Changes approved for new school year

The Barbour County Board of Education voted during a special call meeting Tuesday to approve personnel changes just prior to the start of the new school year on Thursday.

The BOE approved the hiring of Lisa Heinbaugh as the school system’s director of Title I and manager of pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade curriculum and instruction. Heinbaugh stepped down as principal of Philip Barbour High School to take the position, which was vacated by Jack Reger earlier this month. Reger is now the assistant superintendent of Upshur County schools.

Heinbaugh’s position as PBHS principal will be filled by Mark Lamb, who is stepping up from holding an assistant principal slot at the school.

Jeff Kittle, the county’s assistant superintendent of schools, said school system staff reported back to work Monday. Students from kindergarten to 12th grade will return to class Thursday.

“The start of school is always exciting,” Kittle said. “There are always a million questions and right now we are just going through those – my phone log is just blown up. People want to know what bus their child will ride, what time school will stop and who will be their child’s teacher. It usually just takes a few days for everything to settle down and get into a normal routine.”

Kittle said teachers are getting ready for the return of students.

“Teachers today went over county goals and objectives,” Kittle said. “We discussed where we will look for improvement. In the afternoon, our teachers were trained in how to evaluate other teachers. Tomorrow they will go over testing data, looking for ways to improve.”

Kittle said the county cooks were working on food safety and safe preparation skills.

“Today they went over the regulations for handling food,” Kittle said. “Our bus operators have been running their routes and making sure they have accommodations for special needs students. Tomorrow they will be looking at transportation policies and procedures.”

Kittle said aides will work this week on crisis preparation intervention training.

During Tuesday’s special meeting, the BOE also voted to:

– Accept the resignation of Steven Chad Gray as physical education/health instructor at Kasson Elementary/Middle School, effective Aug. 8.

– Employ Willis Freeman as the north bus driver and Donna Anglin as the south bus driver for the activities bus at Philip Barbour High School.

– Employ Jennifer Phipps as a pre-k special needs aide/supervisory aide/transportation aide at Philippi Elementary School, a position that will terminate at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

– Employ Kim Swick as cook and cafeteria manager, half-time at Philippi Middle School and half-time at Volga-Century Elementary School.

Following the unanimous vote to approve these actions, which included everything on the board’s agenda for the special call meeting, the BOE voted unanimously to go into executive session. There was no executive session listed on the agenda, and there were no remaining items for discussion listed either.

C. Joan Parker, the executive director of the West Virginia Ethics Commission, spoke specifically about executive sessions and the rules governing their usage during a presentation at the June 6 Elkins City Council meeting.

During that meeting Parker said elected officials cannot go into executive session for issues that are not printed on a meeting’s agenda.

Once in an executive session, officials can only talk about that issue listed on the agenda, she said. Parker warned against officials sliding from one topic to another behind closed doors, saying doing so causes residents to become suspicious.

Before board members and Superintendent Dr. Joseph Super entered the executive session Tuesday, The Inter-Mountain asked Super for comments about the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. Super declined to speak and instead deferred comments to Kittle.

“If you could ask Mr. Kittle, he can tell you much better than I,” Super said.

The next Barbour County Board of Education meeting is slated for 6 p.m. Aug. 26.

Contact Beth Christian Broschart by email at