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Staley would continue father's support for vocational programs

July 27, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

With his father, William Staley, not running for re-election to the Washington County Board of Education, James W. Staley entered the race.

Staley said he would continue, as his father did, to support vocational programs, and would fill a gap on the board by representing educational support personnel.

The field of 11 school board candidates for the Sept. 14 primary will be narrowed to six for the Nov. 2 general election. Three seats are up for grabs.

Staley, 44, of Hagerstown's North End, took disability retirement in June after almost 25 years working for the school system. He worked as a custodian for 16 years and spent the last eight with maintenance, he said.

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"I don't think that anybody has really been on the school board that represents" educational support personnel, he said. "I always thought it'd be nice to have someone represent our group. We have a large group."

Washington County Educational Support Personnel Inc. has about 500 members, including bus drivers; mechanics; maintenance, custodial, information technology and food service workers; secretaries; and teachers' aides, according to T. Scott Miller, an official with the union.

Staley said he would represent students, all three employee groups and taxpayers. He said he would "micromanage" from the superintendent down.

Staley said he's also interested in getting some vocational programs back in public schools. He said the public school system didn't have plumbing, masonry, machine shop, HVAC repair or welding, and the greenhouse program only operated in the spring.

Donna Hanlin, assistant superintendent for curriculum, school administration and improvement, said the school system has a partnership with the Barr Construction Institute, which offers plumbing and HVAC. Washington County Technical High students can participate at the institute, she said.

There is no longer a specific program for welding, but other technical programs offer welding skills, according to Hanlin and George Phillips, supervisor of career and technology programs. Similarly, masonry is no longer a specific program but some masonry skills are included in a carpentry program at South Hagerstown High, Phillips said.

Horticultural programs are offered at various high schools, Phillips said.

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

James W. Staley



Age: 44

Address: 1116 Fairview Road, Hagerstown

Education: Graduated from Clear Spring High School, 1983

Occupation: Disability retirement started in June after 24 1/2 years working for the Washington County Board of Education; custodial and maintenance jobs.

Party affiliation: Democrat, but the race is nonpartisan

Political experience: None

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