Inn owner seeks seat on Jefferson Co. school board

April 27, 2010|By RICHARD F. BELISLE
  • Karan Townsend

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. -- Karan Townsend, Jefferson County School Board candidate, mother of three and grandmother of seven, knows first-hand the educational gamut -- home schooling and private and public schools, from kindergarten to Ph.D.

Townsend, 60, would represent the Harpers Ferry District if elected. She lives at 175 High St. in Harpers Ferry.

She earned her bachelor's, master's and Ph.D at the University of Houston, from 1971 through 1979

She owns Town's Inn in Harpers Ferry.

Five candidates, including three incumbents and two challengers, are running for the three open seats on the five-member board this year.

The incumbents are Pete Dougherty, Mariland Dunn Lee and Scott Sudduth. Townsend and Laurie M.Ogden are challenging them.

Board members serve four-year terms with no salary.

The primary decides school board elections.

Townsend has an extensive professional background in the English language, teacher training and research and program development. She has taught and consulted in Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Austria as well as Virginia, Texas and Washington, D.C.


She holds a real estate license.

Locally, Townsend is a member of the Harpers Ferry Planning Commission, Harpers Ferry Historic Town foundation, other community organizations and the Fellowship Bible Church.

Townsend thinks that educational standards should be individualized.

"For example," she said, "the standard of success in a math class for a socially disruptive, often-truant student is different for a mathematically gifted and motivated student. Teachers must be held accountable for ensuring that both students achieve minimum standards of competence before graduation."

Townsend said students need a solid education in the basics -- math, reading, science, geography, history and economics. Art and music should be part of those basics, she said.

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