Schools Probing Cameron Delays

Marshall County Schools Superintendent Fred Renzella said an investigation is under way to determine accountability for delays in the Cameron High School project, which was completed over a year late and more than a $500,000 over budget.

“The developer has hired an additional person who is concentrating his entire efforts daily,” Renzella said during a board of education meeting Tuesday.

He noted that individual is producing documents that will determine who must be held accountable for the delays in construction.

“The investigation will be all done no later than the month of February,” Renzella said.

Meanwhile, “The Star-Spangled Banner” rang through the board room as the Moundsville Middle School Chorus, directed by teacher Eleanor Nickras, performed the national anthem to open the meeting.

Nickras said the chorus, consisting of more than 125 students in sixth through eighth grades, is working several different projects for the spring semester including singing Valentine’s and special competitions.

Teacher Mike Eskridge introduced Zebria Robson, the 2012-2013 LEO Club president, who spoke to the board about a number of programs the club is participating in, including Autism Hat Day, Randolph County Food Pantry collection and House of the Carpenter Christmas Giveaway.

“You do a lot for the community, and we do praise you very highly,” said board President Roger Lewicki.

“The board of education has always been very supportive of the program,” replied Eskridge. “You’ve never said ‘no’.”

John Marshall High School teacher Ruth Crow approached the board to request that something be done about regulations that have allowed the hiring of substitute mathematics teachers who are not certified to teach 10th- through 12th-grade students.

She said the teaching process is hindered, as uncertified teachers have to be taught some concepts themselves by their colleagues before attempting to teach students.

“The state has completely revamped our math program,” said Crow. “These people subbing have no clue.”

Since the matter was not on the agenda, Lewicki said it would need to be investigated before anything could be done.

“We will look at this, I promise you,” Lewicki said.

After a closed-door session lasting more than 20 minutes, the board returned and confirmed the certification of the operating levy, which voters approved Dec. 15.

The levy will give the school district $82.16 million over the next five years, in increments of $16.43 million each year.

“We’d like to thank everybody involved in the passage of our levy,” said Lewicki.

A motion was approved to have an industrial appraisal company provide an inventory and valuation service to the county schools.

“Basically, all the schools’ insurance is contingent on the facilities,” said Superintendent Fred Renzella. “Every five year, we have a re-evaluation. In five years, we’ve had a lot of changes.”