EIGHT TO VIE FOR FOUR SLOTS ON NOV. BALLOT

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Eight school board candidates will compete in Tuesday's primary for four slots on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

The top four vote-getters in the primary will face each other in November for the twoboard seats being vacated by Karen B. Campbell and Ruth Y. Hutchinson.

The five school board members serve staggered six-year terms. Thepost is non-partisan, which means that candidates' names appear on the ballot without party affiliation.

DELROY L. CORNICK SR.

Age: 63

Residence: Kings Contrivance, Columbia; 22-year county resident.

Occupation: Retired in December as professor of management, MorganState University. Also has served as associate superintendent of Washington public schools, and director of training for the OccupationalSafety and Health Administration.

Education: Bachelor's degree ineconomics, Ripon College; master's degree in technology of management, American University; doctorate in financial management, training and organizational development, University of Southern California.

Family: Wife, Janet, teaches business education at Hammond High School. Daughter Lisa Hayes works for Gannett Co. Daughter Susan Allen is a law student at University of Pennsylvania. Son Delroy Jr. is a seventh-grader at Patuxent Valley Middle School.

Why should people vote for you? Cornick cited his administrative experience in education and finance, his teaching experience as a college professor and as a teacher of local school management at the D.C. Teachers College (now UDC). He said he has evaluated products of Maryland schools as a member of Sen. Barbara Mikulski's review board for military academy nominations.

"One of the things I have always prided myself on is askingtough questions, because I spent most of my life as a budget officerand college professor."

If additional budget cuts become necessary, where would you cut? "To really get at meaningful cuts, I think the school system needs to look at structural reorganization. . . . We need to look at the structure and see if there are better and more efficient ways to deliver the services. There might be permanent reductions (in non-teaching staff). I really don't like the piecemeal, nitpicking ways of altering the budget."

If you could accomplish just one thing in your six-year term on the board, what would it be?

"Iwould like to see the administration develop a system of responsibility and accountability at the local school level."

The school-based management plan must include resources and authority to do the job,not accountability without authority, he said.

RICHMOND LANEY

Age: 34

Residence: Ellicott City; four-year county resident.

Occupation: Engineer employed by MLA, a Montgomery County consulting company. Former Westinghouse engineer.

Education: Bachelor's degree in manufacturing engineering, Brigham Young University.

Family: Wife,Susan, is a day-care provider. They have five children, four in county schools and one 2-year-old.

Why should people vote for you?

"If they agree with what I've been saying and they believe I'll represent their interests, they should vote for me. If they don't feel that way, maybe they shouldn't vote for me."

If further budget cuts become necessary, where would you cut?"If we had to cut jobs, I would cut them in administration."

He said he would also end the board'slegal services contract with Reese and Carney and hire a single full-time attorney, a move he believes would save "several hundred thousand dollars." Laney has an appeal pending against the county school board before the State Board of Education, but said his proposal "is not related just to this appeal. It's just a cost measure."

His appeal concerns a fight between his son and another student. Both boys were suspended from school for the rest of the day of the fight, a measure upheld by Superintendent Michael E. Hickey and the board.

If you could accomplish just one thing during your term on the board, what would it be?

"One thing I'd like to do -- and this gets back to the core of the school system -- I'd like to change the way the school system does business and bring parents more into the decision-making process."

LINDA L. JOHNSTON

(no relation to Jerry Johnston)

Age: 49

Residence: Resident of Kings Contrivance, Columbia; 12-yearcounty resident.

Occupation: Associate professor of health education at Howard Community College. Has taught in elementary and secondary schools in Pennsylvania, New York and California.

Education: Bachelor's degree in health education, Slippery Rock State University; master's degree in education, Penn State University.

Family: Husband, Bill, is president of United Information Systems Inc., Beltsville. Daughter Karlyn is a student at West Virginia University. Son Derekis a student at Western Maryland College.

Why should people vote for you?

"I have 22 years' experience in education and a master's degree in education and graduate work in policy science. I feel that my education and experience will enable me to make informed and logical decisions."

If additional budget cuts become necessary, where would you cut? "Rather than cut further, I would look at reallocating money."

She said she would seek business partners to finance education budget items and "adopt" schools and would try to obtain additional federal grants. For example, she suggested moving advanced-placement courses to after-school hours and looking for private-industry partners to help pay for the courses.

If you could accomplish just one goal during your term, what would it be?

"To provide opportunities for all students to become competent adults with lifelong skills that will enable them to lead productive lives in a multicultural andinformation-age society."

She said the goal should be accomplished with "a positive learning environment and high morale among staff and students."

SANDRA H. FRENCH

Age: 48

Residence: Woodmark subdivision, Ellicott City; 21-year county resident.

Occupation: Substitute teacher in county public schools and part-time office manager, GE Capital Inc. Former English teacher at Glen Burnie High School.

Education: Bachelor's degree in English, Muhlenberg College; master's degree equivalent, Maryland State Department of Education.

Family: Husband, Marvin, is a program manager for Westinghouse ElectronicsSystems Group. Son Matthew is a freshman at Cornell University. Son Andrew is a fifth-grader at West Friendship Elementary School.

Whyshould people vote for you?

"Because I will always decide in favor of what is best for the children. I will always ask, 'How will thisdecision affect the child and improve his or her performance in the classroom?' "

If additional budget cuts become necessary, where would you cut?

