Board of Ed. hires new superintendent, discusses summer school

By Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham - [email protected]

POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Board of Education met this week and voted to hire a new superintendent.

During the meeting, all board members, including Dale Shobe, Rhonda Tennant, Jared Billings, Meagan Bonecutter and Ashley Cossin, were in attendance.

The board entered an executive session to discuss the superintendent position. The board returned from the session, reporting it began the process with 17 applicants and narrowed the list to eight. On Tuesday evening, the board approved a motion to hire Keith Burdette as the incoming Mason County Schools Superintendent.

More information on Burdette in an upcoming edition.

Also on this week’s agenda, academic progress and summer school.

The board heard a report from Kenny Bond, curriculum director, about the newest academic progress report. Bond said the failure rates are decreasing for students in both the virtual and blended learning platforms.

There are currently 616 total virtual students in Mason County, which Bond said is down more than 50 percent since the beginning of the year. In the virtual platform, 39.9 percent of students are failing at least one subject. In the in-person, blended platform, 29.3 percent of students are failing at least one subject.

Bond also discussed summer school with the board. As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 136 students registered, 76 of those students registered for one session and 60 registered for both morning and afternoon sessions. Bond said there are not many high school students registered, but high school principals are talking to parents about the summer school program.

During the meeting, the board heard from an employee asking for compensation for all employees who assisted with the meal delivery to students last spring and summer. The employee said those employees were considered “volunteers,” but also were considered “essential employees” under the governor’s stay-at-home order. The individual asked that all employees who assisted in the meal delivery to be compensated six days, which could be taken on Fridays when students are not in attendance at the school. Supt. Jack Cullen said he would talk with the district’s attorney to see if this was legally an option.

The board approved the lowest submitted base bid to replace the front half of the roof at the central office for $458,500.

In his report to the board, Supt. Cullen said the state superintendent will be visiting some schools in Mason County at the end of the month.

Cullen said graduation plans are being created and will need to be approved by the county health department.

Billings said trees on school property at the old Central School in Point Pleasant are hanging over the sidewalk, violating a city ordinance. Billings said the trees need to be trimmed and the city will do that with permission. Billings also said at the old central school there are reported issues with homeless people staying in the area.

The board entered an executive session for an addendum to the agenda to accept to resignation of John Fields, math teacher at Point Pleasant Jr/Sr High, effective April 13. The board returned from the executive session and approved the resignation.

The Mason County Board of Education will meet on April 20 for a special superintendent position meeting and a reconvened special statutory business meeting.

All votes were unanimous unless otherwise noted.

© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

By Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham

[email protected]

Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.

Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.