Law announces resignation at Wood County BOE meeting

PARKERSBURG – Patrick Law announced his resignation from his position as Wood County Schools Superintendent after an hour-and-40-minute long executive session Tuesday evening.

Members of the Wood County Board of Education voted unanimously to enter executive session at 7:10 p.m., and were behind closed doors until 8:50 p.m. Officials did not comment on any other matters discussed in executive session. No actions were taken on any matters discussed in executive session, said Board President Tim Yeater.

Law announced to the public that he will be resigning from his position as superintendent of Wood County Schools after discussing the matter in the executive session. He has served in the position for three-and-a-half years at the time of his announcement.

Law intends to resign effective July 1, 2014, so the current school year will be finished and the board will have the summer to find a replacement for him, he said.

“I appreciate the board of education giving me this opportunity to serve the community,” said Law. “Wood County Schools have a very bright future ahead of them, and I promise to work hard for the next six months to make that future as bright as I can before I go,” he said.

Also at Tuesday’s board meeting, Mike Fling, assistant superintendent of school services, presented the board with updated information on the easement request regarding the replacement of a crumbling wall at Stadium Field. All of the other easements have been secured for the stadium restoration, said Fling.

A private meeting with the landowners was held prior to the board meeting, which Fling described as “productive and very detailed.”

“We got into the level of detail where we discussed which shrubs will be replaced, and with what, once construction is complete,” Fling said.

Further details of the easement were discussed during the executive session, when the property owner joined the board members behind closed doors. Additional details were not publicly discussed after the executive session.

Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp spoke to the board about Vienna’s proposed easement on Jackson Middle School property.

The city of Vienna proposed a 6 acre easement for construction purposes that would begin behind the football field and up the wooded property, said Rapp. The existing easement follows a 12-inch water main up the hill behind Jackson Middle School to Vienna’s three aging water tanks, he said.

“We have determined that it would cost less to build a new glass water tank than to repurpose the three existing tanks every 30 years,” said Rapp.

The new water tank would be joined by communications towers for the Vienna police and fire communications, as well as house equipment to collect remote data on water usage from the city’s new digital water meters.

The board voted unanimously to approve a new program at Wood County Technical Center for the 2014-2015 school year. The Energy Power and Engineering Systems program will be available to students beginning their junior year in the fall.

Doug Kiger, director of Technology and Adult Education for Wood County Schools, assured the board that students who are in the middle of the current electrical training offering at the Wood County Technical Center will be able to finish the program they originally began.

Staffing goals for the 2014-2015 school year saw a decline of about 50 students from the school system. This enrollment drop will cause a cut in funding that will produce an anticipated loss of 14 professional positions and 14 service positions in the school system for the coming year.

The board will begin the process of determining which positions will be cut, and the shifting around of existing employees, immediately. They plan to finish this process by the beginning of February.

Two positions were voted on by the board Tuesday evening, creating a new full time position for a multicategorical instruction at Franklin Elementary, along with a second position to serve for half a day at Blennerhassett Elementary and half a day at Lubeck Elementary. Both of these positions will be for special education students. These positions were voted on unanimously.

The board voted unanimously to convert an existing service position within the school system into a professional position titled Coordinator of Human Resources.

The board voted unanimously to approve Robert O’Donnell to the position of head boys track coach at Parkersburg High School, effective Dec. 18.