WESTON, W.Va. (WV News) — The Lewis County Board of Education approved an extensive list of personnel recommendations from the superintendent, although not all were approved unanimously.
Board members had a lengthy discussion on a recommendation to post a job opening for a bus driver/mechanic.
The plan would be for the employee to serve as a bus driver in the morning and afternoon on school days, and as a mechanic in between routes and on days when students are not in school.
According to Superintendent Dr. Robin Lewis, hiring one person to do both jobs would be cheaper for the school system than making two hires.
Board President James Flesher initially expressed concern about the availability of the employee should a bus break down on a route. Board member Mike Holden said he did not believe that would be an issue as long as only one of the school system’s three mechanics served in the dual roles.
Lewis said other bus drivers can also assist in getting kids home if a bus were to break down.
Ultimately, the board approved posting the position on a 4-to-1 vote, with member Phyllis Hinterer opposed. Hinterer said she voted against the motion simply because she would have liked more data on the position.
The hiring of Kathryn Woofter as assistant principal at Peterson-Central Elementary School, pending a background check, was approved unanimously.
Holden asked if the position was “absolutely necessary.” Federal Programs Director and Elementary Schools Supervisor Rhonda Judy said the position is necessary due to the ratio of students to administrators. The position will be funded through grants in the coming school year, Judy said.
Hinterer abstained from a vote on the hiring of Sally Ann Hinterer as a coordinator of special education, stating the individual is a family member.
Recommendations to fill summer vacancies were approved 4-to-1, with Holden voting in opposition.
Holden said he voted against the recommendation because he thinks service personnel working through the summer should have received more money.
“I am in support of all employees getting extra money,” Holden told WV News. “I’m fully in support of the teachers getting extra money, too, but not only them. I think all the service personnel, any administrators or anybody that works the summer program should have deserved it.”
According to Flesher, the positions were posted with a specific pay rate. To change that would require the board to delay hiring to repost all the service personnel positions. The board previously approved posting the positions at that pay rate, he said.
In other business, the board:
— Approved an out-of-state meeting request for an employee to attend the Model Schools Conference in Nashville from June 27-30. The cost, including meals and “other” expenses, is $853.50, according to the request form.
— Approved an agreement with the Lewis County Commission. If approved by the commission, the agreement would provide two prevention resource officers — one for Lewis County High School and one for Robert L. Bland Middle School. The Board of Education agreed to make payments in 10 installments, with the annual payment based on a $2,585 monthly rate.
— Holden questioned Flesher’s decision not to hold roll call votes when requested by Holden. Flesher said Robert’s Rules of Order for meetings stipulate that while a roll call vote can be requested by a board member, it is up to the discretion of the chair whether or not to hold the roll call vote as long as the result of the vote is clear.
Holden requested the board check with the state Department of Education to get an opinion on the matter.
— Reviewed upcoming meeting dates. The school board’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. June 28. Next month’s meetings will be at 6 p.m. July 12 and July 26, according to Flesher.
Staff Writer JoAnn Snoderly can be reached at 304-626-1445, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @JoAnnSnoderly.