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Board candidates on hot seat

January 07, 2009|By DON AINES

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Four of the nine people who have expressed interest in filling a Washington Township vacancy on the Waynesboro Area School Board were on the hot seat Tuesday night, fielding questions including one about whether they will run for a full term later this year.

Former board president Stanley Barkdoll recently resigned, citing work commitments and an upcoming move from the district. The appointment is for the remainder of his term, which expires at the end of this year.

Retired teacher Alice Noll, college physical education instructor Joe Jacobs, businesswoman Denise Ingram and businessman Chris Lind took questions from President K. Marilyn Smith, Vice President Chris Devers and board member Pat Heefner. Tonight five more candidates will be interviewed with the appointment to be made at the Jan. 13 board meeting.

A Summitview Elementary teacher who retired last year, Noll said her "experience on the front lines" would be valuable to the board.

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"Also, I have time. I'm retired now," Noll said. Meeting the mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind law and classroom discipline are two areas Noll said the district needs to focus on.

A former instructor at the University of Maryland, Jacobs is executive director of the Fort Ritchie Community Center, as well as an instructor at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md., and the Penn State Mont Alto campus.

Meeting the requirements of No Child Left Behind is also a priority for Jacobs, along with continually evaluating the accomplishments of students and the effectiveness of teachers.

Her education, business experience and community contacts would serve her well as a board member, said Ingram, who works for The Record Herald. Ingram said she is also familiar with handling large budgets.

"We should always be looking at the development of the child, where they are going to be at graduation," said Ingram. The district needs to prepare students to be competitive in college or the workplace, she said.

More education on the long-term effects of tobacco is one area of need for the district, she said.

Lind said he has served as a town councilman and has years of experience in the banking and credit card businesses. That background will be useful to the board in making tough budget decisions in bad economic times, he said.

"We're not great, but we're good," Lind said of the district's academic performance. "I think it's in financing," he said, of the district's biggest challenge.

All said they would run for the seat in the May primary if selected to fill the vacancy.

Tonight the board will interview Barbara Shadler, Gregory S. Ochoa, D. Tim Morrow, Kathy Shaffer and Matthew Richardson, beginning at 6 p.m.

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