Tucker BOE expels student for a year

The Tucker County Board of Education suspended a student for a full year Monday, weeks after being criticized by parents for being too lenient on a disciplinary issue.

Following a brief executive session during Monday’s meeting, board members voted unanimously to expel a student for a total of 365 days.

The matter was listed on Monday’s agenda as a student disciplinary issue. After the session, board members referred to the student as “X” for confidential purposes, and did not reveal what school the student attended nor what grade the student is in. The nature of the issue was not revealed to the public.

The full-year suspension was the action recommended by Tucker County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Eddie Campbell.

Just weeks ago, the BOE voted Oct. 30 on another student disciplinary issue. That decision prompted some protest from parents, including some keeping their children home from Tucker Valley Elementary-Middle School.

The Inter-Mountain received phone calls at that time from readers saying some parents were not sending their students to the school because they were concerned about safety issues regarding one student.

“Some callers have expressed that they are not pleased with the action our board of education took in the issue,” Campbell told The Inter-Mountain Nov. 6. “From an administrative standpoint, the board has addressed the issue and followed the proper procedures in accordance with West Virginia State School Board policy.”

Also during Monday’s meeting:

Campbell told those present they should have received a voice message from him earlier in the day.

“It was to let you know about the public meetings that will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday,” Campbell said. “Tomorrow’s is at Davis Thomas Elementary Middle School at 6:30 p.m. if you would like to attend. Wednesday is at Canaan Valley (Fire Department) at 6:30 p.m. and our final one will be Thursday at Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School at 6:30 p.m.

“Kelly Stadelman will moderate the discussion for us. We are pleased to have her working with us.”

The community meetings are to get input from residents on improvements they would like to see at the schools.

Board Member Tim Turner recognized the Tucker County High School Cheerleaders for capturing the Potomac Valley Conference Championship and for Coach Amber Kyle being named Potomac Valley Conference Coach of the Year.

Two Tucker County Board of Education members offered board committee reports. Board member Bud Parsons reported he will be meeting with the West Virginia University Extension Committee Tuesday.

“Leeann George has resigned and we will be meeting tomorrow,” Bud Parsons said.

Board member Jerry DiBacco offered praise for those handling the bomb threat at Tucker County High School.

“Being a member of the Safe Schools Committee, I would like to commend Dr. Campbell, the principal and the staff of Tucker County High School on the action taken during the last two bomb incidents we have had,” DiBacco said. “They really took charge. Sooner or later we are going to catch that rascal. But I really appreciate their efforts.”

Board members voted to hire Joshua Evans as a teacher of mathematics at Davis-Thomas Elementary Middle School effective Jan. 2, 2014, pending certification and CIB check. Campbell introduced Evans. They also voted to accept the resignation of Eda McDowell as a kindergarten teacher at Davis-Thomas Elementary Middle School effective Aug. 1. Campbell said everyone would miss McDowell following her resignation.

“You could hardly have a better introduction to school than Eda McDowell,” Janet Preston said. “Both of my kids had her and I was thrilled. She is really nice.”

Davis-Thomas Elementary Middle School Principal Daryla Rapp agreed McDowell would be missed.

“She had done an excellent job,” Rapp said. “She has the right personality and the right attitude for that and when she dresses up as Old Mother Hubbard, Mother Goose or any of the other characters she does for the children it is pretty amazing.”

Campbell said that Don Canfield is transferring from the board office back to Davis-Thomas Elementary Middle School as a custodian III.

In other business, BOE members took the following action:

– Voted to approve job shadow sites for: Stephanie Betler, Timber and Watershed Lab in Parsons; Dusty Conrad, Newlon’s in Elkins; Becka Simmons, Courtland Acres Rehab & Therapy in Thomas; Mitchell Mason, Courtland Acres Rehab & Therapy in Thomas; Victoria Friend, Tucker Valley EMS in Hambleton; Joannah Dyer, Garrett Physical Therapy in Oakland, Md.; and Ryan Myers, Savage Industries in Oakland, Md.

– Voted to approve a request for Mike Betler as a volunteer assistant girls basketball coach at Tucker Valley Elementary-Middle School.

– Voted to approve a request for Pam Hoskins to be added as an approved ticket taker.

The next meeting of the Tucker County Board of Education is slated for 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Tucker County Board Office.