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Board RIFs 13 Employees

By Staff | Jan 19, 2011

The Wetzel County Board of Education held its annual Reduction-in-Force ritual Jan. 17, laying off eight full-time professional personnel and five full-time or half-time service employees for the 2011-12 school year.

The reductions are mandated under the West Virginia Legislature’s school aid funding formula which is based on each county’s student population. Wetzel County has consistently lost students every year for the past decade.

School officials pointed out that retirements, resignations, and similar wildcards in the 2011-12 school year are not factored into the RIFs, the deadline for which has been moved forward three times, not allowing sufficient time to include them in the decision-making process. In the words of Wetzel County Superintendent of Schools Bill Jones, “We made (RIF) decisions with a limited amount of information” available. Assistant Superintendent Jay Yeager added that the laid off employees are the least senior in the county school system and their RIFfing is not a reflection on their job performance.

The employees who have been placed on a Preferred Recall List may bid on any job that may become open for which they are qualified. Historically in Wetzel County, all or almost all RIFed employees are recalled, although not necessarily for the position from which they were RIFfed. RIFs may be vacated no later than early September 2011.

Board President Mike Blair indicated that the board will hold one or more work sessions to think “outside the box” and explore if cuts could be made in other areas and the revenue from them utilized to reduce the number of RIFs.

Full-time professional employees RIFfed at the meeting were Laura A. Barcus, Paul E. Barcus III, Lance L. Binegar, Justina A. McGarvey, Kimberly L. Nelson, Sharon E. Snider, Meredith L. Tusic, and Carla N. Wade. Service workers affected by the RIF order were Kimberly S. Haught, Bernice J. Hornbeck, Monica L. Morris, and Melissa K. Starkey. Service employee Mary K. Young was RIFfed from half-time status.

The board accepted the resignation of Madonna Sue Morgan, LINKS coordinator at Short Line School, effective immediately. Effective Jan. 18, the board approved the hiring of Kimberly S. Edgell to succeed Morgan in that position.

In other personnel changes, the board approved employment of the following persons as countywide substitute cooks: Sandra L. Anderson, Sara L. Grimm, Paula M. Mackey, Sharon A. Scyoc, and Mary K. Young. Young was approved for half-time status.

The board also approved participation in the state system of support in conjunction with Valley High School, the funding for which will be announced at a later meeting. In addition, Dave Pethtel was granted an unpaid leave-of-absence from his teaching position at Long Drain School in order to serve as an elected delegate to the state legislature. The leave runs from Jan. 10 through March 18.

Finally, the board added Kevin Stewart and Sherry Stewart to the list of approved chaperones and volunteers at Hundred High School for the 2010-11 school year.

Treasurer Jeff Lancaster reported receiving a $130,752 state grant to help pay the cost of educational services for students whose expenditures exceed $40,000 annually.

The board’s next regularly-scheduled meeting is 7 p.m., Feb. 7, at the county office building.