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Tucker BOE digs into superintendent search

February 9, 2011
By ALEC RADER, Staff Writer

Lengthy discussions about choosing a new superintendent led to a four-hour meeting of the Tucker County Board of Education Monday. The board hopes to find a replacement by mid-April for Richard Hicks, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Board members spent more than an hour discussing the various details involved in choosing a superintendent including the questions to be listed on the application. All five board members had drafted questions they want answered by potential candidates; however, the board didn't want to overwhelm the applicants with questions. It was also pointed out that many of the questions would be excellent interview questions, but might be too specific for the application.

Between five and six questions were selected by the board and will be submitted in a draft by Board President S. Eldon Harper via e-mail to each member. Once all of the questions have been reviewed by the board, the list will be sent to the West Virginia School Boards Association (WVSBA) for the creation and posting of the application.

The questions settled on by the board included the topics of general management styles in regards to the board and the schools within the county. A question on finance was included as well as how the applicant would improve curriculum in both traditional and vocational studies. Board members decided that broad, non-specific questions would fit best on the application.

Board members decided on a timeline that would have a new superintendent employeed by April 19. According to the approved timeline, the position will be posted from Feb. 14 until March 11. At the end of the posting period, the WVSBA will screen and run general background checks on the applicants.

The board will have the applicants' information for review by March 29 and interviews will be conducted between April 5-13.

During the interviews, a committee of 13 people will question the candidates. The board decided the interview committee will be comprised of the five board members, the three principals of the county's schools, two community members, the county treasurer and the presidents of the Tucker County Education Association and Tucker County Service Personnel Association. Board member Janet Preston said she wants to see more input from Tucker County residents in the form of an online survey or submitting questions. Harper said the community input was important, but the final decision is going to rest with the board.

"We're going to get the best person for the job," he said.

The point was also brought up that the two community members amongst the 13 interviewers will be a good measure of the community concerns. Member Jared Parsons said the community representatives should be selected from the two separate regions of the county. Members are hoping to get a person from Davis, Thomas or Canaan Valley and a person from Parsons or St. George. Parsons said in the selection of the representative it is important to get two individuals who aren't connected with the board.

"It's good to have somebody that isn't directly related to the school system," Parsons said.

Before discussions about the superintendent search, the board accepted multiple personnel recommendations from Superintendent Richard Hicks. The resignation of Tucker County High School head baseball coach Fred Burton was accepted and Preston asked if the position would be posted soon because the baseball season was fast approaching. Hicks said the position has been posted and should be filled before the season.

Board members also accepted the recommendations to fill the following positions: Heidi Hamrick and Becky Moore as itinerant Technology Integration Specialist for the 2010-2011 school year; Brittany Bennett and Sheryl Kines as substitute teachers for the remainder of the 2010-2011 school year; Robert Bennett as a long-term substitute custodian until the return of the regular employee; Robby Bennett, Doris Bunnell, Lisa Corbit, Christina Drenning, Teresa Evans, Nena Lambruno, Marty Nestor, Dian Shifflett and Bonnie White as substitute aides for the 2011-2012 school year; Mark Burns, Jeremy Hile, Jeanette Lambert, Steve Minear, Bill Poling, Clayton Price, Terry Simmons and Neil Streets as substitute bus operators for the 2011-2012 school year; Robby Bennett, Donna Davis, Teresa Evans, Glenda Filler, Narel Hebb and Debra Thompson as substitute cooks for the 2011-2012 school year; Daniel Bennett, Lynda Bennett, Robby Bennett, Jon Cooper, Harold Fansler, Robert Leard, Bob Moore and Dian Shifflett as substitute custodians for the 2011-2012 school year; Daniel Bennett, Tommy Nestor and Benny Kisamore as substitute maintenance personnel for the 2011-2012 school year; and Doris Bunnell, Sheila DeVilder, Debra Fike, Lynda Gray and Eleanor Nestor as substitute secretaries for the 2011-2012 school year.

The following people were hired by the board as substitute teachers for the 2011-2012 school year: Melanie Ambrose, Tony Barnes, Brittany Bennett, Elizabeth Bonner, Roy Cate, Heather Clower, Ruth Cooper, Jeannett Crosten, Alison DeLeure, Jerome DiBacco III, Christina Dotson, Lonnie Dotson, Jill Evick, Valerie Eye, James Gilbert, Sam Goughnour, Sandra Hockman, Stephanie Hood, Wendy Hottle, Sheryl Kines, Donald Knotts, Danielle Lambruno, Dale Lansberry, Charlie Lloyd, Wendy Nedrow, Melissa Parsons, Kristen Pennington, Ashley Sikarskie, Fred Sikarskie, Louise Skonier, Michael Snyder, Paula Stahl, Dee Stevens, Chris Ujvagi, Annetta Vest, Diane Wade and Becky White.

The next meeting of the Tucker County Board of Education will be 5 p.m. Feb. 21 at Tucker County High School.

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