Four for the school board

Carroll County: Hiltz, Kraft, Oldewurtel, Parr endorsed for board of education in primary.

March 03, 2000

TWO weeks before the filing deadline in mid-December, the number of candidates for the Carroll County school board stood at zero. Then 24 hopefuls suddenly jumped into the race.

Some no doubt expected they might be the only ones filing for the two open seats on the board. Some followed the common political practice of filing at the last minute. It's the largest field for school board in more than a dozen years -- even without the two candidates who have dropped out.

There are many worthwhile ideas advanced by the candidates -- from construction management and primary reading skills to openness and accountability.

In Tuesday's primary election, Carroll voters will select four candidates to advance to the November general election for the two seats. Both elections are nonpartisan; anyone registered can vote.

Recognizing the diverse qualifications and experiences of many candidates, The Sun endorses (in alphabetical order) Thomas G. Hiltz, James Earl Kraft, Mary D. Oldewurtel and Cynthia M. Parr to advance.

Mr. Hiltz, an engineer with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission who lives in Woodbine, recently completed five years on county Planning and Zoning Commission. He has proven his dedication to public service, and offers a thoughtful approach to managing the growing school system.

Mr. Kraft, of Finksburg, is a retired school facilities planner and teacher who worked for more than 30 years in Baltimore County's public schools. He favors regular audits of the administration and, as a Carroll substitute teacher, he's also in touch with pressing academic needs.

Ms. Oldewurtel is a Sykesville lawyer active in county and school affairs. She ran for the board in 1998. She favors increasing remedial help for low achievers and offering more advanced courses for higher achievers.

Ms. Parr, of Finksburg, a former spokesperson for the county commissioners and the economic development department, is heading the systemwide school redistricting advisory panel. She has handled that task with openness, equanimity and insight, values that are needed on the board.

With the exception of Mr. Kraft, all the endorsed candidates have children in the public school system and all recognize the need for improvement, in both schooling and construction spending.

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