WINCHESTER — David Stegmaier, 72, once the director of community outreach for former Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-10th, recently announced he is running for the at-large position on the Frederick County School Board.

Stegmaier is running against Brian Hester, a commercial lender at BB&T Bank, for the seat, which is being vacated by current at-large member of the School Board John Lamanna. Lamanna is leaving the School Board to run for the chairman position on the Frederick County Board of Supervisors.

Stegmaier, now retired, was a representative in the state legislature in Hawaii for 12 years, working as the chair of the House Education Committee for four years during the mid 1990s.

He also has one grandchild, who will attend Stonewall Elementary School in the fall.

“I have a passion for education,” Stegmaier said, who has lived in the area for 12 years. “I think it is the most important and effective way for us to be a land of opportunity, and we need to use education to give young people an opportunity to overcome disadvantages.”

A key point of Stegmaier’s campaign is to maintain the values of the Shenandoah Valley — specifically family, faith and community — and not let ideas from Richmond or Washington, D.C., influence Frederick County.

“We have a role to play in maintaining community and reaching out to those in need,” he said. “We’re constantly faced with this leveraging of funds — sort of a mandating of ideas and values that may not be what we want to prioritize but the money is with them and so they leverage that to get our compliance.”

Stegmaier said one of the initiatives state and federal governments are pushing is standardized testing. “Because we’re so tied up in the mandates from D.C. and Richmond, we are hesitant to resist the constant effort that continues to be made to have us test our students,” Stegmaier said. “There has to be a balance.”

Stegmaier has worked on the board of the Highland Food Pantry for several years and continues to serve on the board of Shenandoah Valley Community Residences, which provides shelter and care for those who are intellectually disabled. For the past 19 years, he said he and his wife have also taken care of his sister, who has schizophrenia.

If elected to the School Board, Stegmaier wants to work toward hiring more school resource officers and improving school security technology. He wants to strengthen Career and Technical Education programs in the county and expand apprenticeship programs within the schools.

Stegmaier also wants to make sure counselors obtain specialized training to respond to drug abuse among students. He’s concerned that marijuana legalization supported by some legislators at the state and federal level will be “terribly counterproductive” to area school systems because of how damaging the drug is to teens’ brains, he said.

— Contact Anna Merod at

(11) comments




Comstock was a milktoast republican that did not embrace Trump. I hope you are a strong conservative that will bring sanity back to our schools. My son is afraid to go to the bathroom between classes because of all the hoodlums that hang out in there. Teachers know to give bathroom passes to the good kids so they can go during class.


perhaps if our schools weren't overcrowded this wouldn't be an issue. newer school design recommends more bathrooms with fewer stalls to alleviate this type of behavior. that also means more square footage and the Board of supervisors wants bare minimums for our schools...

Anna Thomson

Sir: If marijuana is legalized, it will remain illegal for minors or anyone under 21 years old, just as cigarettes and alcohol are illegal for anyone under 21. The problem is that the kids and young adults in Frederick County and elsewhere are charged with possession of minor amounts of marijuana and their records are permanently used to discriminate against them the remainder of their born days. Parents are sick of this system that is very much like the old scarlet letter. We invest heavily in our children, we love them, they should not be made to carry the stigma of a charge of possession of marijuana their entire lives. So, there is much more to this than I think you understand, and it has very little to do with school board matters. PT


“C” is the new scarlet letter


We don’t need more resource officers. We need better teacher pay and instructional materials. Also, marijuana? That’s the big issue? Seriously?


Yes, we do. Want more teachers? Cut ESL.


Stop letting your bigotry override any sense you may have.


Also, allow teachers to arm themselves.


Another Reefer Madness candidate. Newsflash: Keeping marijuana illegal makes it MORE accessible to kids. Just because something is bad for kids doesn't mean adults shouldn't have access to it if they so choose. If that were the case, people who indulge in alcohol and tobacco would be in jail.


Same with guns

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