School Board Praises Vargo

WHEELING – Ohio County Schools Superintendent Dianna Vargo’s leadership over the past school year exceeded the board of education’s expectations.

Despite making that announcement during Monday’s meeting, board members spent more than 90 minutes behind closed doors discussing Vargo’s end-of-school-year evaluation at what was board president James Jorden’s last meeting. Jorden was defeated in the May 13 election, and since then he has called for a two-year extension of Vargo’s current contract that doesn’t expire until June 2016.

Vargo earned $130,000 as superintendent during the last school year. Her salary for the 2014-15 school year will be $135,000 and $142,500 for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

Vargo joined board members for the first 30 minutes of the executive session, but then left the meeting.

After the executive session, Jorden said Vargo was evaluated on the basis of four goals: School improvement, maintaining the highest level of fiscal responsibility, improving operations and expanding communication strategies between the schools and the community.

“Dr. Vargo has met or exceeded all expectations from the Ohio County Schools Board of Education,” Jorden said.

There was no additional discussion on the matter, and Jorden made no parting comments at the meeting.

However, other board members spoke on his accomplishments during his tenure as a board member.

“As a new board member two years ago, I just want to thank him for shepherding me through lots of new information,” board member Sarah Koegler said. “I thank him for his leadership during my first two years here.”

Board member Christine Carder called Jorden a great leader for Ohio County Schools.

“Mr. Jorden has taken time out of his personal life and professional career over the last eight years to serve Ohio County Schools, and he has done a wonderful job,” board member Shane Mallett said.

Board member Gary Kestner echoed the comments of other members and thanked Jorden.

New board member Tim Birch, Carder and Mallett will be sworn in to their new four-year terms at 6 p.m. July 7. The next regular meeting of the board is set for 6 p.m. July 14.