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Williams, Blair Speak On Buyout

By Staff | Jun 1, 2016

Both Wetzel County Schools Board of Education President Mike Blair and Superintendent Leatha Williams spoke out Friday about the board’s buyout of Williams’ contract Thursday.

In a statement Friday, Blair noted that Williams had completed her job duties “and met the goals established by the Wetzel County Board of Education.” He said Williams instituted a number of curriculum and instruction changes “which have proven to be effective in the form of higher test scores across the county.”

“However, circumstances have arisen, political and otherwise, that have made it impossible for her to continue as the board’s superintendent and chief executive officer,” Blair said.

Blair added that Williams agreed to resign at the end of the current school year. Her last day on the job will be June 30.

“In exchange, the board has agreed to buy out the remaining year left on Ms. Williams’ contract with the board,” he said.

Blair noted that as soon as possible, the board will consider its options for hiring a new superintendent.

Williams released the following statement:

“Since July 1, 2015, when I became the superintendent of Wetzel County Schools, I have worked with the board of education, various stakeholders and administrators to develop and accomplish the Wetzel County Schools mission statement and core beliefs … Now, we are nearing the end of a school year and our system has moved towards providing each student an education based on his or her needs. I am proud of the student achievement gains that have occurred over the year in our formative assessment data and the work that has been done. It has been an honor to serve the students and stakeholders of Wetzel County.”

Wetzel County Schools’ mission statement states the school district “strives to create productive citizens and collaborative communicators that are prepared for college and career success. Therefore, Wetzel County Schools will support and promote engaging, standards-based personalized learning.”

The board voted on Thursday during a special meeting to buy out Williams’ contract. The decision was made during a special meeting, after a closed-door executive session that lasted slightly more than an hour.

Carolyn Gatian was the only board member who voted against the measure.

Williams will receive about $143,000, according to the terms of the agreement.