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Board Honors New 25-Year Members

By Staff | May 4, 2011

Two of the latest members of the Wetzel County 25 Year Club of school system employees are show at a reception given in honor of the four 2011 members May 2 by the board of education. From left are Sheldon Ruckman, a chemistry and science teacher at Paden City High School and Magnolia High School and Sheila Aberegg, a music teacher at Paden City Elementary School. Missing when the photo was taken were 2011 club members Cynthia Weber, first grade teacher at PCES, and Theresa Hucik, second grade teacher at Long Drain School, who lives in Bruceton Mills. (Photo by Bill Abraham)

Following a period for public comment, the Wetzel County Board of Education May 2 approved a $29 million operating budget for the 2011-12 school year, with 56.13 percent of the revenue coming from the state legislature.

Another 32 percent of the budget will be funded by local taxation and the remaining 12 percent with carryover funds unspent from the current school year and from miscellaneous special projects and clearing accounts.

More than 82 percent of the budget will pay employee salaries and other costs, while almost seven percent is restricted for specific use. The remaining 10 or so percent will pay utilities and other costs of doing business. No one appeared to comment on the budget proposal.

School System Treasurer Jeff Lancaster also presented the board with new funding for next year totaling $69,771. About $65,500 of those funds are from one-time stimulus-like money from to pay for 32 internal and external video cameras at certain schools and other buildings in the county.

The board was feted to a white-board presentation by three students from Long Drain School, who were asked last December by the state board of education to develop a pilot project on “Patriotism Using Techsteps.”

Long Drain School students and faculty advisers who prepared a Patriotism Using Techsteps pilot presentation for the West Virginia State Board of Education, showing the significance of three American symbols: the Great Seal, the dollar bill and the flag. From left, front row, are Victoria Stevens, who prepared the section on the flag; Wyatt Metz, who authored the Great Seal symbolism; and Brandon Armstrong, who prepared the section on symbolism in the dollar bill. The students’ work, a multi-media presentation begun last December, is now being circulated throughout the state in other county school districts. (Photo by Bill Abraham)

The students selected three American symbols–the Great Seal, the dollar bill and the flag–and created a focused explanation of the significance and development of each part of the symbols’ parts.

Following the presentation, students Victoria Stevens (flag), Brandon Armstrong (dollar bill) and Wyatt Metz (Great Seal) were given a standing ovation by the board, staff members and others attending the meeting. It was a seemly presentation, coming on the day the world learned that terrorist master-mind Osama bin Laden was killed in a US helicopter raid on his Pakistani residence.

The board honored four 2011 members of the county’s 25 Year Club with a reception prior to the meeting and were presented with large triangular glass paper weights inscribed with the occasion and date.

The club’s newest members are Sheila A. Aberegg, a music teacher at Paden City Elementary School; Theresa A. Hucik, who teaches second grade at Long Drain School; Sheldon R. Ruckman, science and chemistry teacher at both Paden City High School and Magnolia High School; and Cynthia S. Weber, first grade teacher at Paden City Elementary School. It was the smallest 25-Year Club class in recent memory.

In other business, the board approved Wetzel County’s participation in a number of recurring programs for this year and the coming school year. They are:

The Title I Summer School Program for LDS and Short Line School that will run from July 5-July 29. Hundred High School will host Long Drain’s portion of the program to accommodate HVAC construction at LDS.

Policy 2512 Summer School for countywide at-risk students in grades 3-8 who will receive critical support services from July 5 through July 29 at New Martinsville School, SLS and LDS.

STEP-7, an educational needs program for the improvement of instruction, funded by the state legislature’s school aid allocation to Wetzel County.

Summer School Remediation, approved for HHS, MHS and Valley High School, will run from July 1 through July 29 to provide freshmen through seniors remedial English, mathematics, science and social studies. It also will offer ACT preparatory courses.

In addition, the board approved participation in the Donated Foods Program, Breakfast and Lunch food program for next year and the Summer Food Service Program for Children this year. The latter program will operate the breakfast and lunch program, Monday through Friday, at NMS. HHS, MHS, SLS and VHS.

The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled for 7 p.m., May 16 at the county office building, 333 Foundry St., New Martinsville.

A Closer Look At The 2011 25-Year Club Members

Wetzel County added four new members this year to its 25 year Club of school employees, who were recognized by the board of education May 2: Sheila A. Aberegg, Theresa A. Hucik, Sheldon R. Ruckman and Cynthia S. Weber.

Here are thumbnail sketches of these individuals, who are experienced and valuable assets to the county’s educational program.

Sheila Aberegg: A Hundred High School graduate, she received bachelor and master of arts degrees in music education from West Virginia University. She began substituting during the 1985-86 school year until being hired for the position she now holds, music teacher at Paden City Elementary School.

Theresa Hucik: Presently a teacher at LDS, she is graduate of Valley High School and holds bachelor and master degrees from the former Fairmont State College. After substitute teaching in Monongalia County in 1985-86, she began teaching special education at Long Drain School until she began teaching second grade in 1989.

Sheldon Ruckman: Ruckman, a graduate of John Marshall High School, holds bachelor degrees in biology, secondary education and chemistry from West Liberty State College, now West Liberty University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from West Virginia University. After teaching in Marshall and Hancock counties, he began his teaching career in Wetzel County in 1989, teaching science and chemistry at both Paden City High School and Magnolia High School, where he still teaches.

Cynthia Weber: A graduate of MHS, she earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from West Liberty. She began teaching at the former Steelton Elementary School during the 1972-73 school year. After taking time off for family reasons, she returned to the school system in 1985 as a substitute teacher. She was assigned to the second grade at SLS, where she remained until 2000. After a reassignment to PCES, she returned to SLS as a second grade teacher. In 2004. She later took a position as first grade teacher during the 2004-05 school year and continues teaching there.