Upshur BOE declines to approve entire list of personnel items

BUCKHANNON – For the first time in recent memory, the Upshur County Board of Education declined to approve a slate of personnel items outright at its meeting Tuesday.

During most Upshur County Board of Education meetings, the Upshur County Superintendent of Schools requests approval of the personnel as presented that includes the names of personnel wishing to resign, retire, be hired, transfer from one position within the school system to another and those wishing to take a day off without being paid.

During the March 22 regular board meeting, however, the entire slate of personnel was not approved.

When the item came up for a vote, Upshur County BOE member Dr. Greenbrier Almond made a motion to accept the personnel items as presented and BOE President Dr. Tammy Samples seconded the motion.

However, the motion failed because it did not receive enough support to pass. Dr. Greenbrier Almond voted in favor of accepting the personnel items while BOE members Kristi Wilkerson and Pat Long voted ‘no’ to accepting the personnel items presented for approval.

BOE Vice President Katie Loudin was not in attendance during Tuesday’s meeting, meaning that with two BOE members opposed to the measure passing, the motion could not have passed by a majority vote.

The only discussion in open session related to personnel took place when Wilkerson questioned why there were so many employees listed under the ‘days off without pay’ to be approved retroactively.

Upshur County Assistant Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Harrison responded to Wilkerson’s question by saying the list included so many names due to “issues the school system has been having with COVID as well as other issues; many of the employees are running out of days they can take with pay.”

“Of course, if our employees take a day without pay, it has to be approved,” Harrison explained. “We are bringing those to the BOE retroactively so they can be approved – which is according to our policy.”

Following the meeting, My Buckhannon asked Upshur County BOE members if they would like to comment on why the entire slate of personnel failed and if it will come up again. Samples replied that the personnel items should be on the agenda at the next BOE meeting. However, BOE members would not comment any further.

Upshur County BOE is having a special meeting at noon Friday, March 25, which will be a virtual meeting and their next regular meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5.

The personnel items, as they appeared on an updated BOE agenda sent out Tuesday afternoon appears below:

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