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Board Gives Jones An A+

By Staff | Jun 9, 2010

Pictured with board members and leaders are many of the 25 professional and service workers who were recognized June 7 at a reception by the Wetzel County Board of Education.

The Wetzel County Board of Education Monday gave County Superintendent Bill Jones an A+ on his mandatory annual performance review. “We found that Bill Jones met or exceeded all standards, goals, and expectations for the 2009-10 school year,” said Board President Mike Blair.

Jones, a former Wetzel County teacher and school administrator, was called out of retirement to his position in the 2006-07 school year.

The board took from the table a Student Cell Phone and Electronic Device Policy long enough to send it back to staff for further study. Board Vice President Bob Patterson, whose motion to recommit was approved, noted that cell phones are a silent and widespread distraction for students in the classroom. Patterson said the policy needed to have stronger measures to prevent the devices from being used in classrooms and stronger consequences for doing so. The measure was introduced and tabled at a May board meeting.

The board also approved the replacement of flashing caution lights near Paden City High School. Director of Ancillary Services Brian Jones said the state had notified the school board that the lights were due to be replaced and that funds were available for the project.

Jones said the project will be completed before the beginning of the 2010-11 school year.

Also approved was a voluntary student accident insurance policy for the 2010-11 school year with First Service Insurance Inc., the current insurer. There was no increase in premium.

A revised job description for the supervisor of transportation/chief mechanic was approved on second and final reading and becomes effective immediately.

Approved on first reading was an extra-duty/extracurricular inspection and cleanliness policy for bus operators. Under the provision, a pre-and-post safety inspection must be made on all busses that carry students to and from extracurricular events. If a second trip immediately follows a first trip, the second leg is considered a continuation of service.

Assistant Superintendent Jay Yeater emceed a recognition of 25 professional and service workers-the largest single group of retirees in recent memory. The employees have a combined 776 years experience in the educational field, most or all of it in Wetzel County.

The employees and their service are briefed below.

Edward V. Amos, a teacher aide at Paden City Elementary School with three years of experience after retiring from private industry;

Lynn B. Barcus, a speech therapist at New Martinsville School, 38 years experience; began as a countywide speech therapist in 1972; has been assigned to NMS since 1982 as a speech therapist;

Jennifer B. Bates, art teacher at SLS with 35 years of experience; began in 1974 at the former Brooklyn Grade School; also taught at the former Smithfield Elementary School until 1979 when SLS opened;

Theresa Jane Beckett, principal at Short Line School, 35 years of experience; was a substitute science teacher for several years; began teaching seventh and eighth grade science at SLS in 1982 until becoming principal in 1986;

Kay L. Blair, fifth grade teacher as SLS, 38 years; began teaching in Wetzel County in 1972 at Reader Elementary School until 1979 when Reader closed; at SLS since its opening in 1979;

Jimmy L. Briggs, custodian at NMS, 26 years; worked his entire career at NMS;

Josiela V. Chapple, kindergarten teacher at SLS, 26 years; began teaching at Steelton Grade School in 1974 before going to Reader Elementary School in 1977; SLS since 1979;

Mary Beth Cochran, secretary at the county office, 36 years of experience; began in 1974 as a secretary at both Jacksonburg Grade School and Smithfield Grade School; in 1986, worked as secretary at the Career Center until 1992 when she became the secretary at PCES; also worked as the secretary at Magnolia High School 1995-2001;

Sandra K. Doty, English teacher at PCHS, 41 years; began at Paden City High School in 1968;

Cecilia E. Edgell, fourth grade teacher at NMS, 35 years of experience; Steelton Elementary School 1975-77;

Thomas R. Fluharty, bus operator in the Short Line area, 22 years of experience;

Warren L. Grace Jr., principal at PCHS, 34 years; worked in Monongalia, Marion, and Braxton counties before becoming principal at Paden City Middle School in 1983; named PCHS principal in 1986; also served as principal at MHS from 1989-92;

Ellen R. Graham, cafeteria manager at PCES, 30 years of experience; began in 1980 as a custodian at NMS; became cook at PCES in 1983; cafeteria manager since 1999;

Johnny K. Greathouse, supervisor of transportation, 30 years; began as bus operator in 1980, then became a bus mechanic; named chief mechanic in 2001 and supervisor in 2008;

Nettie Jo Herrick, English teacher at MHS, 38 years; began at PCHS, moved to MHS in 1976 and then taught 7/8th grades at NMS; moved to MHS in 1992;

Larry G. Hostuttler, bus operator in the Hundred area with 23 years of experience; began in 1987 in the Hundred area where he worked his entire career;

Deborah A. Keough, third grade teacher at NMS, 37 years; began at Smithfield Elementary School in 1973; moved to SLS when it opened in 1979; taught second grade at SLS for six years until 1985, when she moved to NMS;

Linda T. Kirk, guidance counselor at Valley High School with 38 years of experience; began teaching at VHS in 1971; became guidance counselor in 1989;

William E. Longwell III, social studies teacher at MHS and PCHS, 30 years; began at VHS as a special education teacher; worked at VHS and Hundred High School as a special education teacher until 1988; taught at SLS before going to MHS and NMS in 2004; in 2005, taught social studies at MHS until 2008 when he began teaching at both MHS and PCHS;

Ethel M. Myers, head custodian at NMS, 39 years; began as a custodian at Grandview Elementary School in 1971; moved to NMS in 1982; moved to the Career Center until 1990, when she returned to NMS as head custodian;

Alex L. Tunning, fourth grade teacher, NMS, 33 years of experience; began at NMS in 1977;

Donna S. Weekley, English teacher, VHS, 30 years of experience; began at VHS in 1976; taught at MHS until moving to VHS in 1998;

Larry I. Weekley, social studies teacher at VHS, 38 years; also taught physical education and health; has served as VHS athletic director and head coach of the girls’ varsity basketball team, a position he will retain;

Linda M. West, fifth grade teacher with 31 years of experience; began as a teacher’s aide in 1979 at SLS; after earning her teaching degree, began as a substitute in 1988; began teaching at SLS in 1989; and

Doris J. Worthy, transportation aide, 21 years; began as a substitute custodian; named a permanent custodian in 1990; worked at various schools including the former career center; became a classroom aide in 1994.

Following the introductions, Blair noted, “I went to school to many of you. And, now, so are my kids. Thank you for the minds you have shaped over these many years.”

Jones recalled meeting many “truly fine, outstanding students during (four high school) commencement exercises,” which ended in the past week. “They now belong to the world,” said Board Member Willie Baker.

As for retirements, more are expected next year. With a hint of melancholy in his voice, a retiring professional worker noted, “We are leaving the same way we came in … 20, 25 at a time.”