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Wood BOE says goodbye to Olcott, Hosaflook; Superintendent Willis sworn in

Wood County Board of Education member Judy Johnson thanked outgoing Superintendent William Hosaflook for being an academic leader during his time as superintendent. for Wood County during Tuesday’s school board meeting. Hosaflook will be taking over the superintendent position in Jackson County starting Friday. (Photo by Douglass Huxley)

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Board of Education held its regular meeting Tuesday night where goodbyes were said to two current members and a new superintendent was sworn in.

Superintendent William Hosaflook, who was appointed as superintendent in 2018, will begin his new position as Jackson County’s superintendent on Friday.

“I could not ask for a better team,” Hosaflook said. “Here in the central office, with our principals, with our service personnel, the directors, the assistants, everyone looks at me, but it’s not me, it’s the boots on the ground. They’re the ones who make a difference … it’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later.”

Tuesday’s meeting was also the last one for board member Rick Olcott, who did not seek re-election and wasn’t present Tuesday night. President Justin Raber presented a plaque to honor the service Olcott has given to the Wood County Board of Education.

Olcott has been a member of the board twice, from 2004-2011 and 2019-2022, and has served has president twice, from 2008-2010 and 2018-2020.

Incoming Superintendent Christie Willis, left, was sworn in during Tuesday’s Wood County Board of Education meeting by Executive Secretary Cathy Maas. Willis will officially take office Friday. (Photo by Douglass Huxley)

“I wanna thank Rick Olcott,” board member Judy Johnson said. “He’s given me a lot of advice, and guided me in directions that I needed as a new board member, and I appreciate his help through these last two years very much.”

The board approved two new teaching positions during Tuesday’s meeting with an assistant band director position at Williamstown High School, and a social studies position at Parkersburg South High School. The board also approved the I-Ready and I-Ready Toolbox for reading grades K-12 and math 6-8, an application to use ESSERF funds for construction related activities, the Pre-K calendar for the 2022-2023 school year, and to create the organizational board meeting on July 5.

During public comments, Chad Conley expressed his concern to the board about incoming member Sarah Townsend not filing proper campaign finance reports yet, and said he would be addressing the county clerk’s office, and the prosecuting attorney, about his concerns.

Board members wished their best to retiring Director of Elementary Schools Keith Palmer throughout Tuesday’s meeting. Palmer has been with Wood County schools since 1987.

“On behalf of Wood County Schools, I would like to thank you, Keith, for you dedication and service to Wood County schools, and please enjoy your retirement.” Raber said.

Wood County Board of Education President Justin Raber presented a plaque to outgoing board member Rick Olcott, who wasn’t present during Tuesday’s meeting, for his service to the school board. Olcott has been a board member twice from 2004-2011 and 2018-2022, and served as president from 2008-2010 and 2018-2020. (Photo by Douglass Huxley)

Christie Willis took her oath of office as the new superintendent during the conclusion of Tuesday’s meeting. Willis will officially take office on Friday in a ceremony scheduled for noon in the board room at 1210 13th St. where Willis and Townsend will take their oaths of office. Willis was required to take hers Tuesday night so she could begin acting as superintendent on Friday morning.

The next Board of Education meeting will be Tuesday, July 5, at 6 p.m. It is open to the public.

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