by Kate Evans
The Morgan County School Board will not advertise for a new superintendent at this time, but will instead opted to take letters of interest for an interim superintendent position. Their discussion and unanimous vote on the action came at their May 7 meeting.
Morgan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Erich May recently resigned to take a superintendent’s position in Pennsylvania. He will leave the school system on June 30.
School board president Aaron Close said that the state’s deadline for hiring a school superintendent with a multi-year contract is June 1. He noted that they have to have a school superintendent in place by July 1.
School board member John Rowland said that the June 1 deadline was unworkable. That gave the board just a few weeks to get resumes and applications for the position and then quickly select a candidate.
Board member Eric Lyda preferred hiring a superintendent now for consistency but said it wasn’t an option with the time frame involved.
May said there are five superintendent searches going on now in West Virginia. Close said it may affect Morgan County’s search and letters of interest.
The school board will approach the West Virginia School Board Association for their help later to post for a school superintendent either in the fall or in January.
May said the board doesn’t have to interview candidates for the interim superintendent job and that they can just take letters of interest.
Close requested that letters of interest for the interim superintendent position be sent to him. He said that he would bring the letters to the full board in executive session for their consideration.
May advised the board that they can’t name a multi-year superintendent until after January 1. The board could hire an interim superintendent and on January 1 go into negotiations with them to become a multi-year superintendent.
Board member Laura Smith noted that the board just went through this process with hiring May.
The board can also just ask someone if they are interested in the interim superintendent position. For a full superintendent search at a later date, the board will need the School Board Association to assist.
Special Education Director Nicole Hiles and Berkeley Springs High School social worker Heather Klockmann gave a PowerPoint presentation on social work in Morgan County Schools and the department’s successes, programs and challenges. The school system has five social workers this year.
Elementary Education Director Kandy Kulus discussed the Math4Life program that’s being done with the state Department of Education and all 55 counties. Kulus said the program is designed to raise performance and achievement for students and teachers. A steering committee is working on county data and strengths and weaknesses in math.
The committee is also working on a survey about internet access. Berkeley Springs High School uses Khan Academy but it’s a web-based program that students use in the evening at home, Kulus said.
Clerk of the works
The school board approved a contract with Gregory J. Wolfe to serve as clerk of the works for the Widmyer Elementary roof renovation project. The contract began on May 8 and will remain in place as needed for the duration of the project. May said that Wolfe would look in on how things were proceeding on the job for around an hour or two a day.
Out of state travel, other
The board approved a June 4 trip to Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania for Warm Springs Middle School students as a positive behavior reward.
The school board also approved the contract for orientation and mobility evaluation services between Jamie McBride-Vittorio and Morgan County Schools beginning May 7 through June 30.