Wood BOE names teacher of the year

PARKERSBURG – Declaring the Wood County Teacher of the Year is not something which occurs every day at the Wood County Board of Education, but the announcement was one of two large presentations that came during Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Wood County Board of Education.

Joanna Mulligan, a classroom teacher from Madison Elementary School in Parkersburg, was declared the 2014-2015 Wood County Teacher of the Year during the meeting. She was awarded the title in a short ceremony directed by Brian Raitz, chair of the Mid-Ohio Valley Chamber of Commerce Education Committee.

Mulligan became a National Board Certified teacher in 2012, Raitz said. She has served on the RESA 5 for the area as well, Raitz said.

“Each year, we get to interview teachers like Joanna who exemplify what teaching should be in Wood County,” Raitz said.

“I feel very blessed to work in this county,” Mulligan said Tuesday night.

The board of education recognized eight students who attended the West Virginia Governor’s Honors Academy from June 29 to July 19 at Tuesday’s meeting.

The Wood County students who attended this year’s honors academy are: Katherine Gnegy of Parkersburg High School, Heidi Ha of PHS, Swathi Mukkamala of PHS, Courtney Oran of PHS, Alyssa Roush of Parkersburg South High School, Courtney Stackpole of PHS, Rachel Starling of PSHS and Bryan Stone of PHS.

The board thanked Books-A-Million, located at Grand Central Mall, for donating dozens of books to Wood County students. The books varied from non-fiction to fiction titles, including books on spiders, sharks, puppies, and other animals. Fiction titles included books featuring popular Disney movies and fiction and fantasy novels for all age groups.

When the store opened on June 5 in Grand Central Mall, the company chose the Wood County school district to receive donations during the grand opening, said Books-A-Million manager Rosie Scott. The store collected books through July 6, said Scott.

The books were purchased by customers and donated at the checkout counter, she said.

“All the people out there who paid for the books are who did it. We are just the conduit that made it happen,” Scott said.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, board members split their votes concerning the bid for trash disposal in the coming school year.

Board members Tim Yeater, Vice President Lawrence Hasbargen and Peggy Smith voted for Waste Management’s winning bid, while Jim Asbury and President John Marlow voted against it.

There was a long debate about the differences between the bids put in by Waste Management and Kimble Recycling and Disposal during Tuesday’s meeting, with questions raised about fuel prices and recycling options.

The annual opening of schools report was delivered Tuesday by Director of Secondary Schools Mike Winland. The process was described as smooth, Winland said. Teachers and administrators have worked hard to get everything done in only a single preparation day this year, he said.

Construction continues at Edison Middle School, with upgrades and additions still being completed from summer construction, Winland said.

“When you walked in on day one, you wouldn’t have realized there was construction going on outside, that’s how well prepared they were,” he said.

The board voted unanimously to approve the transfer of Lori Lowers from assistant principal and athletic director to principal of Gihon Elementary School, as well as the transfer of Whitny Gesell from Parkersburg High School teacher to 225 day assistant principal. Mark Purcell was approved for Parkersburg High School Head Girls Crew Coach by unanimous vote as well.

The board voted unanimously to approve the payment of legal bills from Bowles Rice attorneys for $1,522.83.

The board voted unanimously to grant permission to the Parkersburg High School volleyball team to travel to tournaments in Virginia Beach, Va., on Sept. 3-7 and to Spartanburg, S.C., on Sept. 12-14.