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BOE Recognizes Honorary Secretary Of State

May 15, 2019
By Telina Frye - Staff Writer , Wetzel Chronicle

The Wetzel County Board of Education, at its April 22 meeting, recognized Jocelyn Prado for being named Honorary Secretary of State. She stated right now, there is a worry about us being hacked. Therefore, she has been asked to assist in translating power points into Spanish since she was born in Mexico and Spanish is her first language. Superintendent Edward T. Toman stated Prado is an incredible leader at the Hundred High School noting that she was just at the last Board of Education to be recognized for another achievement.

Also, Carol Zombotti, County Wide Speech Language Pathologist (and Behavior Analyst), along with friends and students Shaun Fisher and Lane Hayes gave an autism presentation. Fisher is 16 years old and a Junior at Valley High School. Hayes is 15 years old and is a Freshman at Valley High School. Zombotti stated we are celebrating Autism Awareness Month here in Wetzel County. The Autism ribbon has been the trademark for Autism Awareness since 1999. She stated Autism is on the rise. She said when she started over 20 years ago, there was only one in 100 children to be diagnosed with autism. It later became one in 69 and is now one in 59 children. Currently there is only one in 37 boys which is astounding. There are one in 151 girls showing it is four times more prevelent in females than males. Symptoms arise as early as 18 months while most are diagnosed after the age of four.

Unfortunately, here in Wetzel County, there are no diagnoses at the ages of two and three. It's four or five years old before we get to a diagnosis. Zombotti presented data showing that 31% of children with autism have an intellectual disability, 25% are in the borderline range as far as IQ's and 44% have IQ scores which are average or above average.

She explainded autism can affect any ethnic group and all socioeconomic groups. Minorities however often take longer to get diagnosed. Intervention is key in autism which is why they push their pre-school programs. She said there are strong pre-school programs in Wetzel County which she is really proud of. Zombotti noted there is no medical test for autism and it is diagnosed by a variety of symptoms and characteristics.

It can be diagnosed by a clinical psychologist or any type of psychologist and we do have some school psychologists which diagnose autism here in Wetzel County Schools.

According to Zombetti,there are currently 33 students in Wetzel County who have been diagnosed with autism and that number is on the rise. Zombotti said that there are three more students that will be tested soon. In at least seven out of eight schools in Wetzel County, there is at least one student with a diagnosis of autism. Zombotti pointed out that it takes a village and said that they have an incredible staff that works with their individuals with autism. Some of the staff includes special education and regular education teachers.

She said Wetzel County has, therapists, including speech, physical and occupational, plus autism mentors, supervisory teacher aides who go on and get additional training every summer. She also included principals, special ed directors, secretaries, bus drivers whic they are part of the team.

Autism is a developmental disorder that can affect all areas of a childs development. It is a spectrum disorder that varies in severity levels. Zombotti pointed out that we have children on both ends of autism in Wetzel County schools. Zombotti quoted one of the consultants that comes in and works with these kids in Wetzel County saying, "if you know one kid with autism, you know one kid with autism". This quotes acknowledges that every one of them are different.

Zombotti pointed out that there have been a ton of myths over the years about what the true causes of autism are. She stated that recent research has come to the conclusion that it has a genetic component in most cases. There are a lot of other risk factors including the age of a mother during conception and pregnancy, pharmaceutical drugs that someone might be on, whether it's the father or the mother. There are also environmental factors which play a factor as well. If you have one twin that has autism, there is a 36% to 95% chance that the other twin might have it. Zombotti stated that they have had several twins and still do that have a diagnosis of autism in Wetzel County Schools. Zombotti stressed that there has been extensive myths and research done over the years about vaccines and autism. She said that over the past four to six years it has become 100% conclusive there is not a correlation between childhood vaccines and autism.

Fisher and Hayes explained what occurred at Valley High School for Autism Awareness Day. Hayes explained that on April 2, they went to the auditorium and watched a video on how autism works and what it is. Fisher and Hayes both stood on the stage and did a presentation in front of the entire student body and staff. They got a picture of everyone that wore blue holding a sign with almost everyones name from the school on it to celebrate the day. Fisher introduced the same video that was shown at the school to the Board of Education about autism.

In other matters, the following matters were approved at the meeting:

Personnel Matters:Retirements: Margaret G. Ensinger, acceptance of retirement from position as 4th grade teacher at New Martinsville School, effective June 30, 2019.

Resignations:Justin F. Herrick, acceptance of resignation from position as Evening Custodian at Short Line School, effective the end of day on June 24, 2019.

