At the Monday, Feb. 20 meeting of the Wetzel County Board of Education, Board President Warren Grace announced that the board and current Superintendent Ed Toman have agreed to enter into a four-year contract, beginning at $130,000 for the first year with increments of 3 percent each year after. The contract will begin July 1, 2017.
Monday night's decision came after the board had retired into an executive session that lasted approximately one hour. Previously, at its Feb. 6 meeting, the board had entered into an executive session to discuss a possible contract with Mr. Toman. That executive session lasted approximately two hours.
The four-year contract looks to bring stability to Wetzel County Schools after a tumultuous past few years. In February 2015, then-superintendent Dennis Albright resigned from Wetzel County Schools after serving as superintendent for close to two years. Leatha Williams was appointed to the position of superintendent in July 2015. However, the 2015-2016 school year was a rocky one as disputes and tension ran rampant between Williams, and educators and parents, over testing. In May 2016, the board agreed to buyout the contract of Williams.
Toman was hired on a one-year contract in June 2016. During his interview, Toman had responded that one of the strengths he'd bring to the job is the fact that Wetzel County is his home.
The Paden City graduate then noted that "to be superintendent and to come back to have the community we have, my connection out at Hundred and the friendships I have out that way, and to Valley and Paden City it would be incredible."
Toman noted Monday night, to the Chronicle, that he is "thrilled to death" to have a commitment of four years.
"I'm thrilled to have the confidence of all five board members, and to have stability in my life and to come home to a place that molded me to the person I am... for me to be able to give back to the communities that gave me so much as a young man."
The move to serve as Wetzel County's superintendent for the 2016-2017 school year was a risky one for Toman, as the contract for this past year was a one-year contract.
Toman noted that he had left the two-year contract at Ritchie so that he could come home to Wetzel County. He noted that he took the risk, to prove that he could do the job "and now have a four-year (contract), to give me stability with my family."