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Student Questions Honor Process

By Staff | May 21, 2014

Pictured are Valley High School and Magnolia High School TSA students with Advisors Nikki Doty, Mark Lemasters, Donald Taylor and Joshua Weekley. Students pictured include: Amy Mason, Jacob Ueltschy, Carl Chapple, Kinsey Utt, Trey Smith, Tyler Williams, Cassie Work, Jacob Greeley, Benjamin Tajwall, Colton Ring, Hayden Lancaster, Austin Stackpole, River Riggenbach, Tanner McAdams, Devann Fox, Bri Ritz, Logan Massey, Stephen White, Amanda Mayo, Shelby Sands, Anna Shank, and Logan Watson.

Ethan Umstead, the 2014 Hundred High School salutatorian, spoke to the Wetzel County Board of Education March 19 on HHS’s current policy for selecting valedictorian, salutatorian, and high honors students.

“It’s come to my attention from a few members of the Hundred High School that the policy seems a bit bland and open to manipulating,” Umstead stated, adding “particularly on the topic of students coming in at a late time in the year.”

Umstead stated: “It’s happened multiple times . . . in the high school . . . A student has come in and has pretty much the valedictorian spot, taking the spot, not being a student in the Wetzel County education system very long.”

Board President Mike Blair stated that currently the board has contracted services from a company to “update the system.”

“It’s a lengthy process,” he noted.

Pictured are Women of the Moose Susan Jenewein, left, and Sonja Stansberry, far right, with Director of Childhood Nutrition Amanda McPherson and Superintendent Dennis Albright.

Umstead stated that the position should go to Wetzel County students, who have been representing Wetzel County, “not a student from another high school to come in and take those spots.”

He added that previous years, a student has transferred in-state and taken the spot. “The instance this year was transferring from being home-schooled, as well as a private school.”

The board said they would look into the matter.

In another matter, Susan Jenewein and Sonja Stansberry from Women of the Moose made a donation to Wetzel County’s summer food program.

Also, the board recognized the 2014 West Virginia TSA Conference Winners from Magnolia High School and Valley High School. Valley High School: Amy Mason, Isaac Work, Jacob Ueltschy, Carl Chapple, Kinsey Utt, Trey Smith, Tyler Williams, Vince Greeley, Cassie Work, Jacob Greeley, Rachel Haught, Benjamin Tajwall, Colton Ring, Hayden Lancaster and Heather Cain; Magnolia High School: Alex Anderson, Austin Stackpole, River Riggenbach, Tanner McAdams, Devann Fox, Bri Ritz, Logan Massey, Stephen White, Cole Seckman, Amanda Mayo, Shelby Sands, Anna Shank, Justin Wright, and Logan Watson.

In another matter, the board discussed the Paden City Boosters and the boosters’ request for help with funds. Board Vice President Bob Patterson stated that it was his opinion that the board could step forward when the boosters presented a viable business plan. Board President Blair agreed but cautioned that the board would have to be willing to hep other booster programs at the other three high schools as well if they pursued in helping the Paden City Boosters.

Superintendent Dennis Albright stated that he would submit a letter to the boosters, stating that the board would consider helping once a viable business plan is submitted.

Also at Monday night’s board meeting, Albright stated that he and Blair had spoken with representatives from Williams Energy, who will be meeting with TSA advisors. Albright stated that Williams Energy wishes to form a partnership, as they are interested in the technology programs at the high school. “They are very interested in having speakers available to come into the school,” Albright remarked.

Albright also stated that he had attended Valley High School’s FFA banquet. “I told my wife that of all the stuff you deal with, that was refreshing to be there . . . That’s why I got into education. It was a delicious dinner with outstanding food . . . and then we got to go into the auditorium to see the induction of officers. It was a really nice evening.”

Finally, the board voted to uphold the superintendent’s recommendation of a three-day unpaid suspension of Dave Miller, employee at Magnolia High School, for violation of Employee Code of Conduct.