Jayenne and East Dale schools were honored at the Marion County Board of Education meeting Monday for being named West Virginia Schools of Excellence.

“This is not an easy honor to win,” Superintendent James Phares said as he introduced principals Diane Burnside and Tina Peterman, from East Dale and Jayenne respectively. “There’s an application process, plus an onsite review. You cannot do it without 100 percent dedication of all the staff members. You can’t do it without the students performing in a manner that exemplifies a school of excellence.”

Phares said that parent involvement and parent support of the schools are also key factors in winning the title. This year, only 21 schools in the state were named Schools of Excellence.

Also at the meeting, the board honored teacher Rachel Fletcher, who is Marion County’s Teacher of the Year. She competed recently in Charleston against teachers from other counties for the title of West Virginia Teacher of the Year. The board awarded her $500 for classroom supplies.

Board member the Rev. James Saunders asked the superintendent to look into school supply pricing. The board approved a new contract for supplies with Kurtz Bros. Under the new terms, the board was under the impression that the supplies would be cheaper. However, in a letter he received from Fairview Elementary, Saunders said it looks like the county might be paying more for school supplies.

Though the letter was addressed to Phares, he said he had not received a copy, nor had any of the other board members. The board delayed voting on school supply budgets until the prices could be investigated.

The board also voted to purchase property across from the current bus garage at 400 Seventh St. in Fairmont for $30,000. The property will be used to park buses.

“It has a building that is suitable for us to take the newer buses that are higher into in order to do our oil changes. We did an analysis to see what it would cost to put a new building into our existing property. ... It would probably cost $100,000. That’s a very conservative estimate,” Phares told the board.

Also, in a host of personnel recommendations, the board approved placing David Nuzum as East Fairmont’s new principal. Nuzum, currently the principal at East Fairmont Junior High, will replace retiring principal Tom Dragich.

The board also approved hiring Rivesille’s principal, Frank Moore, as the new activities/athletic/facilities director in the central office. Moore will fill a role previously held by several employees. The board voted to eliminate those positions during reduction-in-force hearings earlier in the spring.

The board’s next meeting will be a joint meeting with the Marion County Commission at 6 p.m., Monday, June 19, at the Central Office.

E-mail Justin McLaughlin at jmclaughlin@timeswv.com.

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