Kretzer wants to focus on student fitness if elected to the school board

July 26, 2010|By DAN DEARTH

Hagerstown resident Wayne M. Kretzer Jr. said he wants to focus on ways to improve student health if he is elected to the Washington County Board of Education.

"I want to get the fitness level back for these kids," said Kretzer, 42, a former track star at Boonsboro High School. "I want to make them healthy again. They don't need to be top athletes. They just need some fitness."

Kretzer said he plans to develop a more detailed agenda as the date of the election draws closer.

"I just want to get in the race," he said. "I have a lot to offer."

Kretzer is one of 11 school board candidates running in the Sept. 14 primary. The field will be narrowed to six for November's general election. Three seats will be open on the board in the general election. Two of the seats will be vacated by board members Ruth Anne Callaham and William Staley, who chose not to seek re-election. Incumbent Paul Bailey is seeking another term.


The Washington County Board of Education has seven members.

Kretzer said he believes Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan is doing a good job at the helm of Washington County Public Schools, but the central office needs to do more to improve communication with parents.

He said he didn't completely agree with the school board's decision in February to redistrict about 1,350 elementary students to different schools in an effort to alleviate overcrowding.

Many parents opposed the measure, saying school officials should have focused on building schools where the overcrowding existed, rather than building the Ruth Ann Monroe Primary School on the east end of Hagerstown and busing students there.

"I want to evaluate redistricting and listen to the parents," Kretzer said.

He said he believes the school board should honor contracts it negotiates with Washington County Public Schools employees.

The current board has said the system can't afford to pay teachers and support personnel negotiated raises in fiscal year 2011 because of the sluggish economy. Those raises would cost the system about $6.5 million.

"When the contract runs out, I don't want to give (raises)," he said. "We can't let the school system go broke. I don't want to see this school system go that way."

Washington County Board of Education candidate

Name: Wayne M. Kretzer Jr.

Date of birth: April 2, 1968

Address: 334 N. Mulberry St., Hagerstown

Education: Boonsboro High School; one year of college at Hagerstown Junior College, now Hagerstown Community College

Occupation: Unemployed

Party affiliation: Democrat, although race is nonpartisan

Political experience: Ran unsuccessfully for the Washington County Board of Education in 2006

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