School Administration Staff Changes Continue

OHIO COUNTY – The changing of the guard that has been taking place in the administrative staff of Ohio County Schools continued Monday, when MaryLu Hutchins was hired as the school system’s student services director.

Ohio County Board of Education members during their meeting unanimously approved Hutchins’ hiring, effective today. She is taking over for Kim Miller, who left the position to become principal at Woodsdale Elementary School.

Hutchins spent last school year as Bridge Street Middle School principal. She has also held teaching positions at West Liberty, Madison, Warwood and Middle Creek and was named Ohio County Schools Teacher of the Year and West Virginia Teacher of the Year in 2009.

“My entire career in this county,” Hutchins recalled, “I have been mentored, supported, and the skills that I have now have been cultivated by all of the colleagues I’ve worked with. I can only be grateful for all of these opportunities that I’ve had as a teacher in the classroom, as a school administrator and now serving the children and families of Ohio County in a new and very special way.”

Presiding over his second meeting after taking over for Erik Schramm, Board of Education President James Jorden expeditiously addressed agenda items, most of which were existing policies and annual events up for renewal.

He also took an opportunity prior to adjournment to remind his colleagues – who included new board members Sarah Koegler and Gary Kestner – that the schools, not the administrative offices, are the most important buildings.

“Our mission, academic goals, target areas and core beliefs need to be externally focused at each of our 13 schools, with our students always at the center of our attention,” Jorden said.

The administrative shuffle, he continued, will force former deputy superintendent and current Superintendent Dianna Vargo to “assess the state” of the school system and potentially “adjust or change any plans that are in place.”

Jorden expressed the desire to meet with Business Manager Steven Bieniek to familiarize Koegler and Kestner with the budget, as well as hold an executive session to update the new board members on the status of the proposed well site near Wheeling Park High School. The dates for those meetings were not finalized Monday evening.