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NEWS
May 17, 2011
Abdul Latif, a student at Smithsburg High School, will be the next student representative to the Washington County Board of Education, current student representative Steven Wang said Tuesday. The Washington County Association of Student Councils elected Abdul in April, said Wang, a senior at North Hagerstown High. Abdul’s term will begin in July. — Julie E. Greene
NEWS
May 18, 2011
The Washington County Board of Education will have a special meeting Tuesday to formally approve Clayton M. Wilcox as the next schools superintendent, board President Wayne Ridenour said Wednesday. The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. in the board auditorium at the central office off Commonwealth Avenue. Wilcox, who has experience as a superintendent in Florida and Louisiana, most recently has been an executive for Scholastic Inc. in New York City. Ridenour said the board will vote on approval of Wilcox’s appointment and his contract.
NEWS
April 19, 2009
The Washington County Board of Education's Facilities and Enrollment Advisory Committee is seeking members. The panel's responsibility is to review enrollment and facilities data to make recommendations to the Board of Education for the effective use of school facilities. County residents interested in serving should submit an application for consideration to the Board of Education. There are three positions available. Members are needed in the South Hagerstown, Smithsburg and Hancock areas.
NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER | March 3, 2003
Ten qualified candidates have expressed interest in the vacancy on the Washington County Board of Education, and the seven-member screening panel will meet March 5 to further narrow the field, panel chairperson B. Marie Byers said Friday. The panel had planned to meet early Friday, but Byers said the meeting was postponed until Wednesday because of poor weather. The application period ended Feb. 24. "We have 10 qualified applicants" for the board position, Byers said, "and we will be prioritizing them for interviews and then communicating by letter" when those interviews will be scheduled, she said.
NEWS
By ERIN CUNNINGHAM | January 11, 2008
Another four-year term on the Washington County Board of Education would give Russell F. Williams the chance to continue advocating on behalf of poor and minority students, he said. "I try to make sure that poor students are not being priced out of education," he said. Williams, 64, who lives in Hagerstown, served on the board from 2002 to 2006, but he lost in the primary election last year. His name will appear on the ballot again in 2008. He filed last week to run in the Board of Education election.
NEWS
March 7, 2001
BOE hires public information officer The Washington County Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint Carol Y. Mowen its public information officer Tuesday night. Mowen, of Greencastle, Pa., works as a literacy resource teacher at Springfield Middle School. She began working as an English language arts teacher in 1996 at the same school. Her salary will be $49,825 a year, which is the pay for Step One of the scale for administrator and supervisor. The position's top salary is $65,011.
NEWS
August 13, 2009
The Washington County Board of Education is considering whether to make a policy change that would require the board to approve certain construction projects that cost more than $50,000. The change was discussed Thursday during a policy committee meeting. Deputy Superintendent Boyd Michael said the change would cover projects such as the construction of pressboxes and concession stands that the school system takes on with private organizations. The board could vote on the policy change as early as next month, Michael said.
NEWS
By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com | February 18, 2013
Vinnie DiCola, owner of Rocky's New York Pizza on South Potomac Street, said he is “excited” about the prospect of the Washington County Board of Education central offices moving to downtown Hagerstown. The move, he said, could bring in more “walking wallets.” “There'd be more professional people downtown and more people coming downtown to do business,” he said. “All these people are going to have to have lunch and dinner somewhere. We definitely need that.” A study released last week by a Greater Hagerstown Committee task force calls moving the BOE central offices to downtown Hagerstown as “feasible” and recommends four preferred locations after looking at 12 potential sites.
NEWS
By HOLLY SHOK | holly.shok@herald-mail.com | March 5, 2013
Hagerstown City Council's efforts to convince the Washington County Board of Education into relocating downtown were stepped up Tuesday morning during the State of the City address. A proposed site for the BOE's central office on West Washington Street, along with renderings of the structure, and a takeoff on “Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood” were included in the city's video presentation. With an eye toward the future of Hagerstown, including information on downtown redevelopment and a multiuse stadium as well as the BOE offices, Mayor David S. Gysberts delivered the annual address at the event, hosted by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | February 18, 2013
The manner in which a feasibility study examining potential sites for moving the Washington County Board of Education central offices to downtown Hagerstown was conducted spurred a local economic development official to speak out last week. “The most troubling part about this study is not the study, but the manner in which it was veiled from the community at large,” said Ron Bowers, vice chairman of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission (EDC). “That's what the problem is.” The study, compiled by a Greater Hagerstown Committee (GHC)
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EDUCATION
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | September 8, 2013
The Washington County Board of Education unanimously approved its six-year capital improvement plan Sept. 3. Although in recent years the school board had considered its requests for county and state capital funding separately, this time, the board considered them together. The requests, which include major school construction as well as systemic projects, such as replacing roofs and HVAC systems, are reflective of the Educational Facilities Master Plan the board approved in June.
