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Board Of Education Appoints Baker’s Son

Two Employees Suspended

June 20, 2012
BY LAUREN RIGGS - Staff Writer ( , Wetzel Chronicle

At their final meeting for the fiscal year, the Wetzel County Board of Education gave their goodbyes to two board members as well as appointed a new member to replace the seat left open by Willie Baker, who recently passed away.

Superintendent Diane Watt stated to board member Linda Ritz, who ended her term on the Wetzel County Board of Education Monday evening, "I've known you for a year; it's been the greatest pleasure to work with you . . . you are going to be really missed."

Among other board members, Vice President Bob Patterson as well as President Mike Blair also praised Ritz, Patterson remarked that he enjoyed discussions on the "finer points of issues" and Blair stated Ritz "has been fair to the board and staff and has never been afraid to lay it out there."

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Board member Jim "Cork" Bowen was unable to be present for his final meeting, but Superintendent Watt also spoke words of appreciation regarding his service, stating that she had a certificate for Bowen. He has served on the board since Amy Dieffenbach resigned in January.

Before the conclusion of Monday night's meeting, Vice President Patterson stated that he had a recommendation for the seat which was left vacated after Willie Baker's unexpected passing. Superintendent Watt agreed that the board has the right to appoint someone, and with that said, the decision was made to appoint Chris Baker, son of the late Willie Baker, to the vacated seat.

In other board matters, two separate executive sessions were held for the discussion of personnel matters. Regarding Employee/Case (B), the board approved of the superintendent's recommendation for a three-day unpaid suspension of an employee for insubordination and willful neglect of duty. Watt mentioned the specific suspension days as being Aug. 17, 20, and 21, stating that Aug. 17 is a prep day, whereas Aug. 20-21 are regular, instructional days.

The second executive session, a shorter one, involved Employee/Case (A). The board, again, upheld the recommendations of Superintendent Watt, stating that the employee involved would have one day of unpaid suspension of employee contract for not following procedures as stated in the West Virginia School Bus Transportation Policy and Procedures Manual.



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