Bea Isner appointed to fill vacant BOE seat

Suzette Lowe

For the first time in several years, a new person will be occupying a position on the Jackson Board of Education.

At its May 20 meeting, following a 15-minute closed door executive session, board members Jim Frazier, Ben Mize, Steve Chancey and Dan Barnette appointed Bea Isner to fill the position vacated by former board president Bobbi Ferrell.

“We were very fortunate to have so many qualified applicants,” said Frazier, president of the board. “It truly was a difficult task, but we ultimately went with what we thought was best for our school system. Bea Isner will be an excellent addition to the board.”

Bea Isner will serve on the board until June 30, 2022.

Isner earned a bachelor’s degree in business education from Glenville State College and a master’s degree in school counseling from Marshall University. After spending most of her career as school counselor at Ripley High, she retired in 2016.

When contacted after the meeting, Isner said, “I am honored to be selected and look forward to supporting Jackson County schools as the newest board member.”

Isner will serve until 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.

Superintendent Blaine Hess said that summer school enrollment for elementary students has reached almost 300 students, while the number of middle school and high school students is unsure at this point.

Summer school hours for all students will be 8 a.m.-3 p.m. For elementary students, programs include core subjects of reading language arts and math, with enrichment activities in physical education, the arts and STEM activities. For middle school, the focus will be in academic recovery which will help students gain any ground lost in the past school year. High school students will address academic recovery and ACT or SAT preparation, with instruction also in the areas of English language arts and math. At every level, support will be offered to students with special needs.

Jackson County schools is slated to receive approximately $11.5 million dollars from the American Recovery Act funding.

Hess said these funds, which will be available through September 2024, have many stipulations and guidelines.

“We will be working with the West Virginia Department of Education to show how we propose to use the money,” Hess said. “I hope to have a report to the board in future meetings.”

Two people were honored at the board meeting.

Superintendent Blaine Hess and board president Jim Frazier honor Terry Willson’s retirement with 23 years as a paraprofessional and aide IV.

Terry Willson, a paraprofessional and aide IV at Henry J. Kaiser, retired on March 1 with 23 years of service. Ravenswood High School 10th-grader Alex Nichols was presented to the board for being recognized by the West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts for Voice and Music.

Superintendent Hess and board president Frazier present 10th-grader Alex Nichols a certificate for his recognition by the Governor’s School for the Arts.

In other business, board members:

  • Had second reading of revised policy 2370.01 regarding changes to virtual school with a final vote being taken at the June 3 board meeting.
  • Approved out-of-state trips for Ripley High School Simulated Workplace to Viking Tails N Scales in Columbus on June 23 and Ripley High School to Orlando, Fla., in March 2022.


Retirement: Phyllis Chancey, director of attendance, effective Aug. 1.

Resignation: Emily Crites, second-grade teacher, Fairplain Elementary.

Transfers: Jennifer Fields, from itinerant special education teacher, Ravenswood Grad, to special education multi-categorical with autism, Gilmore and Ripley Elementary; Jeff Casto, from bus operator Route #26 to Route #34, Richard Galloway, from bus operator Route #10 to Route #50, Michael Smith to custodian III, Gilmore Elementary; Draina Eagle, cook III, Ravenswood Grade, to cook III, Ravenswood Middle; Sharon Carroll, assistant principal to principal, Ravenswood Middle; Kayla Bargerstock, from sixth grade, Ravenswood Middle, to fourth grade, Cottageville;

Also, Alyssia Ruben, from second grade, Ripley Elemetnary, to kindergarten, Evans; April Goff Smithson, special education teacher to first grade, Evans; Kirsty Hatcher, from kindergarten, Kenna, to second grade, Evans; Jennifer Doss, from third grade, Fairplain, to fifth grade, Evans; Molly Speece, from second grade to kindergarten, Ripley Elementary; Gwendolyn Richards, from first grade, Fairplain, to third grade, Ripley Elementary; Mary E. Hunt, from itinerant art to math teacher, Ravenswood Middle; Dreama Pursley, from transfer list to paraprofessional aide, Evans; Amanda Rawson, from transfer list to paraprofessional aide, HJK; and Sandra Vidrine, from transfer list to special education paraprofessional aide, Kenna.

Employments: Doug Bashaw, bus operator, route #13; Beverly Fields, custodian IV, Ripley Elementary; Rebecca Allen, first grade, Fairplain; Danielle Fish, third grade, Fairplain; Kyra Goff and Haley Taylor, first grade, Ripley Elementary; Timothy Young, fourth grade, Ripley Elementary; and Alisha Jack, special education, Ripley Middle.

Other: Melissia Runion, cook III, half-time, Ripley Elementary, intermittent family medical leave of absence.

Additional personnel items can be found at

The next meeting of the board will be on Thursday, June 3, at 7 p.m. at the central office.