The D.C. school board will hold a special meeting next week to select a Ward 1 representative to fill the vacancy created by the death of Edna Frazier-Cromwell.
Five candidates have filed for the $26,000-a-year post. They include Wilma R. Harvey, a former teacher who was Frazier-Cromwell's administrative assistant; Christopher P. Hoffman, a retired D.C. teacher; Walter C. Pierce, a community activist who ran unsuccessfully for the board against Frazier-Cromwell in 1983; James Scott, a D.C. teacher, and Leonard J. Thompson, who has worked as social service representative for the city and lost in the 1983 race.
The appointed representative would serve until the November election. Capturing the appointment is considered important for any candidate planning to seek election to the post.
Frazier-Cromwell was appointed to succeed Frank Smith, who resigned after he won the Ward 1 City Council seat in 1982. She then won election to the seat in 1983.
"I feel that I am qualified for the position because I served as assistant to Mrs. Frazier-Cromwell and I am an educator," Harvey said. "I look forward to the challenge of replacing her on the board and continuing the work she started in Ward 1."
Thompson said, "I want to help students feel that they have personal worth and I want them to be able to read well." If appointed, he said, "I intend to get parents involved in the system so they can monitor the progress of their children."
Other candidates could not be reached for comment.
Ward 1, which is in the heart of the city, runs from the Howard University and LeDroit Park on the east to the expensive addresses of Mount Pleasant and Kalorama. The ward has the largest concentration of Spanish-speaking students and has 12 elementary schools, two junior high schools and two senior highs.