Jackson BOE will accept letters of interest, resumes for vacant seat

Suzette Lowe
Special to the Jackson Herald

The Jackson County Board of Education is preparing to welcome a new member for the first time in several years.

After acknowledging the dedication and service former board member and president Bobbi Ferrell provided, approval was given to the method of replacing that position.

Letters of interest and resumes will be accepted until 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, at the board office or by mail. Those applying must be a resident of either the western or eastern magisterial district, must possess a high school diploma or GED, may not engage in political activities as outlined in West Virginia Code 18-5-1a and may not be a current employee of the Jackson County Board of Education.

The individual appointed by the board will serve through June 30, 2022, with the remainder of the unexpired term to be filled based on the May 2022 primary election. The winner of that election will serve from July 1, 2022-June 30, 2024.

While this vacancy will be filled at the May 20 board meeting, another loss to the school system may take longer.

Assistant superintendent of non-educational non-instructional services, Dr. Keith Burdette, submitted his resignation effective July 1. Burdette has accepted the position of superintendent of Mason County Schools.

Board member Steve Chancey praised the contributions of Burdette.

“I’ve worked with several people in your position,” he said. “Your knowledge of facilities and the ability to get so much accomplished is phenomenal. I’ve never worked with anyone better.”

Superintendent of Schools Blaine Hess acknowledged his assistant superintendent’s work.

“I have appreciated his wise counsel and his leadership,” Hess said. “When I heard that he had applied to Mason County, I knew they couldn’t find a better candidate, so I was not surprised at all that he was hired.”

Burdette, whose job focuses, in large part, on facilities, will still have an opportunity to see some improvements before he leaves.

The board approved a lengthy designated project list for the 2020-2021 term. Some of these projects may be completed quickly while some must go out for bid. The amount approved to cover all the improvements is $1,563,685. The complete list can be found on the board’s website.

Steve Hunt, who retired with 31 years of service, was recognized by Superintendent Hess and Board President Jim Frazier.

The retirement of Steve Hunt, homebound instructor, was recognized. Hunt retired with 31 years of service on Feb. 8.

Ending the meeting as he started, new board president Jim Frazier expressed his appreciation for the confidence his fellow board members had placed in him.

“I’m honored to be part of this school board,” Frazier said. “I was once part of accreditation teams that visited many county systems. It was eye-opening and made me realize how far advanced we are. Jackson County is held in high esteem in the educational world and that is due to the job our staffs have done.”

In other business, board members Dan Barnette, Ben Mize, Frazier and Chancey:

  • Approved contracts with Asphalt Contractors and Site Work for paving, repair, sealing and striping projects at Kenna and Fairplain Elementary, Ravenswood High and Ravenswood Grade for $113,125 and West Virginia Paving Inc in the amount of $99,000 for the same projects at Gilmore and Evans Elementary.
  • Approved an out-of-state trip for Ravenwood Middle School eighth-graders to the Columbus Zoo on April 26.
  • Received the 2021-2022 budget for review with vote to be taken at the May 5 meeting; details of the budget can be found on the board’s website.


Retirements: Kimberly Long, math teacher, Ravenswood Middle; and Mary Coulter, paraprofessional, Ripley High. Both effective July 1.

Resignations: Angela Curfman, speech-language pathologist, Gilmore; Tammy Reed, half-time cook III, Ravenswood Middle; Jesse Hunt and Gregory Harrison, custodians summer maintenance; Randy Boyce, substitute custodian, K summer maintenance; Mildred Williams, summer meal program; William Smithson, assistant football coach, and Jordan Haines, assistant soccer coach, both Ravenswood Middle; and Keith R. Burdette, assistant superintendent.

Reduction-in-force/transfer: Molly Speece from kindergarten, Gilmore, to second grade, Ripley Elementary; and Sheri Pursley from Title I teacher half-time, Ravenswood Grade and Gilmore, to Title I teacher half-time, Ravenswood Grade.

Transfer/subsequent assignment: Dreama Pursley, paraprofessional, Kenna; Amanda Rawson, paraprofessional, HJK; Sandra Vidrine, paraprofessional/braille and sign language specialist, Ripley High; and Michael Smith, custodian III, HJK/Gilmore

Employments: Kevin McClung, after school tutoring/detention, Ripley Middle; and Nichol Vanscoy Adams, Erica Hupp and Jameson McHugh, substitutes.

Other: Kay E. Roush-Smith, art teacher, Ripley High, intermittent medical leave, remainder of school term; and Kristabelle Collins, teacher, Kenna Elementary, family medical leave.

Additional summer positions and postings may be found at www.boe.jack.k12.wv.us.

Prior to the regular meeting, the board had a special meeting to approve the levy rates for the 2021-2022 levy order.

The next meeting will be Thursday, May 6, at 7 p.m. at the central office.