Wood BOE announces retention of Law

PARKERSBURG – Members of the Wood County Board of Education announced the retention of Schools Superintendent Pat Law.

Board members went into a 70-minute unscheduled executive session Monday to discuss Law’s contract. They came out with a prepared statement announcing Law’s continued employment.

The superintendent has one year remaining on his contract.

“Dr. Law’s evaluation showed we have made improvements in the areas of curriculum development under his direction,” board president Tim Yeater said reading from a prepared statement. “While we have achieved some of our educational goals, the county has faced challenges in professional and service positions. These changes, combined with some of the events of the past year, has revealed the need for improvement in our school system. It is the will of the board to work in addressing these issues for the upcoming year.

“The (board) believes there needs to be accountability for the leadership of the school system. This includes a stronger emphasis on administration and their responsibilities in evaluating the personnel and demands of our school system.

“…The board looks forward to working with Dr. Law and the employees of Wood County in providing students with the best education possible,” Yeater concluded.

Before the start of Monday’s statutory meeting, Yeater was asked if Law’s evaluation would be discussed. Yeater said he wanted to discuss the matter, but it had been omitted from the agenda that was sent out last week.

A News and Sentinel reporter was the only person in the audience Monday evening.

Board members wished to discuss the matter with all members present. Board member Lawrence Hasbargen was absent from last week’s meeting. And Yeater said he will not be at the July 16 meeting.

Prior to entering the executive session there was discussion as to whether or not the board would make a statement Monday or at the (regular-scheduled) July 16 meeting regarding Law’s tenure.

Board members also approved the appointments of members to the following committees:

* Jim Fox: RESA V Board, Personal Leave Bank Board

* Tim Yeater: Wood County Council of PTA, Wood County Teacher’s Retirement Board, Wellness Committee and Williamstown Elementary School

* Lawrence Hasbargen: Wood County Extension Committee, Safety Committee

* Tad Wilson: Strategic Planning Committee, Audit Committee

* John Marlow: Calendar Committee, Wood County Recreation Commission

During board comments Marlow asked the media to clarify that the board’s vote to reject the U.S.D.A. Community Eligibility Option did not spell the end of the free and reduced lunch program. Marlow and Yeater said they received a number of calls following last week’s 2-2 vote.

“There seems to be some confusion,” Marlow said. “We are still continuing the free and reduced lunch. It is a federal program.”

Fox inquired about revisiting the issue at a later meeting with Hasbargen present. Law said the deadline for the program was June 30.

The fact board members were again presented the project days before the deadline did not sit well with Fox.

“Again,” he said. “Why are we not thinking about this earlier?”

Law said officials would try to bring the matter to the board earlier next year, possibly in May.