School board renews contracts

WELLSBURG – On Monday the Brooke County Board of Education renewed contracts for the assistant superintendent and its legal counsel, hired a new principal for Follansbee Middle School and recognized the Brooke High School Key Club for receiving a national honor for community service.

The board agreed to renew Assistant Superintendent Marty Bartz’s contract, extending it for three years; and an agreement with Wellsburg attorney David F. Cross, its legal counsel.

Board President Jim Piccirillo said Bartz’s contract was extended to coincide with the four-year contract approved for Superintendent Kathy Kidder-Wilkerson in 2012.

Piccirillo said the renewal of Bartz’s contract doesn’t include a raise though that may be revisited later.

When the board renewed his contract in 2013, he received a $900 raise, resulting in his salary being $92,500.

Named assistant superintendent in 2010, Bartz has been employed by the school district for more than 35 years and has served as a teacher, coach, principal and facilities supervisor.

The renewal was approved by board members Piccirillo, Jim Lazear, Frank Ujcich and Chad Haught. Board member Brian Ferguson abstained because he is Bartz’s brother-in-law.

Piccirillo said Cross will continue to represent the board in expulsion and grievance hearings and provide his legal opinion of various contracts and other matters.

The agreement calls for Cross to receive $3,500 per month for his services.

The board also hired Stephanie Brown as principal of Follansbee Middle School. Brown has employed for more than 30 years by Hancock County Schools, where she was a teacher and principal and led Liberty Elementary School in Weirton when it was named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

The honor goes to schools with the top 10 percent in math and language arts scores on state achievement tests and involves an application process in which staff development, parental involvement and students’ community service are evaluated.

Brown fills a vacancy left by Michaelene Mills, also a former Hancock County school employee, who is moving to the principal’s position at Beech Bottom Primary School after serving as principal at Follansbee last year.

The board also recognized the Brooke High School Key Club for receiving the Bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award for collectively putting in 338 hours of community service last year and several members of the group for earning gold, silver and bronze awards for their individual volunteer hours.

Begun in 2003, the President’s Volunteer Service Awards are given annually by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to individuals, families and groups who devote an outstanding number of hours to community service over the course of a year or one’s lifetime.

Gold, silver and bronze levels of the award are given according to the number of hours of service.

Brittaney Stapleton and Kylie Toner received gold awards for volunteering 300 hours and 279 hours, respectively. Kayla Bryant received a silver award for her 192 hours of service.

And Kayla Davis and Paraag Gupta earned bronze awards for putting in 170 hours and 110 hours, respectively.

Marilyn McGowan, the clubs’ advisor, said she believes many other members are deserving of the awards but didn’t keep a record of their hours. She credited the club’s officers for leading it through a variety of activities.

Officers for the 2013-14 school year were: Emily Hone, president; Cassidy Bland, vice president; Devon Ansell, secretary; Stapleton, treasurer; and Kristian Slavik, editor. Stapleton also is the club’s incoming president.

The club’s activities included filling Christmas stockings with items for military overseas through the Boatsie’s Boxes organization, volunteering as servers at a spaghetti dinner to benefit Brooke County Library Director Mary Kay Wallace, who has been battling cancer; serving as bell ringers for the Salvation Army and assisting the Wellsburg Kiwanis Club with its apple turnover sale at the Wellsburg Applefest and other fundraisers supporting community projects.

The Kiwanis Club formed the Key Club years ago to encourage teens to participate in community service.

McGowan said the Kiwanis Club will recognize the students at a future meeting.

She noted several of the teens also earned hours by volunteering for other causes. For example, Toner volunteered with the West Virginia University Extension’s Energy Express summer reading program; Davis served as a tutor at the Weirton Family Resource Center, and Stapleton assisted children in the RSVP Afterschool Adventures program with their homework and other tasks.

McGowan said the five individual awardees are outstanding students, noting Bryant and Gupta were unable to attend the meeting because they were attending the Camp Horseshoe and Boys State youth leadership programs.

The board also:

Accepted a bid of $129,020 from Able Concrete Inc. for curbs and sidewalks at the high school and Wellsburg and Jefferson primary schools.

Accepted bids of $70,773 for property, theft and fire insurance; $2,639 for insurance against terroristic acts; and $16,340 for flood insurance, all from Assure America.

Treasurer James Hervey said the flood insurance, which is for Wellsburg middle and primary schools, has risen about 25 percent, following a national trend.

Rescinded reduction in force measures for Brianna Lauttamus, an English teacher at the high school; Samantha McCoy, a kindergarten teacher at Colliers Primary School; Megan Moroz, a language arts teacher at Follansbee Middle School; and Zena Trimmer, a first grade teacher at Colliers Primary School.

It also hired Brandy Reinacher as a second grade teacher at Jefferson Primary School, Heather Roth and Tracy Mozingo as substitute aides, Kathryn Gundrum as a substitute secretary, and Richard Henry as a substitute custodian

Recognized Greg Hoit for entering his 30th year of service with the school district. He is an electrical technician and computer support staffer and was involved in the installation of the first computers at the county’s middle and elementary schools.

The board also recognized the following staff who are retiring: Erin Ankrum, Ede Ashworth, Sheryl Baker, Art Baldauf, Nila Boyd, Mary Cullinan, Pam Dudley, Peggy Erlewine, Frank Ferguson, Rebecca Hagwood, Robyn Heaton, Kim Johnson, Cheryl Kelly, Diane Lucero, Joyce McGeehan, Michelle Meca, Antoinette Perkins, Barbara Pettini, Fred Rentschler, Mark Rihel, Donna Shalvis, Becky Szabo, Cynthia Thomaselli, Richard T. Whitehead, Debra Baker, Karen Donley, Brenda George, Marlene Hanlon and Duane Heck.