Ohio County Schools Officials Preparing for the Future

WHEELING – Classes are not in session, but Ohio County Schools can reflect on a number of accomplishments while looking ahead to plans for the upcoming school year.

More than 35 teachers in the district graduated from the Teacher Induction Program during the May 13 board of education meeting.

“Ohio County Schools provides three years of guidance to help provide new teachers with support so they can be successful to students in the classroom,” Bridge Street Middle School teacher Scot Kangisser said during the meeting.

“We are very fortunate to have such a great program with such great mentors and principals working,” Assistant Superintendent Bernie Dolan added.

Triadelphia Middle School teacher Joyce Jingle was named the 2012 Teacher of the Year during the June 10 meeting and paraprofessional Karen Seabright was named the 2014 Service Personnel Employee of the Year.

“After 33 years I still consider Ohio County Schools the best place to be for students, teachers and school administrators,” Jingle said in a letter.

“I am honored to work with you and for you,” Seabright said.

The school district said farewell to 22 retiring employees during the May 13 board of education meeting.

The work experience of the administrators, teachers and service personnel added up to a combined 614 years.

“Our retiring staff members have inspired our students to achieve for many years and the school system and community appreciate their contributions,” Superintendent Dianna Vargo said. “We thank them for their years of service and their commitment to Ohio County Schools.”

Meanwhile four Ohio County students became Knights and Ladies of the Golden Horseshoe in May.

William Sellers and Samantha Force, both students at Triadelphia Middle School, Bridge Street Middle School student Taylor Hartman and Christian Beall of Wheeling Middle School were the top-scoring students in the county during the 2013 Golden Horseshoe Test.

OCS Assessment and Federal Programs Director Sue McGuier said the Golden Horseshoe Test happens every spring as part of an 82-year tradition. The four students were recognized for their accomplishment in early May at a special reception in Charleston.

Winners of the 2013 Ohio County Young Writers Essay Contest were Devyn Poole, Adesh Urval, Elizabeth Stern, Taylor Hartman, Katie Adase and Hannah Hlad. They were treated to a special event at the University of Charleston on May 24 to honor their achievement and encourage them to continue writing.

Wheeling Park High School Guidance Counselor Sallie Minor said the county’s “Advanced Placement Rising Scholars” program grew during the 2012-13 academic year from 136 to 161 student participants. The program was founded in 1955 by College Board to give high school students a chance to earn college credit.

WPHS students Braley Burke, Aaruran Cahndrasekhar, Elizabeth Dibert, Ian McCardle, Michelle Tan and Lauren West were all named AP Rising Scholars by completing three classes and exams to earn nine hours of college credit. Samantha Dodd, Catherine Hercules and Rebecca Sellers became AP Rising Scholars with Honor by completing four classes each and Derek Smith became an AP Rising Scholar with Distinction by completing five.

Students struggling to advance got the chance to make it up in the 2013 Extended School year, who said students with lower learning rates worked in small instructive groups over the summer to make up for missed credits.

“I can tell you this is a great program,” board of education member James Jorden said. “If a student failed any core classes in the semester they can recover the credits in three weeks’ time.”

Meanwhile, the board of education approved the purchase of four new buses during a special meeting on May 14 for the district’s transportation fleet. The three regular buses cost $104,179 each for a total of $312,537 while the special education bus cost $109,235. Altogether, the three new vehicles cost $412,772.

Dolan said the buses were purchased as part of the district’s usual rotation of replacing older buses with new ones and they are estimated to last about 12 years of regular service. Vargo said $307,266 of the expenses came from the West Virginia Department of Education while the other $114,506 came from the district’s transportation budget.