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Board Hires Ohio Lawyer As VHS Principal

By Staff | Oct 21, 2009

In the photo are Local School Improvement Council members and principals who made presentations to Wetzel County Board of Education Monday. From left: Jane Beckett, principal at Short Line School; Shane Highley, SLS vice principal and LSIC president; Superintendent Bill Jones; Breanna Nolan, Valley High School LSIC president; and Tammy Wells, representing the administration at VHS. (Photo by Amy Witschey)

During Monday evening’s meeting the Wetzel County Board of Education approved the hiring of C. Scott Romans as the principal at Valley High School.

The highly-qualified Romans is expected to come to Pine Grove from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, in about two weeks.

“We feel fortunate to have Mr. Scott Romans with us,” said Superintendent Bill Jones.

Romans is currently an attorney in solo practice, concentrating in the areas of education, employment law, juvenile, and business. He served for two years as general counsel for Cincinnati Public Schools and for seven years in the same position for the Akron City School District. For five years he also served as the Chief Business Officer and legal counsel for the Warren City Schools Board of Education.

Besides the area of law, Romans has hands-on education experience. He has been both a middle and high school teacher as well as principal of Highland Junior High School in Barberton, Ohio. He also served as superintendent of Tuslaw Local Schools, a district that included 1,400 pupils, and as an adjunct professor at both the University of Akron and Kent State University.

Romans does have some family ties to Wetzel County.

Superintendent Jones thanked Tammy Wells, Sam Snyder, and Tom West for all of their hard work at VHS while the school was without a principal.

Appropriately, Monday’s meeting was held at Short Line School and included presentations from the SLS and VHS Local School Improvement Councils.

Each school reviewed their goals with the board and congratulated students who achieved state and national honors during the past school year.

SLS Principal Jane Beckett said the goals at her school included improved student achievement through the integration of technology and that all students in the disabilities subgroup will demonstrate achievement as evidenced on the WesTest II. Work toward achieving the latter includes increasing the number of students going from novice to partial mastery across the disabilities spectrum and utilizing differentiated instruction, acuity practice, and an after school tutoring program.

Also, SLS met the goal of all students mastering or exceeding their grade level on WesTest II. They met Adequate Yearly Progress for all subcategories on the test in 2008-09. Consequently the students were treated to an ice cream sundae party.

Their other achievement goal is for students in the low SES and disabilities subgroups to increase achievement. They are working on this through Walk to Intervention, FastForward, differentiated instruction, and Problem Based Learning.

Beckett also said all students will be educated in a safe and drug-free learning environment that supports academic achievement. Some progress has been made as the number of out of school suspensions decreased from 167 days in the 2007-08 school year to 136 days in 2008-09.

The LSIC also includes a safety committee that is working on bettering the campus. They have ordered a new white vinyl fence for the outdoor basketball court, equipment for the preschool playground purchased through Title I money, and tarps to cover the gymnasium floor at a cost of about $2,400, a great savings over the initial estimate of $6-10,000. Their other goal of a new sign along state Route 20 is a longer-term one as it will cost $5-6,000. They are working on obtaining grants for this project.

The VHS presentation, given by Wells along with some teachers and students, began with a performance by the Marching Lumberjacks. The band boasts 39 members, the largest number in 10 years and a full 19 percent of the student body. They have learned 17 songs this season with 11 of them memorized. The band, led by Director Benjamin McPherson and Field Commander Breanna Nolan, received a superior rating recently and placed second in the Black Walnut Festival parade.

Board Member Willie Baker gave McPherson and his supporters a special thanks for their hard work over the past several years.

McPherson, also the school’s technology coordinator, gave a brief overview of the school’s standing in that regard. He said 29 computers at the school have FastForward, a program aimed at improving reading skills, and he is in the process of setting up a computer lab with 11-12 computers enabled with FastForward. Also, two of the school’s three white boards are up and usable.

Teacher Janet Moore gave an update on the LINKS (Learning, Individualized Needs, Knowledge, and Skills) Program that aims at advancing student learning, success, and development. This is a change from the Academic Advisory Program that has been at VHS for 20 years.

Sophomores Brady Nolan and Sarah Wells informed the board about the Ohio Valley Athletic Commission’s Varsity Board. It is a board comprised of two student athletes from each member school. It is designed to give the students a chance to have input into the OVAC and encourage better sportsmanship.

Technology Students of American Advisor Joshua Weekley gave an overview of that group’s work, including a demonstration of a student-group-created video game. “We have a lot of great students in our club,” said Weekley.

Breanna Nolan, president of the VHS LSIC, presented the group’s PowerPoint presentation that included a listing of four goals:

-All special education students will receive a free, appropriate public education to increase achievement and performance to desired post-school outcomes.

-All students will be educated in a safe and drug-free learning environment that supports academic achievement.

-Valley High School will master or exceed grade level requirements for 21st Century education standards.

-VHS will improve student achievement, enhance student learning, and improve 21st Century skills through integration of technology.

She concluded her presentation by asking the board to find a half-time assistant principal at VHS and support the renewal of a grant for their School Prevention Resource Officer.