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WCCC optimistic of new budget, hiring positions

MARIETTA – As the fiscal year comes to a close, the Washington County Career Center is preparing for a new year, which will include some familiar faces going to work in new, administrative positions.

Two internal hires were recently made at the school to fill the positions of Adult Technical Training director and assistant director, in addition to other routine actions.

The board of education held its last regular meeting before a new fiscal year begins July 1, and members and administration are anticipating a positive year in terms of finances and in terms of filling positions.

“We anticipate having about $10 million in expenses in about $10.7 million in revenue,” said treasurer Joe Crone. “So we’re heading in the right direction.”

Upon the retirement of Adult Technical Training director David Combs, the career center promoted Tony Huffman, 31, who currently serves as the secondary school’s assistant director, to the adult director position.

Combs’ retirement was officially approved by the board in February.

With Huffman vacating his position, Kaye Spiker, 60, who has been serving as an intervention specialist for the school for a number of years, will be filling in the position of assistant director of the secondary school.

“Tony has been able to spend time with Mr. Combs, and Tony has been working with Kaye, so they won’t be totally new when the year starts,” said Superintendent Dennis Blatt. “They’re both going to be great.”

Huffman will begin receiving a salary of $95,463 and Spiker will begin receiving a salary of $82,926.

Huffman starts in his new position July 1, with Spiker beginning her new job soon after.

“I was the intervention specialist here, so I got to work with the kids in classrooms, co-teaching with other math and science classes and pretty much all the core curriculum areas,” Spiker said.

Before coming to the career center, Spiker worked in special intervention and on the administrative end at a middle school in Tucson.

“I’m excited for the new opportunity, because this deals with a side of education that I’ve always wanted to be a part of, which is the higher education side, so that’s exciting to me,” Huffman said. “I’ve done a lot with K-12, so I’m excited to gain experience and work on the higher education side.”

Blatt said the future looks good for the career center, as the school anticipates about 275 incoming juniors and high adult enrollment numbers next year that will keep WCCC operating in the black.

“I think we’re strong financially because we’ve been very conscientious about how we spend money, and both adult and secondary enrollment has been good,” Blatt said. “We still have a lot of displaced workers with us, and medical billing is bringing in a lot of students.”