KINGWOOD, W.Va. — The Preston County Board of Education approved the creation of three new teaching positions this week, two to be paid from levy funds.

And board members, cognizant of public demands for accountability, asked for a list of how levy money will be spent.

Preston voters approved a five-year, $4.5 million annual levy in February.

The board approved a countywide virtual academic coach position and an alternative education teacher, both to be paid totally by the levy. An agriculture education/special education position, to expand the agriculture education program, will be paid by a combination of state and local funds.

Board Member Bob Ridenour said that, “We would like to see as soon as possible a list of [levy funded] projects, prioritized by year or however we’re going to approach that.”

Especially for the 2019-2020 school year, Board Member Robert “Mac” McCrum added, and probably before July 1.

“I think its something the public needs to see so that they can see how the money’s being spent,” Ridenour said.

In other levy related discussions, Assistant Superintendent Brad Martin said Preston has submitted a funding request to the State School Board Authority (SBA) to make entries more secure at Preston High and Kingwood Elementary, and to upgrade HVAC at West Preston and Kingwood.

The request notes the projects can be partially paid for with levy funds.

“It’s hoped by being able to come to the SBA with some potential funds that it will be looked favorably upon,” Martin said.

The board also:

voted 3-0-2 to follow the superintendent’s recommendation to suspend an employee without pay. The employee was not named. Board Members Pam Feathers, Jack Keim and Ridenour voted for the action.

McCrum and Jeff Zigray abstained. McCrum said after the meeting he did not have enough information to make a decision. Zigray had no comment at this time. Superintendent Steve Wotring was not at Monday’s meeting.

heard from parents who want to enroll their preschooler in Taylor County. Both work outside Preston County. They were unaware of the Jan. 15 deadline to apply for transfer because the date to enroll the child came after that.

The board was sympathetic to the request and told the couple to complete paperwork requesting the transfer and the superintendent could check the policy to see if the date could be waived.

Story by Kathy Plum, Dominion Post