FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: For more information, please contact Public Information Officer, Carol Mowen, 301-766-2996, Director of Human Resources, Don Francis, 301-766-2808.
HAGERSTOWN, MD (August 13, 2002) - Washington County Public School Board members today approved the appointment of Tammy L. Turner to the position of Chief Legal Counsel for the school system. In a move designed to save the school system a significant amount in legal costs, the Board created the in house position to partially replace various contracts with outside legal vendors.
Ms. Turner was recommended to the Board by a panel of nine interviewers made up of diverse school system stakeholders, including the heads of the two major unions, representatives of the administrators' unit, the Board of Education, and the business community. She was the panel's unanimous choice for the position by virtue of her extensive legal background and experience, particularly in the complex arena of school law.
Ms. Turner received a BA degree at University of Maryland College Park and a Juris Doctorate at the University of Baltimore School of Law. She served as Assistant County Attorney, Office of Law in Baltimore County; Assistant to the President for EEO and Special Projects at Morgan State University; and is currently Associate Counsel for the Baltimore Public Schools, where she advised the superintendent on education-related matters and handled labor and employment issues, EEO concerns, redistricting, school closings, negotiations, student disciplinary hearings, as well as federal, state, and local education policies and regulations.
Legal costs for the school system have been increasing in recent years, with the system's costs reaching a high in the 2000-2001 school year of $108,000, almost double the previous year. During this last year, legal fees were approximately $90,000. Ms. Turner will take over the responsibilities of overseeing employee contractual agreements and labor negotiations due to the resignation of the system's chief negotiator, who will not be replaced. Savings to the system will be in excess of $60,000.
The Board welcomes Ms. Turner and believes that the extensive expertise she brings will be an asset to the school system.