(02/08/2001)
By Bob Weaver

At least two Calhoun school employees who are losing their jobs, appealed to the school board Monday night. The Board went into executive session to listen to cooks Joan Gordon and Susan Metheney. Both were represented by service personnel attorney John Roush. The minutes of the meeting show board members Carlene Frederick abstained on the firings and Burl Simers voted no. The minutes indicate both women will loose their jobs.

Calhoun School Superintendent Ron Blankenship did not respond to a Hur Herald inquiry regarding the reduction in force, but told The Parkersburg News that funding has been lost for 8.5 teachers and four service personnel. Blankenship said a large drop in student population is threatening to the Calhoun school system.

Five names were listed on the agenda for dismissal, Renita Benson, Sherry Butt, Judy Prusack, Joan Gordon and Susan Metheney. A source at Monday night's meeting said it was likely the 8.5 teachers would "not actually loose their jobs" but be transferred or assume multiple duties.

Blankenship is seriously concerned about the loss of funding which is linked to loss of students. He says rural counties like Calhoun may be placed in a crisis situation.

The Parkersburg News, after interviewing Blankenship said "Three professionals, such as teachers and administrators, and four service workers, including secretaries and cooks, will receive their pink slips." This could not be confirmed.

No mention was made at the Board meeting regarding an ongoing water leak at the Mt. Zion complex. Sources say the monthly water bill has risen several hundred percent since early last fall. An unconfirmed amount was over $3000.

Sue Roberts, a Millstone resident, said she went to the meeting to make a public statement regarding her concern about kids with drug problems at Calhoun Middle/High School. Mrs. Roberts said she called the office earlier advising them she wanted to make a public statement. She became angry because she was "forced to go into an executive session." She asked her comments be printed in The Hur Herald. She said her statement had nothing to to with personnel, nor was she objecting to a school decision regarding an expulsion. (SEE February 6 News Article)

The Board approved these people for employment:

- Pam Bartlett, after school tutoring and math field day coach, CHS - Gary Knight, Distance Learning supervisor/mentor - Daniel K. Smith, student tutor - Norma Wagoner, substitute teacher - Marie Webb, substitute teacher - Phillip Perkins, student tutor

Finances approved:

Invoices $617,817.19
Supplements $38,873.44
Transfers $45,417.87

School board members congratulated the wrestling team for finishing second in the LKC Tournament. The next regular Board meeting will be on March 5.


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