"Cut outside the school day. Try to protect the integrity of the classroom and curriculum."

She endorsed Hickey's plansto move sports events to afternoons and eliminate special classes for gifted and talented first-graders. She said she would delay construction of the 10th county high school planned to open in 1996 and makethe School of Technology into a comprehensive high school and shift some central office personnel from 12- to 11-month contracts.

If you could accomplish just one thing in your term on the board, what would it be?

"I would like to decrease the number of underachieving students and decrease the dropout rate and at the same time improve the level of academic performance of all students."

W. EUGENE ECKHART JR.

Age: 42

Residence: River Mills subdivision, Ellicott City; three-year county resident.

Occupation: Research-product engineer,U.S. Department of Energy. Eckhart was employed for 18 years with Armco Inc., a specialty steel manufacturer in Baltimore City.

Education: Bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering, Drexel University; master's degree in business administration, Loyola College.

Family: He and his wife, Linda, have two sons, a 10th-grader at Mount Hebron High School and an eighth-grader at Patapsco Middle School.

Why should people vote for you?

"Because of my professional experience in the private and public sectors, dealing with people, budgets and issues; because of my community activity in education systems."

He served on the Baltimore County school board's northeast area advisory council before moving to Howard County. He is now president of Patapsco Middle School PTA.

If further budget cuts become necessary, where would you cut?

"With great reluctance, I would look to allnon-academic programs, to the extent that there would perhaps be reductions as opposed to eliminating any one program."

He said music,sports and all enhancement programs, including the Black Student Achievement Program, might be reduced "across the board in a proportionate amount."

If you could accomplish just one thing during your term on the board, what would it be?

"To have every school in the Howard County system achieve excellent ratings by the prevailing standards."

He said the first years of the Maryland School Performance Program form a benchmark to develop plans.

S. MELVINA BROWN

Age: 47

Residence: Blackberry Lane, Ellicott City; 20-year county resident.

Occupation: Real estate sales representative with REMAX Columbia. Taught language arts and social studies at Wilde Lake Middle Schoolfrom 1972 to 1975 and taught earlier in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Education:Bachelor's degree in education, West Virginia State University.

Family: Husband, Rochell, is employed by the Enterprise Foundation, Columbia. Five sons, one at the University of Delaware, four in county schools.

Why should people vote for you?

"I am a former teacherin this county. I have five children, one who has graduated (from Glenelg High). I have been active in school affairs even before my children were in school. I am a listener and a doer and will work for theschool system's best interests."

She organized a parent group in 1990 to bring the Black Student Achievement Program to five western county schools. She ran for the board in 1982 but lost.

If further budget cuts become necessary, what would you cut?

"In looking at (the budget) Dr. Hickey presented, I would have questions about the central office. . . . Some of the positions up there, I'm not sure whatthey do. When the budget was presented, I would have liked to see --maybe the board has access to this and the public doesn't -- all those positions and what they do."

If you could accomplish just one thing during your term on the board, what would it be?

"I'm hoping for more equity within the system, that all schools will be the best schools and no one school better than another."

DEBRA ANN SLACK-KATZ

Age: 37

Residence: Slacks Corner, Sykesville; lifelong county resident.

Occupation: Nursing shift director, Howard County GeneralHospital.

Education: Nursing degree from Howard Community College.

Family: Husband, Julian Katz, is supervisor of measurement and statistical analysis, Frederick County public schools. They have two children, a 4-year-old son who will enter kindergarten at West Friendship Elementary School next fall and a 16-month-old daughter.

Why should people vote for you?

"I am a product of the Howard County school system. I am concerned for the health and safety of our children, and I think that's a real basic concern. . . . I think I've been where the school board needs to go. In the last five years, hospitals have had to look at how to work smarter, how to avoid duplication of services, decentralize, turn management to the lowest level it can be,kind of school-based management if you will."

If further budget cuts become necessary, where would you cut?

Slack-Katz would eliminate duplication of services, offer additional early retirement incentives, see if supervisory tasks could be redistributed.

If you could accomplish just one thing during your term on the board, what wouldit be?

"To put pride in our school system from every child, everyteacher and administrator, every parent. . . . To give the system back some of its pride, because I think that's beginning to slip a little."

She said pride would ease "good school, bad school" jealousies and reduce racism.

JERRY D. JOHNSTON

Age: 47

Residence: New Forest Court, Ellicott City; 2 1/2-year county resident.

Occupation: Certified public accountant who is a self-employed financial consultant.

Education: Bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting from Brigham Young University.

Family: Wife, Maureen, is a homemaker.They have eight children: one married, one in college, five in county schools, one 4-year-old; and one grandson.

Why should people vote for you?

"In these times, the board and school system need someone with a financial background to represent the community on the board, and I have that background."

He said he has had experience in dealing with troubled businesses, "and in my opinion, the school system qualifies as a troubled business."

If additional budget cuts become necessary, where would you cut?

"I have been trying to avoid being specific because it sounds like I'm taking potshots at the present board."

Pressed for examples, Johnston said he would replace the legal services provided to the board by the firm of Reese and Carney with a single full-time attorney and would investigate the school employee insurance fund to see if coverage could be provided at lower cost.

If you could accomplish just one thing during your term on the board, what would it be?

"To have the school system be more responsive to parents in the education process, and not only to be more responsive, but to develop ways to get parents more involved."

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