Renzella, Simms Are Retiring

It’s official!

Both Marshall County Superintendent of Schools Alfred N. Renzella and Assistant Superintendent W. Wayne Simms will be leaving their respective positions on June 30.

The two administrators, who have 91 years combined employment with the Marshall County school system, have submitted their resignations to the Marshall County Board of Education.

On receiving the resignations the board members asked that they consider remaining for an additional year, with both declining.

They have been saying for the past few years that they were contemplating retiring. Both decided that with the new Cameron High/Middle School now operational, an operating levy having passed in December, and funding from the state school building authority having been promised to enable an extensive renovation to John Marshall High School, along with improvements to Glen Dale and Sand Hill Elementary Schools, they agreed by stepping down they would be leaving the school system in excellent condition.

Renzella began his employment in 1965, while Simms accepted employment in 1970.

Renzella has served as superintendent of schools for nine years, while Simms has held the assistant superintendent’s position for 11 years.

Prior to becoming the school superintendent, Renzella taught social studies for a year at the former Moundsville High School, then was appointed principal of J.T. King Elementary School, a school for students requiring special education. From 1966-84, he, along with the “King School family” designed and implemented Marshall County’s first official special education program. In 1984, he became the county’s director of special education and attendance.

Simms started his education career at Cameron Elementary where he originally spent one year, then was teacher-principal at Pleasant Valley Elementary School, before going back to Cameron Elementary as principal after only three years as an educator. His only other position was that of assistant superintendent.

Because his father, the late Alfred A. Renzella, was a proud member of the U.S. military, much of Fred’s childhood was spent moving from place to place, however, he has always called the Ohio Valley “home.”

As a youth, he attended parochial schools – St. James in McMechen, Bishop Donahue High School and graduating in 1950 from Wheeling Central Catholic High School.

He received his bachelor’s degree in social studies and speech from West Liberty State College.

Renzella said it was not until he enrolled in college that he decided on an education career.

His additional schooling has resulted in earning three master’s degrees, one in special education, one in gifted education and one in school psychology. He also received a certificate of advanced studies in school psychology.

Simms, a native of Aleppo, Pa., graduated from West Greene High School. He attended West Virginia University and Marshall University, earning a master’s degree.

Simms said his father was an educator, as were several of his uncles. His wife also was an educator, teaching at Cameron Elementary. She retired a year ago.

Since 2004 the two educators have worked, along with members of the Marshall County Board of Education and others, to make improvements to the schools -physical, technology, safety, etc.

The upcoming funds from the SBA will bring to more than $90 million, the amount for upgrading.

Of course, they are very proud of the new state-of-the-art Cameron school, but also are equally proud of work done during the 2007-09 fiscal years, with 13 different projects undertaken.

The total cost of the work was more than $30 million. All of the 2007-09 projects came in under estimate, and all were completed ahead of schedule.

The largest project was the acquiring of property and construction of Hilltop School, $9 million, which resulted in the closing of Limestone and Sherrard elementary schools. Hilltop School is the first LEED (meeting energy efficient requirements) school in West Virginia.

Another undertaking connected with the projects was renovation of McNinch and Central elementary schools, which enabled the closing of Park View and Sanford schools.

Other work was done at Moundsville and Sherrard Middle Schools, John Marshall High, Monarch Stadium and the John Marshall Fieldhouse, along with the demolition of the former Moundsville Junior High School building, and the bus garage, which was then located at the MJHS site.

That particular bond issued also called for money to be spent on a new Cameron High School Fieldhouse. However, when SBA officials recommended the board of education construct a new Cameron High/Middle building, the money which in the bond call was designated for the fieldhouse was transferred to the new school.

Renzella commended Simms for not only his dedication to the education of students and his involvement with school personnel in each building, but for being the liaison with the school building projects of 2007-09, and also, the building of the new Cameron High/Middle School.

The Marshall County Panthers will hold their only sign-up for football and cheerleading from 5-7 p.m. today at the Sanford Center. Any boy or girl between the ages of 6 (must turn 7 prior to Sept. 30), and 12 years of age is welcome to sign up.

The first basketball contests in the new Cameron High School gymnasium will be held Friday. The opponent has yet to be determined since the games will be a part of the West Virginia Hometown Invitational Tournament. The boys junior varsity game will be at 6 p.m., and the varsity game will be at 7:30.

The final games to be played at the former Cameron High School gymnasium will be Wednesday against arch-rival Paden City.

The girls’ game will be at 6 p.m., and the boys’ game at 7:30 p.m.

It will be “Senior Night” for both squads.

The school Athletic Department welcomes former CHS Basketball players (boys or girls) to join in the festivities as well.