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Wood County Board of Education Honors Retirees | News, Sports, Jobs




Elizabeth Knapp receives a hug from Wood County Schools Board of Education member Ron Tice on Tuesday during their recognition of Wood County Schools 2022 retirees. Knapp taught at Van Devender Middle School from 1978 to 1998 and Parkersburg High School from 1998 to 2022. (Photo by Douglas Huxley)

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Board of Education held its regular meeting Tuesday in the auditorium of Parkersburg High School to welcome the number of 2,022 retirees recognized at the meeting.

Attendees included both professional and service personnel.

Professional retirees included: Martha Butler, Debra Dewees, Aaron Ellis, Elizabeth Knapp, Brian Reed, Cynthia Shawver, Michele Weaver-Johnston, Cheryl Westfall and Lisa Whirtley. Those on duty were: Wanda Allman, Myrtle Deems, Connie Drain, Tina Farley, Wavie Minigh, Kelly Rush, Julie Stroehman and James Ullom.

“I admire your dedication and willingness to share your knowledge and experience,” said Board Member Sarah Townsend. “You are the ones who make the school system work. Thanks.”

“I just know how hard you work, how much you’ve dedicated your life to the schools in Wood County and the students here,” said Superintendent Christie Willis. “Thank you very much for everything you have done.”

Wavie Minigh receives a certificate from Superintendent Christie Willis during the regular Wood County School Board meeting held Tuesday in the auditorium of Parkersburg High School. (Photo by Douglas Huxley)

Council also heard presentations from Mike Fling, Assistant Superintendent of Support Services, on ongoing construction and paving projects; and Jonathan Farley, CIO, on new computer towers for all school building administrators; and the three specialists from the Department of Special Education.

Fling noted that “weather hampered our efforts” and many projects that were due to be completed at the start of the school year were delayed by the heavy rains that occasionally hit the area.

Farley spoke about the need for new hardware and the benefits it could bring.

“So with these machines, updated graphics cards, updated processors, solid state drives, you put it all together, you have a brand new vehicle that will be able to do the job better, faster and more efficiently. “, Farley said.

During the consent agenda, the board approved a purchase order to be issued to areas not to exceed $191,000 for state contract security camera computer equipment. They also approved a change order for Murray Sheet Metal Company Inc. for the HVAC renovation at Jefferson Elementary School and for Phoenix Associates Inc. for the secure yard at Parkersburg South High School.

Henry Sasyn, of Vienna, spoke to the Wood County Board of Education during the public comment portion on Tuesday. Sasyn shared information and ideas about a regional pool that students could use for swimming competitions. (Photo by Douglas Huxley)

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Henry Sasyn of Vienna spoke to the board about information and ideas he gathered about a regional pool that students could use for swimming competitions.

“Our children come first” said Sasyn. “If you start looking at our kids and put in a regional facility, it will benefit the region.”

The Board discussed and approved the Continuous Excess Drawdown Call for 2024-2025 to 2028-2029 and authorized placement on the ballot for the November 8 election. This is a renewal of an outgoing direct debit.

“I think it is very important to note that this is not a tax increase,” said Board Chairman Justin Raber. “He’s continuing the 80 per cent levy rate that we’ve had for many years at this rate and that levy, the excess levy itself, has been in effect since 1947 I believe.”

During comments from board members, all spoke of the joy they had in helping on the first day of school and how they would like to start doing it more, not just as a back-to-school event.

“It was a wonderful first day and I really enjoyed it” said board member Judy Johnson. “It was fun to be there and interact and work with our kids and our teachers. So I hope we do it again. And thank you Ms. Willis for all the work it took to put this together.

The next school board meeting will be on September 13. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Wood County Schools Central Office at 1210 13th St. in Parkersburg. The meeting is open to the public and will be streamed online.




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