Williams running for school board to retain Morgan

July 14, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE
  • Russell F. Williams

A desire to keep Elizabeth Morgan as schools superintendent is a big reason Russell Williams is running for the Washington County Board of Education.

"We have got a good thing going here," Williams said. The school system went from "not so good" to a "whole lot better" after Morgan was hired, Williams said. Morgan was hired as interim superintendent in June 2001 and became superintendent in February 2002.

"I want to make sure that the children continue to have a quality educational system," Williams said.

Eventually, Morgan will retire or leave, and Williams said he wants to ensure the board is made of members who "do nothing to hurry that day along."

Williams, 67, served on the school board from 2002 to 2006. He also ran for school board in 2000, 2006 and 2008.

Three school board seats are up for grabs in November's general election. The 11 school board candidates for the Sept. 14 primary will be narrowed to six for the general election.


School board members elected in November will serve four-year terms and earn $6,100 a year. If one of the newly elected members becomes board president, the annual salary will be $6,200.

Williams said he's good at analyzing data and brings experience interacting with the less-affluent community. He said he works with, volunteers for or goes to meetings of various agencies that work with the poor, hungry and homeless.

"I know that knowledge is something the board needs -- how board policies may affect communities with fewer economic resources," Williams said.

He is president of the Washington County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and is a member of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, he said. He also is active with Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Hagerstown.

Williams moved to Hagerstown in 1969. For two years, he worked at E. Russell Hicks Middle School, teaching students who found the educational system more challenging, he said. From the fall of 1971 until the spring of 1998 he taught fourth, fifth and sixth grades in Smithsburg.

Williams has one grown daughter. He and his wife, Louise Wolfe, live in Hagerstown's South End.


Name: Russell F. Williams

Age: 67

Address: 450 Guilford Ave., Hagerstown

Education: Graduated from Perryville (Md.) High School. Bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Rochester in New York; studied sociology at Howard University and received a master's in education from Catholic University.

Occupation: Retired teacher

Party affiliation: Democrat, but the race is nonpartisan

Political experience: Served on the school board from 2002 to 2006.

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