New superintendent discovers role is fast-paced

At his first school board meeting as the superintendent of the Upshur County school system, Roy Wager said one thing he’s discovered about his new role is that “it’s fast moving.”

Wager said his short time on the job has provided him with a “very steep learning curve, but it was very interesting.”

“I’m excited,” Wager remarked. “I think we’re going to have a good year.”

The fiscal year started with with discussions about preparing for the future by making Internet access in all schools wireless and upgrading their telephones to an updated and more reliable system. Both matters were tabled for further review.

Emiel Butcher with Micrologic and 3W Logic in Buckhannon told board members about a wireless system his business team has planned for the county’s entire school system. Butcher said the system would include high quality wireless access points in every classroom. It also would be able to handle the county’s 4,000 potential wireless Internet users.

Butcher said the number of potential wireless Internet users in the county school system was more than many corporations that have access to the same technology. He said the future is moving toward wireless technology. He said that this wireless system would last the school for years to come, even with fast-changing technologies.

“The technology that this supports is going to be with us for a long time,” Butcher said.

Technology Director Glenna Clutter provided the school board with information regarding the countywide technology plan. She said that 77 percent of the funding for the wireless project is provided through federal money that has been set aside to make the access to the Internet and other technologies more affordable to schools. The other 23 percent – an estimated $130,000 – would have to be provided by the school board, Clutter said. The package would come with a five-year parts and labor warranty.

The school’s telephone system is nearly 12 years old and may need an upgrade, Clutter said, adding that she is concerned that simply adding a new telephone may create problems for the entire phone system. Clutter said the current, outdated phone system has other problems.

“I just hold my breath with every power flicker and thunderstorm,” Clutter said.

The implementation of a Voice Over Internet Packet, or VOIP, telephone system would allow telephones to be integrated into every classroom.

“We all know we need it,” board member Patrick Long said.