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Upshur Schools project waiting for approval

September 27, 2012
By Casey Houser - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

Several Upshur County schools are hopeful that a state agency will soon approve construction projects to provide new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Projects at Rock Cave, Tennerton and French Creek Elementary schools are included in a bid that is being submitted to the state School Building Authority, officials said at Tuesday's Upshur County Board of Education.

The exact costs for the projects are not yet known. If the SBA approves the bid, specific plans will be created, Superintendent of Schools Scott M. Lampinen said.

"That's what makes it fluid," Lampinen said. "You submit it to the SBA, get their approval and then start the design."

All schools in the area were inspected to determine their need for HVAC improvements. The three selected schools were determined to be those with the greatest need, officials said.

In a separate project, an addition is currently being constructed at Fred Eberle Technical Center to accommodate the growing use of the facility.

With the new 654-square-foot addition, more students will be able to use the building at any one time, officials said.

Two distinct spaces will be created in the modular building - an open area and a section reserved for one-on-one teaching.

Further along in the meeting, Roy Wager, the federal programs director for the county, gave a presentation about No Child Left Behind and local students' test scores.

Buckhannon-Upshur High, Buckhannon-Upshur Middle, Buckhannon Academy Elementary and French Creek Elementary schools have all fallen behind in the Adequate Yearly Progress measure, Wager said.

AYP is a part of No Child Left Behind and provides information about where schools need to improve and where funds need to be distributed.

To remedy the problem, schools are allowed to apply for a state educational agency waiver, which allows schools to be prioritized.

The bottom 5 percent of schools in the state will be listed as priority schools. They will receive extra funding and will be presented with materials to help improve educational outcomes, Wager said.

A committee would be assigned to each school to help them develop specific education plans.

"Instead of penalizing schools that are still growing, they will prioritize schools," Wager said.

"We want to continue to work on improvement for our students and our teachers," Lampinen said.

In other news from this week's meeting:

Ashley Kimble resigned as a substitute teacher, Barbara Harvey as a substitute secretary and Lucas Zeims as an assistant wrestling coach at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School.

Patricia Tallman and Amy M. Lewis have been hired as substitute teachers for Upshur County, pending background checks.

Alisa Lemley Compton is a new senior class advisor at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, pending a background check.

Sheena Westfall is the new multi-categorical special education teacher at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, pending state certification.

Brent Kimble, Marguin Godfrey, Brenda Hamrick, Fred Dumire and Deborah Strader are on emergency medical leave from their education positions.

Lucy A. Swecker has been transferred from third grade teacher at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School to fourth grade teacher at Union Elementary School. She will begin at the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

Brian Brandish has been transferred from multi-categorical special education teacher at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School to multi-categorical special education teacher with autism teacher at Union Elementary School.

Tammi Wilt has been placed in a 6th grade classroom as the Alderson Broaddus College teacher candidate.

Contact Casey Houser by email at



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