Fischer wants every student to have equal opportunities

August 11, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

Jacqueline Fischer wants to see what other school systems are doing to help their students perform well on standardized tests, and work toward every student having equal opportunities, she said.

Fischer is one of 11 candidates for three Washington County Board of Education seats open in November's general election.

Fischer served on the school board from 2002 to 2006, and ran for re-election in 2006 and 2008. Fischer, 64, lives west of Hagerstown with her husband, George. She has a grown son who graduated from Williamsport High.

The school system's SAT verbal and writing scores dropped in 2009, and some schools have had declines in reading assessment test scores, Fischer said.

"Obviously, as a former English teacher, I'm very much concerned with that," Fischer said.

In addition to seeing what other school systems are doing to help students improve their scores, Fischer said she believes in the "old tried and true" of lots of vocabulary lessons and reading at home.


One of the school system's beliefs, listed at its website, is that the system provides "equal access to educational opportunities."

Fischer said the school system hasn't gotten there yet.

"For one thing, not every student has every opportunity to pursue every program because not every student has transportation available to attend (every) program," Fischer said.

For instance, an elementary school student in Smithsburg who wants to attend the magnet program at Fountaindale in Hagerstown has to rely on parents providing transportation, she said.

While a more-elaborate transportation program isn't realistic with the current economy, school system officials can research how to put such a system in place for when the economy turns around, she said.

She said she'd like more "green" measures to be put into place when building new schools and renovating older schools. There are more measures that can be taken dealing with windows, lighting, the position of the school on a property and the use of trees and plants to make schools "truly environmentally friendly," she said.

The Sept. 14 primary will narrow the field of candidates to six.

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.

Jacqueline Fischer

Date of Birth: Jan. 4, 1946

Address: 13156 Independence Road, west of Hagerstown

Education: South Hagerstown High, Class of 1964. Bachelor's degree in secondary education with a major in English language arts from Frostburg State College; advanced professional certification in the teaching of English and reading from the State of Maryland, based on a master's equivalency obtained primarily through Western Maryland College.

Occupation: Retired English and journalism teacher who taught at Clear Spring, Smithsburg and Williamsport high schools.

Party affiliation: Democrat, but the race is nonpartisan

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

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