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NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | September 8, 2013
Remembering the housing growth that southern Washington County experienced before the recession, and knowing several housing developments are planned for that area, some school board members are concerned that plans to replace Sharpsburg Elementary School won't be enough to accommodate the potential growth. The Educational Facilities Master Plan that the Board of Education approved in June, and the six-year capital improvement plan the board approved last week, call for replacing Sharpsburg Elementary in 2019 with a bigger, 471-seat school.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | September 3, 2013
The Washington County Board of Education took a step Tuesday toward rescinding a policy that calls for the seven-member panel to evaluate itself once a year. The school board voted 4-3 on the first reading to rescind the policy. A majority vote on a second, or final, reading on the change is needed for the policy to be formally rescinded. Board President Justin Hartings, Vice President Paul Bailey, and board members Wayne Ridenour and Donna Brightman voted to rescind the annual self-evaluation policy.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | September 3, 2013
After much discussion Tuesday, the Washington County Board of Education voted 6-1 on first reading to change the graduation honors policy systemwide so that valedictorians and salutatorians would have the right to speak at their high school graduations. The board also voted 6-1 to support having the grade-point averages used to determine top academic honors calculated at the end of the final marking period, and that the changes would go into effect with the 2014-2015 school year. Currently, the GPAs for graduation honors are calculated at the end of the third marking period.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | September 1, 2013
A Washington County Board of Education committee will recommend the school board amend its graduation honors policy so the valedictorian and salutatorian are given the first options - at all county public high schools - to provide commencement speeches, school board officials said. All three members of the board's Policy Committee said they agreed on that recommendation. Board President Justin Hartings and board members Jacqueline Fischer and Karen Harshman serve on the committee. If the valedictorian and/or salutatorian doesn't want to give a speech at graduation, the honor would be passed to the student with the third highest grade-point average, and so on, down the GPA list, said Fischer, who chairs the Policy Committee.
EDUCATION
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | August 30, 2013
The Washington County Board of Education could vote as early as Tuesday on the first reading of a new policy governing service animals for individuals with disabilities in public schools that would now include miniature horses, board officials said. Board President Justin Hartings said the inclusion of miniature horses was due to federal law. The board policy committee didn't sit down with a list of farm animals and choose miniature horses, said Hartings, one of three board members on the panel.
NEWS
August 12, 2013
The Washington County Board of Education unanimously approved changes to a contract for staff development software and training that will save the school system $4,405, according to a board presentation document. The board approved the original 20-month deal with Teachscape, of San Francisco, last October for $395,861. Changes include a $2,805 reduction to waive the setup fee. The contract also was reduced by $1,600 because the number of users was reduced from 1,700 to 1,500 for this fiscal year, while the number of webinar training sessions was increased from two to four, the document said.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | August 11, 2013
Washington County Board of Education member Melissa Williams said she was disappointed the school board voted last week to suspend its self-appraisal policy, sending it to committee for evaluation. “I think that the process of an annual self-appraisal is one way that we hold ourselves accountable as a board. I see it as a missed opportunity to evaluate the quality of what we do as a board collectively,” Williams said Aug. 7 in a phone interview. Williams brought up the policy during the board's July 23 meeting, asking that it have a discussion soon about how it was going to do the self-appraisal, which under board policy is due by Oct. 1. The board discussed the issue in closed session Aug. 6, after which board member Wayne Ridenour made a motion during the public business meeting to suspend the policy and send it to the policy committee for review.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | August 7, 2013
Editor's note: This story was altered on Aug. 7, 2013 to clarify a quote by Wayne Ridenour on how he feels about the new method Washington County Public Schools will implement this year to evaluate teachers. Several Washington County Board of Education members said they like the more rigorous learning that comes with the Common Core State Standards and, in another school year, new assessment tests, but some board members expressed concerns. One of those concerns was whether students' computer skills will be sufficient since the new assessment tests are meant to be taken on computers.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | July 21, 2013
The issue of whether the valedictorian and salutatorian should get first crack at being graduation speakers is being reconsidered by a Washington County Board of Education committee after one school's valedictorian didn't get to speak this year, school system officials said. Board of Education member Jacqueline Fischer, who chairs the board's Policy Committee, said Superintendent Clayton Wilcox asked the committee to review the issue after he received a complaint that Washington County Technical High School's valedictorian didn't get to speak at the June 4 graduation ceremony.
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