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School to be renamed for Kitchens

December 09, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- The Fairview Outdoor Education Center will be named for the superintendent who oversaw its construction, and the Smithsburg High School athletic field will be named for the man who founded the school's football program.

The Washington County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to name the outdoor school after former Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Claud E. Kitchens, who died in November. Kitchens served as superintendent from 1973 to 1986.

The school will now be called the Claud Kitchens Outdoor School at Fairview.

The board also voted Tuesday to name the Smithsburg athletic field after Coach Carroll Reid Jr., who came to Smithsburg in 1967 and became a football icon in Maryland. Reid remained at Smithsburg until his retirement in 1997. With Reid as coach, Smithsburg football teams won 207 games and claimed state championships in 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1994.

Deputy Superintendent Boyd Michael said steps have been taken to mark the name changes with appropriate signs at each location.

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Board Member Paul W. Bailey first recommended the outdoor school be named for Kitchens before his death last month. Bailey served as an administrator when Kitchens was superintendent.

"He was so instrumental in our community, and during the mid-70s and thereafter led extremely well and led by good example," Bailey said.

School Board President Wayne D. Ridenour was a teacher in Washington County when Kitchens was superintendent. Kitchens believed "children were the most important asset we have in this county ...," Ridenour said. "There couldn't be a more worthy individual to receive this honor."

In October, Brian Smith, a 1990 graduate of Smithsburg, asked the Washington County Board of Education to consider naming the football field after Reid. At that time, he brought a petition signed by 1,700 people in favor of the name change.

On Tuesday, Smith said Reid was in poor health.

"He's still hanging on ...," Smith said. "Part of this has kept him going for a while."

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