Upshur BOE celebrates city council’s endorsement of levy renewal

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Board of Education had something to celebrate Tuesday.

After it convened at Union Elementary School Tuesday, county schools superintendent Dr. Sara Stankus told those gathered that Buckhannon City Council had unanimously a resolution support the levy renewal proposal recently.

At its Thursday, Dec. 6 meeting, council unanimously approved a resolution in support of levy passage. Upshur County residents can cast their ballots during a special election Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.

The resolution states that the city “formally and in all respects endorses our partners,” including members of the board, Stankus, school system administrators in its effort to pass the $3.2 million levy renewal. The document also says the city “strongly urges all voters throughout [the] Buckhannon-Upshur community to vote for the school levy.”

“They resolved to support our county school levy and came out with a resolution in support of the levy,” Stankus said.

Upshur County Schools business manager George Carver said school system administrators met with Upshur County Clerk Carol Smith regarding the levy.

“The ballot from Casto and Harris, the electronic ballot, had one small change in spacing and is ready to go,” Carver said. “There will be several legal advertisements that need to be [placed]. The county clerk is doing a good job staying on top of everything and keeping us in the loop of what needs to be done. We will coordinate with her on poll workers and transportation.”

“Early voting for the School Levy will begin Jan. 4,” Stankus added. “The levy election date is Jan. 19. We are still speaking to community groups and have had really positive community responses. Also, on the Facebook page, Glenna Clutter added the levy information sheet and it has been shared a number of times.”

Stankus also introduced Hodgesville Elementary School Principal Mrs. Janet Phillips.

“We are also celebrating Mrs. Phillips and her community tonight and the $2.2 million award from the School Building Authority we received yesterday,” Stankus said. “We were on the 10th floor when we found out we received the money. Mr. Tim Derico and I were so excited about the award, we took the stairs.”

Phillips thanked everyone for supporting Hodgesville Elementary School.

“I want to thank you all for your support in asking for that,” Phillips said. “I announced the grant during one of our concerts today, and we are very excited to talk to the PTO tonight. We are excited and ready to get everything underway.”

The $2.2 million will provide funds for a new intercom system, a new HVAC system, a new security system and a new Safe Schools entry as well as an addition to Hodgesville Elementary School for the pre-k.

“We did not offer any kind of match (of money), and we were awarded the entire amount,” Stankus said. “We are very, very excited.”

In other business, director of facilities and curriculum Tim Derico told board members there was a minor leak at Buckhannon Academy School on Tuesday.

“I only got this secondhand … but I guess there are some rooms that are not being used there where the heat was not turned on,” Derico said. “That caused a coil in one of the heating units to freeze, and that drained into the room. With that room not being used, it took to the next room on the floor below before it was realized what was going on. They got that taken care of, and it will be put back together tomorrow.”

Following an executive session, the board voted unanimously to approve the following personnel recommendations:

Resignations:
-Kimberly Cabrera as a substitute aide, effective Nov. 12.

-Lenny Evans as shed crew member, effective Dec. 10.

-Pamela K. Heb as substitute aide, effective Dec. 7.

-Shanah Carpenter as assistant boys’ lacrosse coach at B-UMS, effective Dec. 10.

Employment, pending appropriate certifications and background check:
-Dorian Carrico as Title I tutor at Washington District Elementary School, effective Dec. 12.

-Neil Reger as Title I tutor at B-UHS, effective Dec. 12.

-Carrie Barton as head girls’ soccer coach at B-UMS, effective for the 2019-2020 school year.

-Brittany Squires as assistant swim coach at B-UHS, effective Dec. 12.

-Carmel C. Lantz as long-term substitute special education/multi categorical teacher at Washington District Elementary School, effective Dec. 12.

-Mark Leigh as teacher, effective Jan. 2, 2019.

The next Upshur County BOE meeting is slated for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, at Tennerton Elementary School.

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