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Poole says he would bring community perspective if elected to school board

October 03, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com
  • Travis Poole
Travis Poole

Travis W. Poole said he is running for a seat on the Washington County Board of Education because eventually his two sons will attend Washington County Public Schools.

Poole, a Hagerstown attorney, said he also is interested in public service and serving on the school board is a good way to get involved and effect change.

“I have concerns. I can’t say I have any specific agenda,” said Poole, 32, of Hagerstown.

By design, Poole said, he is not running on any particular issue or topic, but to serve all issues and topics, he said.

Because there are only five candidates for the four school board seats up for election, the school board did not have a primary in April. The school board has seven members. The school board race is nonpartisan.

The general election is Nov. 6.

Also running for school board are Melissa Williams and incumbents Donna L. Brightman, Justin Hartings and Wayne Ridenour.

Poole said the other candidates for the board are all qualified, but he thinks the board is heavy with members who have a teaching or academic background. Three board members are retired teachers and one is a former principal and school system administrator.

The board also needs members who are connected to the community at large and can bring a perspective from outside the school system, he said.

The school system is creating a work force and the community is dependent upon students’ development and progression, he said.

Generally, people should always be concerned with budget and human resources issues such as how the school system will keep up with technological and career development advances as the school system grows, Poole said.

Poole said he has experience with his household budget and is the treasurer for the Washington County Bar Association. As an attorney, he is required to do cost analysis and budgeting for his private cases, managing clients’ expectations, he said.

While Poole has not been a teacher, his wife, Laura, is an elementary school teacher at Middletown Elementary for Frederick County (Md.) Public Schools.

They have two sons, ages 23 months and 6, who eventually will attend Washington County Public Schools, he said. The 6-year-old is attending primary school in Middletown, Md., for logistical reasons, he said. There is no timetable for when his sons will attend Washington County Public Schools, a decision he and his wife will make, Poole said.

Poole said his experience as an attorney could help the school board with employee contracts and other issues.

He is an attorney for Poole & Kane, P.A. Poole said he is not related to Bruce Poole, a principal partner in the law firm and a former state delegate.

On Aug. 1, he also became the legal counsel for the Washington County Department of Social Services’ child welfare and family services division so he represents the department in cases of abuse, neglect, and foster care, Poole said.

Poole is a member of the Hagerstown Board of Zoning Appeals.

School board members elected in November 2012 will serve four-year terms and will be paid $6,100 a year. If one of the newly elected members becomes board president, the annual salary will be $6,200.

A salary increase kicked in starting with board members elected in 2010.

Board members, whose seats are up for re-election this year, are paid $5,500 a year, while the board president is paid $5,600.

Name: Travis W. Poole

Age: 32

Address: 1040 Pope Ave., Hagerstown

Education: Graduated from South River High School in Edgewater, Md. Earned a bachelor’s degree in history and public policy from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Received his law degree from the University of Baltimore.

Occupation: An associate attorney at (Bruce) Poole & Kane, P.A. He also is legal counsel for the Washington County Department of Social Services child welfare and family services division.

Party affiliation: Democrat

Political experience: None

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