Parsons named principal at Buckeye West


RAYLAND — Buckeye West Elementary School has a new principal for the 2017-18 school year.

Monday’s meeting of the Buckeye Local Board of Education saw the hiring of two new administrators. West Elementary will be helmed by Lucas Parsons, who takes over as principal following William Luther, who was promoted to assistant superintendent and director of curriculum, instruction and professional development.

Parsons comes from St. Paul School in Weirton, where he has worked for the past 14 years.

“I have been an English teacher for eight of those years and in administration for the rest. I’ve been the principal for the last two years, and I’d been the vice principal and dean of students before that,” he said, adding he is looking forward to moving from private to public school administration.

“The best part about this move is that I’m a ’99 graduate of Buckeye Local, so I’m coming home, which is the best part,” he said. “It’s always great to be able to come back to your alma mater, back to the people who built you into the person you are, and I truly believe Buckeye Local did that.

“I believe in community. Even though I’ve been in Weirton for the last 14 years, I have lived and made my home in Tiltonsville, Ohio, so I have never left the district. My family’s there. I believe my work ethic that I’ve learned in the private sector will definitely benefit the district of Buckeye Local. I’m ready to hit the ground running …,” he said.

“Recently at St. Paul we’ve just raised our test scores and I want to bring the enthusiasm that I have to Buckeye West to build upon what Luther has already created. … Adena, where Buckeye West is located, is a very strong community, and I believe they are very family oriented. I want to build upon that as well,” he said.

The board also approved the hiring of Krista Blackwell as coordinator of special programs. Originally from Rayland, Blackwell has been with the district for 10 years as an intervention specialist at West Elementary. She is a 2003 graduated of Buckeye Local. Her work will cover special needs students from preschool through grade 12.

Blackwell is now looking to improve the performance of all the special needs students.

“I think we’re going to need to work on getting our test scores back up,” she said, adding this will involve identifying students’ needs and providing the right assistance. “I think after being an intervention specialist in this district for 10 years, I have an idea on what we need to focus on.”

The board also received the resignation of August Hanson, high school principal, who left to take a position as principal at Belmont Career Center. Buckeye Local will take applications and conduct interviews to fill the vacancy.