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Mother of 4 seeks position on Jefferson County school board

April 23, 2010|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. -- Laurie M. Ogden, a Harpers Ferry mother of four children in Jefferson County Schools, is one of two challengers hoping to unseat incumbents in the May 11 Jefferson County Board of Education election.

Five candidates have filed for the board's three open seats this year.

School board members serve four-year terms without salary. The primary serves as the school board election.

The three incumbents on the five-member board running for re-election are Pete Dougherty, Mariland Dunn Lee and Scott Sudduth. The challengers are Ogden and Karan Townsend.

If elected, Ogden, 39, of 36 General Walker Court, would represent the Harpers Ferry District.

Ogden and her husband, Brandon Sr., have been married 19 years. Their children are Brandon Jr., 17, a student at Jefferson High School; Austin, 14, at Wildwood Middle School; Cameron, 10, at C.W. Shipley, and Samantha, 3, who will attend the new elementary school being built on Job Corps Road.

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Ogden's father was born in Webster Springs, W.Va. "My family has a long history in the coal mining industry," she said in a campaign statement.

She has a degree in early childhood education. She is enrolled in the sports and health sciences program at American Public University in Charles Town and is a certified personal trainer and is an exercise therapist at Capital Rehab.

She has held office in PTOs and currently is president of the Jefferson High School Football Boosters.

Ogden said that during college she worked for John Deere as a certified forklift operator.

She has three basic reasons for running.

First is supporting increased professional salaries to enable the county to attract and retain quality teachers. "We must pay them enough to live here," she said in her campaign statement.

Ogden said she will push "to provide more professional development opportunities for teachers."

Her second reason deals with students' health, physical education and movement activities. West Virginia ranks No. 1 or 2 "every year in obesity and diabetes," she said in her statement. She would work with physical education teachers, coaches and area physicians.

Third on her campaign agenda is community involvement. Ogden said she would try to bring together parents and community members by listening to their ideas. This would also involve working with county and city government officials.

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