Board Swears In New Members, Honors Outstanding Employees
Joshua Balcerek was sworn in as a board member to the Wetzel County Board of Education at July 7 meeting. Also sworn in were continuing board members Mike Blair and Bob Patterson, who were also elected for terms beginning July 1, 2014, and ending June 30, 2018.
Blair was also re-elected to his position as board president; likewise, Bob Patterson reclaimed his spot as vice president. These offices are a two-year term, ending June 30, 2016.
The board also paid recognition to the May/June Employees of the Month. These honored employees included Kristi Shriver of Long Drain School, Debbie Fluharty of Short Line School, Janice Moore of Valley High School, and Mollie Toppe of Short Line School.
In another matter, Board Member Carolyn Gatian gave an update from the county’s alternative education committee. Gatian stated that the committee had a meeting on the first of July. “We all agreed that the current delivery of alternative education is not an ideal situation, and we would like to see a possibility of moving the alt-ed location area to the board office and maybe having it during school hours. We have a whole bunch of different plans. There is the opportunity for outside of education grants and financial assistance based on needs of children involved and potentially the ability to not make it just an alt-ed but alt-placement for a prescribed amount of time.”
It was decided that the next meeting of the committee would be held July 23, 2 p.m. Gatian stated she would share the notes from the previous meeting with the board members.
In another matter, Superintendent Albright stated that at the last principals’ meeting “we made changes to instructional days to recoup some more bank time.” He added, “We adjusted our time to 8:02 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. to add several minutes of time to each instructional day.” It was noted that teachers are to be at school by 7:30 a.m.
The board discussed issues with some teachers not making it to school until 8 a.m. and that the matter is the principals’ responsibility to take care of.
In another matter, Superintendent Albright stated that Director of School Improvement, Assessment, Strategic Planning, and VocEd Tammy Wells and himself had attended the National Technology Students of America (TSA) Conference in National Harbor, Md. Albright stated that Wetzel County students received several honors at the event, including four students finishing in the top 10 for Valley High School. Wells added Colton Ring of Valley High School had placed in the top three in one event. “He’s going to be a junior this year,” she added, anticipating that Ring might just see a first place finish before he graduates. Cole Seckman, 2013 senior of Magnolia High School, also received a third place honor in the Technology Bowl division of the TSA conference.
Wells added that the competition was held at the Gaylord Resort, with 6,895 students in attendance.
“It was amazing watching them get their picture taken,” Albright stated. “They lined the staircase there.” Albright added that VHS students chanted “Let’s go Mountaineers” and sang “Country Roads.”
Bob Patterson added that in the recent past VHS student J.D. Morris had recently won national champion in Land Judging at FFA Nationals. “Those guys are on the map,” he stated of VHS.