Seven candidates apply for vacant school board position

By Ryan Miner 

The Washington County School Board Nominating Commission released yesterday afternoon the names of seven Washington County registered voters who applied to fill the school board vacancy that was created when Karen Harshman was removed by the Maryland State Board of Education for misconduct and willful neglect of duty.

Here is a brief snippet of information about each of the candidates who applied, in alphabetical order:

Denise D. Fry: 

  • Retired Washington County educator
  • President of the Washington County Teachers’ Association for six years
  • Closely aligned with Karen Harshman, Melissa Williams, Stan Stouffer, Mike Guessford and Linda Murray
  • Would tilt the Board heavy in union control
  • Age 54
  • Registered Democrat
  • Lives in Halfway

Edwin Hayes 

  • Former Washington County Board of Education member
  • Retired
  • Husband of Suzanne Hayes, a financial advisor
  • Age 63
  • Registered Republican
  • Lives in Williamsport

Alfred “Al” Edward Martin

  • Retired in 2011 from the City of Hagerstown as its director of finance
  • Serves on several community boards
  • Former Board of Education candidate (2016)
  • Expert in complex budgets and finance
  • Age 63
  • Registered Republican
  • Lives north of Hagerstown

Linda Jean Murray 

  • Former paraprofessional in Washington County Public Schools
  • Personal friendship with Karen Harshman, Melissa Williams, Mike Guessford and Stan Stouffer
  • Former school board candidate (2016); campaigned alongside Melissa Williams and Stan Stouffer; supported by Karen Harshman and Mike Guessford
  • Current Secretary of the Washington County Republican Club
  • Rumored to be the leading contender among two Washington County commissioners, including Wayne Keefer and Terry Baker
  • Close ties to School Board Nominating Commission chairman Jerry DeWolf
  • Age 62
  • Registered Republican
  • Lives in Halfway

Peter Perini 

  • Former Board of Education candidate (2014)
  • Successful local businessman of the Perini family
  • Community and education activist
  • President of the Washington County Democratic Central Committee
  • Age 54
  • Registered Democrat
  • Lives north of Hagerstown

Carlos Reyes

  • Former special officer with the New York Police Department and former security assistant with Montgomery County Public Schools
  • Counselor and pastor at a local church
  •  Former Hagerstown City Council candidate (2016)
  • Age 50
  • Registered Democrat
  • Lives in the City of Hagerstown

David Shuster 

  • Director of Operations and Compliance at Horizon-Goodwill Industries
  • Rumored to be considering a school board run in 2018
  • Interested in good governance; leader in the community
  • Taught at Virginia Tech and is rumored to be working on his doctorate in education
  •  Age 42
  • Registered Democrat
  • Lives in Smithsburg

According to CJ Lovelace of Herald-Mail Media,

The seven-member panel will hold private interviews with each candidate today and Wednesday before taking input from the public during a hearing slated for Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Washington County Administrative Complex in Hagerstown.

The hearing will take place in the former commissioners’ meeting space on the second floor of the building at 100 W. Washington St.

After the hearing, the commission will recommend up to three names to the Washington County Board of Commissioners, which will then have 15 days to make its appointment to the nonpartisan school board.

One Washington County insider with knowledge of the nominating process relayed the following information to me last night,

“They [the nominating commission] shouldn’t waste everyone’s time. It’s is Linda Murry. Slam dunk.

To learn more about Washington County’s School Board Nominating Commission, click below, beginning at around 60:00.

Stay tuned to A Miner Detail for more information about Washington County’s School Board Nominating Commission and its unfolding process.

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