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Washington County Board of Education briefs

June 06, 2012

Hartings wishes everyone a safe summer

County school board member Justin Hartings wished everyone a safe summer, especially school system graduates, at the end of a Washington County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday.

“Be safe, especially all of our graduates, be safe,” Hartings said after expressing his hope that everyone enjoy the summer.

Board member Paul Bailey added: “How about no texting during driving?” — a sentiment Hartings echoed.

The school system’s high schools are holding graduations this week with the bulk of them tonight and Friday.

Four high school seniors died in recent months.

Washington County Technical High School senior Quinn Hoover was taken off life support on March 20, two days after he was in an early morning traffic accident near Clear Spring. His home school was Clear Spring High.

Mitchell Ronald Akers, a Smithsburg High School senior, died April 11 after being involved in an accident the previous day while working at Municipal Stadium.

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Williamsport High seniors Samantha Rae Kelly and Brendon Edward Colliflower were killed on Rench Road on May 5 after they were returning from a high school prom in Shepherdstown, W.Va.


Director of elementary education to retire

Another Washington County Public Schools administrator is retiring this summer.

Jill Burkhart, who has served most recently as director of elementary education, will retire effective July 1, according to school system spokesman Richard Wright and a list of personnel moves approved by a 4-3 vote during a Washington County Board of Education meeting Tuesday.

Burkhart has worked for the school system for 36 years, according to the personnel list.

Under Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox’s restructuring of administrative positions, Burkhart was to become assistant director for elementary specialized programs and Title 1 this July.

Steven P. Wernick, who has been supervisor of elementary reading, social studies and early learning, will become director for elementary and middle school education this July.

Board OKs $20,000 loan to Boonsboro Athletic Boosters

The Washington County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a $20,000, interest-free, five-year loan for the Boonsboro Athletic Boosters to buy a scoreboard and sound system for the high school stadium.

Only one loan application was received this year, according to a school system document.

The fund had $223,700 available before the Boonsboro loan was approved, the document said.

The school loan fund is supported by proceeds from unclaimed estates in Washington County, Chief Financial Officer Chris South said.

Students receive awards for video projects

During a Washington County Board of Education meeting Tuesday, eight students from E. Russell Hicks and Springfield middle schools received Golden Apple Awards for their participation in the “Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student” project.

The students and their teachers worked with National Park Service rangers and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground organization to create six, two-minute vodcasts, or short video clips, that explored aspects of Antietam National Battlefield and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park.

The Hicks students were Natalie Stevens, Abby Giancola, Miguel DeCastro and Manny Teleferi. Their teachers, who also received awards, were Amanda Baran, Kim Ballenger and Emily Eckert.

The students from Springfield Middle in Williamsport were Edward Cunningham, Alexis Lewis, Nicholas Green and Emily Gross. Their teachers were Ryan Abe and Julie Perez.

Other students were involved in the vodcasts, said Evelyn Williams, supervisor of secondary social studies. Those students performed well during a recent panel discussion about the project, she said.

After the students were given their awards, two of the videos were shown. One was about the Battle of Antietam, and the other was about what life was like for women on the C&O Canal.


Tech High School students recognized for billboard designs

Fifteen Washington County Technical High School students on Tuesday earned Golden Apple Awards for creating three billboard designs, for Safe Place — Washington County’s Child Advocacy Center, to raise public awareness and prevent child abuse.

The students are Chase Bachtell, Taylor Findley, Chelsea Gardner, Brad Giampietro, Cassandra Golden, Katelynn Gordon, Jade Jessop, Raven McCall, Genevieve Moore, Gretchen Mummert, Leah Olivera, Lauren Parks, Lorraine Shorb, Samantha Smith and Jocelyn Sornson.

John Jones, the school’s digital communications teacher, and Susan Fries, a multimedia/graphic design teacher at Tech High, also earned Golden Apple Awards.

Jones and a few of the students showed up during a Washington County Board of Education meeting Tuesday to receive their awards.

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