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Wetzel County BOE Supports Employees

By Staff | Feb 22, 2018

Wetzel County Schools employees hold informational pickets throughout the county, and in Charleston (pictured here), as they speak out for higher wages and insurance coverage. (Photo provided by Beverly VanScyoc)

At the Feb. 19 meeting of the Wetzel County Board of Education, the board adopted a resolution in support of its employees.

The resolution states that the BOE is aware of the struggle of employees to seek “a long overdue increase in pay and improved insurance benefits.”

It further stated that the BOE gave its employees a three percent pay raise, beginning with the 2015-2016 school year; implementation of the BENNY card program, beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, and an additional two percent pay raise, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year.

“However, the West Virginia Legislature has not yet responded with appropriate legislation to address these issues: therefore, be it resolved the Wetzel County Board of Education fully supports our employees in these requests and pleads with the West Virginia Legislature to address their request appropriately and in a timely manner.”

The approval of the resolution was met with a standing ovation from several teachers in attendance at the meeting. Board member Bill Jones added, “Personally, I am very disappointed with the way our state legislature has acted and reacted, not just this year but for the past several years; I think that it’s been since 2012 as far as a pay raise for our folks and that’s a bit ridiculous particularly when you look at the pay tables.”

Jones continued, “It’s not only the teachers and service employees, but it is about all public employees.”

“It’s crazy that our legislature thinks that these people are going to work for, as one lady put it, crumbs… I appreciate that our board has done the things deemed necessary to help folks when they’ve not had a raise from anywhere else and to do things that are a step above what our state seems necessary.”

Jones finished by stating, “I wish you all the best in your struggle, and I’m hoping and praying for the best for our kids; I ask you to remember in all these troubles to remember why we are here, and that is for the boys and girls of this county.” It was announced that the school has missed nine days total; there have been six two-hour delays, and there are two OS days left that can be used before more days would have to be added to the calendar. As of right now, the projected last day of school for students will be June 7.

Superintendent Ed Toman spoke about the possible work stoppage that was scheduled for Feb. 22 and 23. Toman stated one of his concerns is the effect that the stoppage will have on sporting events. He mentioned he wanted to talk with directors, staff and other principals to get clarification on the work stoppage. He said Thursday was the state wrestling championship, and most of the counties are supporting any state type functions. If state sectional dates are not changed, then it can affect upcoming tournaments; Toman he feels that if students miss out on their athletic opportunities then it would be a great injustice to the students. The SSAC will not change the dates of state level functions; however, some regularly scheduled games, not on the state level, could possibly be rescheduled.Board member Michael Blair requested that the board be presented with a plan on economic development and staff development to provide teachers with the resources needed to continue their services. Blair stated, “We as a board need to know what direction we are going to go and how we’re going to get there.”

In other news, the board accepted the following resignations:

Brian J. Croasmun, from position as seventh grade and eighth grade girls basketball coach at New Martinsville School, effective the end of the 2017-2018 WVSSAC season

Kody W. Jenkins, from positions as seventh/eighth boys and girls track coach at Short Line School, effective Feb. 13

The board accepted the following employments:

Joni L. Myers, as countywide substitute teacher, effective Feb. 20. Non-certified. (pending background check)

Claudia S. Philp, as countywide substitute teacher, effective Feb. 20.

Bryan A. Sell, as countywide substitute teacher, effective Feb. 20. Non-certified.

Angela L. Snider, as countywide substitute teacher, effective Feb. 20.

A motion passed accepting the following service personnel changes:

Lisa R. Bock, approval for change in assignment from countywide substitute supervisory teacher aide to supervisory teacher aide, special education, one-on-one, 502/C, at Long Drain School, effective Feb. 20

Kent D. Burgey, approval for change in assignment from half-time custodian at WCCCF and half-time custodian at Short Line School to daytime custodian III, 228-day contract, 683/C, at NMS, effective Feb. 20.

The following extracurricular employments were accepted:

Belinda Baker, as ACT Prep Instructor at Paden City High School, effective Feb. 6.

Katie L. Burk, as after-school tutor at LDS, effective Feb. 20.

John H. Holliday, as seventh/eighth boys track coach at NMS, effective the beginning of the 2018 WVSSAC season.

John H. Holliday, as seventh/eighth girls track coach at NMS, effective the beginning of the 2018 WVSSAC season.

Teresa J. Loy, as countywide bus operator coordinator/trainer, effective Feb. 20.

Janet M. Park, as after school tutor at LDS, effective Feb. 20.

Mark A. Roberts, as after school tutor at LDS, effective Feb. 20.

Lisa A. Shepherd, as ACT prep instructor at PCHS, effective Feb. 6.

Sharon E. Snider, as after school coordinator at LDS, effective Feb. 20.

Diana J. Wheeler, as after school tutor at LDS, effective Feb. 20. The following out of state trips were approved:

Tammy H. Wells, to attend the Inaugural Rural College Access Summit in Lexington, KY, May 13-15. Funded through professional development funds.

Michael Harwick, to take the Magnolia High School AP Biology students on a field trip to Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pa., Feb. 23. Admission fee is free with teacher membership.

Per advisement of the Board’s legal counsel, the Superintendent recommended that the Board approve the following groups/organizations to raise funds (Monies) in the name of a particular school in Wetzel County: Paden City Elementary Archery Club and Hundred High School, HHS Executive Boosters.

The board approved the request from Tammy Wells and Kathi Schmalz, in accordance with West Virginia Board of Education Policy 2520.13, for the following programs to be offered as Local Programs of Study at Magnolia High School for the 2018-2019 school year: Food Science and Nutrition, Performing Arts, Visual Arts.

Cindy and Jimmy Glasscock were given approval for the Folsom Volunteer Fire Department to use the school parking lot at Short Line Elementary School to conduct a school bus mass casualty training class on June 9-10.

The next scheduled board of education meeting is set for March 5, located at the county office beginning at 6:30 p.m.