington County Public School System has been involved in three large public, private partnerships: North High Stadium, Barr Institute and Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. The lesson learned from each, is that the Board of Education needs to develop a public, private partnership policy which will provide balanced protection for all the stakeholders. The policy should include a transparent, open and consistent process culminating in the highest accountability standard possible. With the projected financial downturn ahead, we will need to encourage alternative funding partnerships, while providing full accountability to the taxpayers.

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Jacqueline B. Fischer, 62

Clear Spring

What is your favorite book? Why?

My favorite book is "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens. It contains just about every human emotion, every character type and every motivation imaginable. Set against the French Revolution, the story explores the themes of redemption and resurrection. All the horror, intrigue, greed, sacrifice, death and mayhem of France in this time of class struggle is offset by the unconditional love and selflessness of Sydney Carton as he gives his life so that the woman he loves can find happiness. Some other favorites are "Dr. Zhivago; Centennial;" "To Kill a Mockingbird;" and the series, "The Kent Chronicles."

What are your thoughts on the situation with the North Hagerstown High School track situation? Would you have handled it differently? If so, how?

I applaud the Stadium Committee which spearheaded the overall project that provided a much needed facility for North High students and gave South High its own facility as well. However, the Board should have insisted that the new facility be built on an equal basis with those of the other county high schools. A collegiate-level track should never have been considered. While public/private partnerships can advance some of the school system's needs, the Board should not lose sight of its sworn goal to promote what is best for ALL students by resisting the pressure often applied by these private groups.




W. Edward Forrest, 45

Hagerstown

What is your favorite book? Why?

One of my favorite books is "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller. The term Catch-22 has become part of modern American lexicon meaning a frustrating situation in which one is trapped by contradictory regulations or conditions. In short no matter what the rule is, there is always an exception to it. I am reminded of the catch in day to day life and that in most instances the catch can be overcome.

What are your thoughts on the situation with the North Hagerstown High School track situation? Would you have handled it differently? If so, how?

Although the North High Stadium project became controversial, credit must be given to the citizens from all over the county who donated their time and financial support in cooperation with WCPS and local government to make the project a reality. It appeared that the track situation involved potential litigation between WCPS and Craig Paving. I believe that this information should have been disclosed to the greatest extent possible without compromising the right of due process for either party. Further, I believe obtaining additional bids further inflamed the situation and frustrated tax-payers and served no valid purpose.




Meredith Fouche, 57

Sharpsburg

What is your favorite book? Why?

My favorite book is "War and Remembrance" by Herman Wouk. History has always interested me and this book brings the story of World War Two to life on a global scale.

What are your thoughts on the situation with the North Hagerstown High School track situation? Would you have handled it differently? If so, how?

When one assesses the problems with the North Hagerstown track it becomes apparent communication problems existed on every level. The School Board has approved a path to correct the situation. I believe as a community, we need to move forward to solve other problems for the betterment of the students of Washington County.




Justin Hartings, 37

Keedysville

What is your favorite book? Why?

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