Date of birth: July 4, 1951
Address: 16833 Tammany Manor Road, Williamsport
Education: B.S. in history, APC-Md. Department of Education, additional course work at Hood College, West Virginia University, Johns Hopkins University and the Appraisal Institute
Occupation: Certified residential real estate appraiser
Party affiliation: Independent
Political experience: Eight years as a member of the Washington County Board of Education
Q: What more should WCPS do to prevent bullying, including cyberbullying?
No child should fear coming to school. The Board has a comprehensive bullying policy and supporting regulations in place and our students are educated on acceptable ways to act toward their fellow students. The staff must always be vigilant to make certain the policies and supporting regulations are enforced. The Board must stay informed of any new technology used to harass or bully any of our students. As a policy maker, the Board must update those policies when necessary to support an atmosphere conducive to a quality education for our students.
Q: Is there a specific area in which WCPS needs to improve student outcomes? If so, identify the area and suggest a course of action.
To be successful students must have excellent reading skills and it is essential that this take place at the early stages of a student’s schooling. Early identification and intervention must take place to make certain students do not fall behind their peers. Last year the Superintendent proposed and implemented a program to give identified students a summer jump-start in their reading skills. The turnout was not as great as hoped. The board and staff must find creative ways and/or incentives to make this program more inclusive.
Q: What can the school system do to improve literacy among elementary school students?
Early identification is essential. Quality interventions for any students who fall behind are also imperative. Our staff must identify techniques that will engage students and excite them. The use of proven technology could be beneficial. The Superintendent’s summer program is another way the system can make certain children master the reading skills necessary to be successful.
Q: In light of the increasing costs for school construction and advances in technology, do you want the school system to change direction in how the curriculum is delivered and how so?
Schools will not be the same in the future as they are now, however; we must be certain any dramatic changes to the delivery of education is supported by solid data, not anecdotal evidence. Many are touting virtual schools as a way to cut costs. Yet recently in Tennessee 1,800 K to grade 8 students who attended Tennessee’s Virtual Academy performed in the bottom 11 percent of schools statewide. While schools will continue to evolve, we must continue to provide the necessary brick and mortar at this time while strategically implementing data-supported changes and technology uses.
Q: What is one measure you would advocate to improve college readiness of graduates?
I believe many of our students are sadly lacking in basic language and math skills. These skills include vocabulary, grammar and simple math skills. Addressing math and language skills early will allow our students the opportunity to attack more and more challenging material as they move through their schooling. It is necessary in the short term that all High School students understand what will be expected of them as they move on to higher education. Students must understand which courses and mastery of course content are necessary to prepare them for entry into a college.
Wayne Ridenour - BOE Candidates Q&A
Wayne Ridenour (October 20, 2012)