Randolph BOE hosts RIF hearings

ELKINS — The Randolph County Board of Education voted to approve a number of staff cuts Wednesday.

Reduction in force (RIF) hearings also were held Wednesday during a special meeting regarding three Randolph County Schools employees. All three motions, to either RIF or transfer, were denied by the BOE.

Describing how his recommendations to reduce staff were determined, Superintendent Gabriel “Gabe” Devono said, “When we sat down, nobody honed in on anything or any person whatsoever. We looked at the schedules and we met with all the principals – all high schools and the vocational school – that’s how we came up with what we needed to do.”

Devono recommended Barbara Denise Losh, instructor at the Randolph Technical Center, be transferred, meaning her contract would be adjusted from 220 days to 200. This recommendation was denied by the BOE in a 3-2 vote. Dissenting voters included Lisa Wamsley, Janie Newlon and Rachel Anger. Losh was represented by attorney Jeff Triplett.

The board also denied a recommendation from the superintendent to RIF Reka Rowan, also an instructor at RTC.

This recommendation also was denied by the board in a 3-2 vote. Dissenting voters included Wamsley, Newlon and Anger. Rowan was represented by American Federation of Teachers representative Frank Caputo.

In a 3-2 vote, the recommendation to transfer Shelia Cross, a service personnel employee, was denied. Dissenting voters included Wamsley, Newlon and Anger. Cross was represented by West Virginia Education Association representative Brad Hamilton.

Apart from the three hearings, the BOE voted on more than a dozen other recommendations from Devono.

In total, three professional employees were “transferred” and none were terminated. Ten service personnel employees were “transferred” and four were terminated.

Hearings were held only for employees who made the request to have one.

RIFs and transfers take place annually in the school system, said Denise Fletcher, director of personnel and human resources.