Wood BOE recognizes Williamstown High School football team | News, Sports, Jobs

Leonard Bennett, HVAC Technician, received an award of recognition from Superintendent Christie Willis on Tuesday night. Bennett, along with others throughout the district, helped to maintain and clean up after pipes broke at different schools during the Christmas break. (Photo by Douglas Huxley)

WILLIAMSTOWN — The Wood County Schools Board of Education visited the home of the YellowJackets on Tuesday night when the board held its regular meeting in the Auditorium at Williamstown Middle/High School.

The board recognized the Williamstown High School football team for being the winners of the 2022 Class A State Football Championship. The YellowJackets beat James Monroe 52-20 to secure the title back in December.

“It is a great honor for them to come home victorious,” board member Ron Tice said during board comments.

The board also recognized a number of teachers and service personnel for going above and beyond for the safety and well-being of others.

“This has become my favorite thing to do,” Superintendent Christie Willis said. “To recognize our students and our staff for the wonderful things that they do.”

Members of the Williamstown Middle/High School football team were recognized by the Wood County Schools Board of Education Tuesday night for winning the 2022 Class A State Football Championship. (Photo by Douglas Huxley)

Willis said during Christmas break water pipes burst in a few schools and a large group of teachers and service personnel gathered together to fix, clean up and maintain the water so classes could start again on Jan. 3.

“Our employees are doing amazing things to make sure our students can learn and go to school,” Willis said.

A full list of those recognized can be found below.

The board held a special recognition for Adam Kinzy, Wood County Schools bus driver, for his outstanding valor and exemplary vigilance to keep an individual involved in a car accident safe. Willis said Kinzy witnessed an accident where a vehicle went over an embankment. Willis said Kinzy stopped his bus to help. She said the vehicle had come to rest on its roof and the passenger’s leg had gotten pinned between the steering wheel and the seat, and they couldn’t get out of the vehicle.

“They stayed there and held her up until the emergency team arrived,” Willis said. “That’s amazing.”

The board heard a presentation on National School Counseling Week by Cathy Grewe, Coordinator of assessments and student services, and Brian Sprague, Parkersburg High School counselor. They presented a video that highlights the many things councilors do for students every day including helping them with their social and emotional needs, their mental health and even their academics.

“There are 28 school counselors in Wood County Schools, and in my 17 years with Wood County, so many of them have just been such a resource,” Sprague said. “It is such an Honor for me to be a school counselor, to work for Wood County Schools, and to serve such tremendous students and their families.”

Board President Justin Raber read a Proclamation declaring Feb. 6-10 as National School Counseling Week.

“Thank you so much for all that you do,” Raber said.

The board also got an update on the Williamstown Middle/High School bleacher project from Mark Welch, construction engineer and project manager from Pickering Associates.

Welch said a lot of movement was noticed in the bleachers after the initial construction was done. They said the company contracted to install the bleachers, Stadium Solutions, was immediately contacted about those concerns. They said Stadium Solutions was very responsive and suggested adding braces to the stands. Welch said this didn’t fix the issue and more braces were suggested to be added.

“It became very evident that they weren’t going to be able to fix the stadium before football season,” Welch said.

Welch said a meeting took place with Stadium Solutions to hire a new structural engineer and they were given a few weeks to come up with a new plan to fix the bleachers. Welch said they came back with a suggestion to add additional columns into the track area, but that would have affected the track season.

“At that time, with Wood County Schools, we issued a letter to them requiring them to do a complete replacement of the bleacher system,” Welch said.

Welch said Stadium Solutions was very friendly, responded quickly and agreed there was a design flaw. They said they have a new time frame for the project.

“They are proposing that they start demolition sometime around February or March of this year,” Welch said. “And they would have the new bleacher system completely installed and operational sometime around June.”

During the consent agenda the board approved personal matters, financial transactions and out of state trips. The board also approved the creation of a part-time social worker for the Summit Success Academy, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Mountaineer Food Bank for a distribution drop site at Erickson All Sports Facility, the approval of NEOLA to assist in updating Board of Education policies (Wood County Schools would purchase services provided by NEOLA to assist in updating Board of Education policies), and they also approved a modification to the title of the vacant Administrative Support Co-op position at the Wood County Technical Center to CWST and Entrepreneurship.

Linda Wilson, president of the Wood County school service personnel association, spoke during public comments. She presented Willis with a certificate of appreciation for her work with service personnel in the county.

“Please hear me when I say Ms. Willis has far exceeded our expectations in bridging the gap between administration and service personnel in the short time she’s been in her position,” Wilson said. “We wish to show our gratitude for her patience, understanding and kindness she has shown to us. She should be commended for her loyalty and pride for Wood County Schools.”

Her sentiments were echoed by board members during board comments.

“I think her (Willis) being an example of recognizing the special people that we have work with us to make our school system the best goes a long way,” board member Judy Johnson said. “I look forward to seeing you continue to do this.”

“I’d like to recognize the culture that the superintendent is putting into place,” board member Sarah Townsend said. “The fact that you recognize the employees that came in over Christmas, did all that work, that’s great. I like the fact that recognition is an important part of your leadership.”

Board member Debbie Hendershot said she has friends in the bus garage who tell her how much Willis listens to them.

“I think that your leadership, and what you bring, and how you listen to people, that everybody that works for Wood County Schools appreciates that,” Hendershot said. “Because if you’re not listening, you’re not hearing.”

Raber said you can never tell when Willis is having a bad day.

“And that’s what inspires leadership,” Raber said. “She is trying to influence people to be the leaders that they are to make Wood County Schools that much better. … And I truly see that changing, and it’s changed a good bit in just six and a half months. I can’t be more proud of where we are.”

The next Wood County Board of Education meeting will be Feb. 14 at a location to be determined.

The following employees were recognized by the Wood County Board of Education for going above and beyond for the safety and well-being of others:

Franklin Elementary

Melody Smarr – Head Custodian

Brad Zoller – Custodian

Edison Middle School

Sheryl Miller – Custodian

Kristen Todd – Custodian

Dave Windland – Head Custodian

Tammy Koreski – Teacher

JT Nesselroad – Teacher

Dave Raffa – Teacher

Cody Ratliff – Teacher

Mike Rusk – Teacher

Officer Mike Bosley

Williamstown High School

Doug Miracle – Teacher

Chris Beck – Head Football Coach

Maintenance Department

Leonard Bennett – HVAC Technician

Christian Hemmingway – HVAC Technician

Ed Reed – HVAC Technician

Brian Townsend – HVAC Technician

Walt Townsend – HVAC Supervisor

Williamstown Fire Department

Fire Chief Joe Rut

Department of Transportation

Casey Smith – Bus Driver

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