Superintendent Christy Miller explains that several district retirees have been hired as long-term substitutes under the WVBOE's 'critical needs' policy. / Photo by Katie Kuba

Upshur Schools sees more hires than resignations for the first time in months, changing the trend of employees seeking work elsewhere

TENNERTON – The assistant superintendent of Upshur County Schools had some good news to report at the county’s recent board meeting.

At the Upshur Board of Education’s monthly meeting Oct. 10, Assistant Superintendent Russ Collett reported on personnel matters that the West Virginia State Department of Education has already approved. The county board of education is not permitted to have input into the process due to the June 2023 takeover.

When Collett briefed the board on personnel, he said he was pleased to report Upshur County Schools is gaining more employees than the district is losing for the first time in this period in a while.

Collett presented the list of resignations, retirements, transfers and hires over the past month.

“It’s nice to tell you that we’re hiring more people than we’re losing, so that’s a positive,” Collett said. “I went through all of them. We did have six total resignations and one retirement in service personnel. In employment — they’re not all coaches, they’re good positions — and then we also did have two professional transfers and then one service personnel transfer. Those have all been sent to the state and approved at this time.”

During Collett’s presentation, board member Roy Wager recused himself despite not having to vote on the matter due to a possible perceived conflict of interest. Upshur Superintendent of Schools Christy Miller explained.

Pictured are Upshur County Schools Assistant Superintendent George ‘Russ’ Collett and Upshur County Schools Superintendent Christy Miller at a prior county board meeting in August. / My Buckhannon file photo

“I would also add that you’ll notice some of the names on the personnel list are retirees we did with the approval of the critical substitute policy at the state board meeting last month,” Miller said. “We’ve now started the process of making sure that all the paperwork was turned into the Consolidated Public Retirement Board so that their retirement is not impacted, and they are paid appropriately.”

“That is why Mr. Wager wanted to recuse himself from that discussion because his wife [Patty Wager] is one of those,” she added. “She was hired as a long-term sub.”

Upshur County Board of Education President Dr. Tammy Samples if positions must be designated as ‘critical needs’ openings when they’re posted. Miller said no.

“[The position] just has to be posted, and then if, after three times, we do not get a certified candidate to apply for the position, then that allows us two options: we can hire a critical needs sub or we can go to our higher education institutions, and we can ask if they have any candidates who would want to do their residency with us.”

The next regular Upshur County Board of Education meeting is set for 6 p.m.Tuesday, Nov. 7, in the Buckhannon-Upshur High School Auditorium.

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