Professional Personnel:Deborah M. Coen, approval for change in assignment from Countywide Substitute School Nurse to Diagnostic Services Instructor at WCTEC, effective the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.

Denise Greene, approval for change in assignment from Special Education Teacher at Paden City Elementary School to Interim Principal at Short Line School, effective April 23, 2019.

Leave of Absence: Approval of request from Justin F. Herrick for a Medical Leave of Absence from his position as evening custodian at Short Line School, effective April 10, 2019 through June 24, 2019.Approval of request from Christine M. Mace for a Medical Leave of Absence from her position as 4th grade teacher at Paden City Elementary, effective May 20, 2019 through release from physician. Approval of the Reduction-In-Force (termination) and assigned to the "Preferred Recall List" for the 2019-2020 school year as recommended by the Superintendent:

Professional Personnel Reduction-In-Force (terminations): Full Time Kandy Stephen, Angela Beardmore, Leslie Tennant, Michele Reuther

Approval of the Transfer and Subsequent Assignment List for the 2019-2020 School Year as Recommended by the Superintendent:

Professional Personnel:Full Time: Tara Jackson, Heather Riggle

Routine Matters: Release from Wetzel County Schools: Approval of request from Brian and April Rush for their child, Harli Rush, to be released from Wetzel County Schools to continue attending Tyler County Schools for the 2019-2020 school year.

A request from Nicholas and Shannon Eastham for their children to be released from Wetzel County Schools to continue attending Monongalia County Schools for the 2019-2020 school year was removed and tabled at this time.

Out of State Trips: Approval of request from Paul Huston for Leanna Watson and Leslie Tennant to take 3rd grade students from Long Drain School on a field trip to the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA, on May 3, 2019. Funded through student fees.

Approval of request from Fay Pritchard for the second grade teachers of New Martinsville School to take the second grade students to Stacy's Family Farm in Marietta, OH, on May 23, 2019. Funded through student fees.

Approval of request from JC Kimble for Tara Beatty to take ten students and five chaperones from Short Line School and Valley High School to compete at the TSA National Conference in Washington, DC, on June 28-July 2, 2019. Funded through chapter funds.

Approval of request from Tammy Chambers and Sue Flesher to take Paden City Elementary First and Second grade students on a field trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo in Pittsburgh, PA, on May 9, 2019. Funded through student fees.

Approval of request from Tammy Chambers and Sue Flesher to take Paden City Elementary K-2 students on a field trip to Stacy's Strawberry Farm in Marietta, OH, May 17, 2019. Funded through student fees.

Approval of request for Meghan DeLorenzo, Caryn Puskarich, Jacqueline Watkins and Terri Beaty to attend the Trauma Informed School Conference on June 18-20, 2019 in St. Charles, MI. Funded through budgeted travel funds.

Chaperones/Volunteers: Approval of request from the School Principal for the following Chaperones/Volunteers for the 2018-2019 school year. Valley High School: Florence Eddy

Request to Use School Facilities: Approval of request for Debra Price to use the multi-purpose building at Paden City High School for a concert from the Florida College Group on May 13, 2019 from 3:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m.

REVISED SCHOOL CALENDAR: June 13, 2019 will be last day of employment for 200 - day employees

TREASURER'S REPORT: Approval for Transfers and Increases in the Budget:

SECOND READING OF REVISED WETZEL COUNTY POLICIES: Approval of Second Reading of Revised Wetzel County Policy DFG - R: Income From School Sales and Fund Raising:

BOARD MEMBERS ATTENDANCE AND ACCEPTING CLASSES AT COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

Magnolia High School Thursday, May 30, 2019 8:00 p.m. All of the board members will be attending and Amy Cooley will be accepting the class.

Valley High School Friday, May 31, 2019 6:00 p.m. All of the board members will be attending and R. Jay Yeager will be accepting the class.

Paden City High School Saturday, June 1, 2019 11:00 a.m. All of the board members will be attending and Wetzel County Board of Education President Warren Lee Grace, Jr. will be accepting the class.

Hundred High School Saturday, June 1, 2019 3:00 p.m. All of the board members will be attending and Wetzel County Board of Education Vice President Bill Jones will be accepting the class.

BOARD DISCUSSION:

The board went into executive session to discuss consideration of pending dispute related to real property and potential resolution.

With the date and time of the next meeting being May 13 at 6:30 p.m., a motion was made and approved to adjourn the meeting.

 
 
 

 

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