(04/30/2017)
Calhoun Superintendent of Schools Tim Woodward has announced he will be leaving the position to become the superintendent in Hancock County.

Asst. Superintedent Kelli Whytsell said Woodward made an announcement to Central Office staff on Wednesday that he had accepted a job in Hancock County.

"He also stated he had enjoyed his time in Calhoun County and felt that we had make substantial improvements," said Whytsell.

Woodward had been hired from May, 2014 to June 2016, essentially a two year contract, based on an annual salary of $80,000. In 2016 he was given a three-year contract with a salary increase of $5,000 for the first and a $2,000 increase for the second two years of his contract.

According to Department of Education information, Hancock County current superintendent's starting salary was $136,489 annually for a four-year contract.

Shortly after Woodward's hire in 2014, it was revealed that the county school system was suffering from a deficit that increased to $1.8 million, the school system put on notice by state officials.

Woodward presented a multi-year aggressive deficit reduction plan which resulted in a reduction of about $50,000, with some school officials saying it could now take up to 30 years without a school levy or a change in the state's funding formula to eliminate.

Most of his plan was not implemented.

In 2014, Calhoun was the only county operating with a deficit, but since then with the WV economy in a plunge, many school systems are facing serious financial problems with cutbacks.

With Woodward's deficit reducing, the board approved the elimination of $600 supplements given school teachers and service personnel, given to all employees during better economic times.

The elimination of the supplements was a bitter issue among school employees, and a Law Judge ordered most of them reinstated over technical grounds.

Since then the school system has essentially eliminated those supplements using a "buy out" with employees.

Superintendent Woodward had a major shake-up with county administrators, saying the shake-up was a reduction in force while giving some of the new positions up to $9,100 supplements or apparent pay increases.

Woodward maintained they are were not pay raises.

Some of those administrators filed grievances and lawsuits, some requesting to be reinstated to their former positions.

Woodward said the central office changes were directed toward creating a "dream team" to operate the system.

Calhoun will join Roane and Gilmer in seeking new superintendents.


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