Final Members Appointed to Washington County BOE Vacancy Panel

A co-owner of Krumpe’s Do-nuts, a middle-school teacher and the mayor of Sharpsburg are among four people the Washington County Board of Commissioners appointed Tuesday to a panel that will select nominees to replace Karen Harshman on the county school board.

In addition to Rudy Krumpe, Jennifer Ashbaugh and Hal Spielman being selected, the commissioners named Washington County Republican Central Committee Chairman Jerry DeWolf as the nominating commission’s chairman.

As reported by Herald-Mail,

The commissioners unanimously approved the appointments, the last slots to be filled on the panel, on Tuesday.

DeWolf said he would immediately contact the panel’s members and expected to convene its first meeting this week.

Those public meetings will be held at the county’s administrative office complex in downtown Hagerstown, he said.

“As chairman of the BOE Vacancy Commission, I think what is important here is to remember the outcome of the last election and the mandate of the voters of Washington County, when seeing who the members of the commission are, and how they got here,” DeWolf said in an email. “The voters made a significant change to the board last November, and we would do well to keep that in consideration.”

The group has 30 days from the date of Harshman’s removal from the Washington County Board of Education to advertise the vacancy, hold a public hearing and choose up to three candidates to send to the five commissioners for appointment.

DeWolf said it was his understanding the 30 days began on April 26, the day after the Maryland State Board of Education ordered Harshman to be removed, upholding a recommendation by a state administrative law judge for her ouster on charges of misconduct and willful neglect of duty.

DeWolf, who can only vote on the commission to break a tie, said he will do what he can to meet the 30-day requirement. However, he said the statute does not come with a penalty for missing the window.

The most important thing is to select the best, most qualified three candidates for the commissioners to consider, he said.

The commissioners’ selection will fill the remainder of Harshman’s unexpired term on the seven-member school board. Her term expires in late 2018.

The school board, the county’s state senators and county’s state delegates also each appointed a member to the panel.

They include school board member Pieter Bickford, local businessman Thomas Newcomer and former school board member Thomas Berry.

Krumpe is the county’s business community representative.

Ashbaugh represents the Citizens Advisory Council, where she is co-chairwoman. She teaches at Northern Middle School.

Spielman, who also is a retired teacher, is the county’s educational community representative.

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