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Fonner and Castilow Want County B.O.E. Seats

By Staff | Jun 3, 2020

Linda Fonner

Linda Fonner and Brian Castilow announced they are running for Wetzel County Board of Education because they believe classroom teachers need represented on the board. They have a combined total of over 85 years of classroom teaching experience. They’ve known each other for over forty years, they both worked as volunteers for the New Martinsville Ambulance Service, and Castilow was the president of the service.

Fonner and Castilow are honored to be the only candidates endorsed by the Wetzel County Education Association.

Fonner has taught in a K-8 school her entire career and Castilow has taught the majority of his career at the 9-12 level. They believe they are at the forefront of education. While Castilow has served as an athletic director and school faculty senate president, he can be found at the school at all hours helping out students and fellow staff members.

Fonner is a curriculum leader, not only in WV, but across the country. She understands the curriculum writing process as well as West Virginia’s curriculum adoption process. She served as the Chair of the West Virginia Department of Education Instructional Materials Adoption Committee, and feels this experience will be an asset to having her on the board.

Fonner and Castilow said they are running to address concerns they have in the county, which include: Fiscal responsibility; making sure discretionary funds are discussed openly and used appropriately.

Brian Castilow

They say they are concerned about changes that affect students and teachers, including classroom sizes and shifting teachers to different grade levels. Castilow and Fonner bring a perspective to the table that isn’t there now, and that is the classroom teacher. They know how these changes affect the teachers and students and feel they need to be discussed and addressed at the board meetings.

We have policies that need to be updated, they said. Adding Some of Wetzel County Schools Policies are outdated or conflict with each other, therefore they need to be updated.

An example they claim are policies regarding being a part of RESA-6, which was a regional educational group, but it is no longer an entity. Another concern they see needing addressed is conflicting grading scales within the policies.

Castilow and Fonner feel the board should function as a checks and balances system in Wetzel County education, and they want issues, concerns, and controversies to be discussed respectfully and openly so truthful, appropriate solutions can be reached and executed. Fonner and Castilow believe the rules apply to everyone, and they promise to execute this duty respectfully and with integrity.

What do they both see going forward?

“We want to see an expansion of the Career/Technology Center.”

“We want all students, whether they are going in to trades, college, employment or military to have the tools needed to help them succeed.”

They also want to see encouragement and retention of staff members, and concerns at all levels of the county to be investigated and appropriate solutions executed.

Fonner and Castilow say their job will be to serve the entire county! You may have seen Fonner in each of the attendance areas holding up her campaign sign and waving. She wants all areas to know they will be represented.

Fonner and Castilow say they want to address all current issues and those that may arise; “We want to hear from everyone in the community with an interest in education. We want the education system in Wetzel County to work for everyone. Most of all we want students to be able to learn in a safe, effective learning environment,” they said.

“Elections are difficult. Our goal is not to call out certain individuals or blame anyone for the current issues. Our goal is to respectfully bring the issues to the table for discussion and execute appropriate solutions.”

“If elected, we promise to work tirelessly and with integrity to ensure these goals are met.”

The classrooms of today are very different from past decades. There are so many social issues the students have to deal with. Fonner said, “Being a PTO member and teacher for years, I have worked with so many different parents and grandparents. They have the same thing in common. They want to do what they can to help their children.”

Fonner and Castilow want to do the same thing.