Saunders Is Madison Principal

Walter Saunders, principal of Triadelphia Middle School, will take over as principal at Madison Elementary School for the 2013-14 year, replacing longtime educator Nikki Kacmarik, who will retire at the end of this school year.

The Ohio County Board of Education approved Saunders’ hiring at its Monday board meeting at Ritchie Elementary School.

“Mr. Saunders is an experienced and dedicated administrator who is committed to excellence in education,” Superintendent Dianna Vargo said. “He’s been a valued asset as a teacher and principal, and he will do an extraordinary job in inspiring the students at Madison Elementary School.”

Saunders began teaching at Ohio County Schools in 1996 as a math teacher at Madison and West Liberty Elementary schools and became a math teacher at Wheeling Park High School in 2003. He was named assistant principal of Warwood School in 2006 and has served as principal of Triadelphia Middle School since 2009.

“I’m very excited,” Saunders said. “Teaching in high school, I got to see the end product of teaching at a younger age. Going to the younger age, and I think the research backs me up, you have a better opportunity to make a change in the life of that student. I’m looking forward to Madison. What a great opportunity to walk into a school that is thriving.”

In other business, the board approved hiring Over & Under Construction of Martins Ferry for a $42,050 concrete improvement project at Wheeling Park High School, Bridge Street Middle School and the Ohio County Schools Operations Center. According to Vargo, Over & Under Construction offered the lowest bid. Other bidders included Savage Construction Co. of Wheeling at $43,000, Walters Construction Inc. of Wheeling at $49,800, Grae-Con Construction of Steubenville at $68,951 and Bridgeport Home Builders of Bridgeport at $53,260. She said the work will include replacing several concrete steps at the schools and improving areas in the garage at the operations center.

The board also approved the suspension without pay of teacher Leslie Campbell for 38 working days. It took effect April 9. Vargo declined to comment on the suspension, saying she would not speak about a personnel matter.