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Cabell BOE may fire Meadows principal Tuesday

By BISHOP NASH The Herald-Dispatch bnash@heralddispatch.comMay 20, 2019

HUNTINGTON — Meadows Elementary School principal Connie Mize’s apparent termination is up for a vote during the Cabell County Board of Education’s regular meeting Tuesday night at the district’s central office in Huntington.

Mize has been on paid suspension since Jan. 17 following a Jan. 16 incident in which a man who was being pursued by police was allowed into the school during class hours. He left and was arrested nearby, prompting the school to go into lockdown mode.

In February, Meadows’ Parent-Teacher Organization submitted a no-confidence petition to the board critical of Mize’s leadership. The board has made no official statement on Mize specifically, but did ratify Mize’s suspension that month.

While Mize is not explicitly named in the board’s May 21 agenda — which identifies only a professional employee suspended with pay beginning Jan. 17. Mize is the only professional employee the board suspended that particular date this year.

If approved, the board will extend the suspension with pay through May 8, followed by an unpaid suspension from May 9 through May 21. Termination is to be effective May 22.

In other business, the board may vote to extend the Personal Leave Incentive Program, which was piloted during the 2018-2019 year, to the next school year.

The program financially rewards all professional and service personnel for each unused personal leave day accrued during the school year.

Eligible employees are awarded $75 per unused day and can earn up to $1,125 each year for a maximum 15 unused days. At a minimum, eligible employees will earn $750 annually through the program.

Superintendent of Schools Ryan Saxe said has touted the program as a creative way to develop more competitive pay for district employees without assuming long-term financial risk.

The program incentivizes regular employees remaining on the job for as many days as possible, which becomes a cost-saving measure considering the cost of hiring substitutes.

The daily cost for a substitute teacher in Cabell County is $148.19 if the substitute has a bachelor’s degree or as much as $169.79 per day if the substitute has a master’s degree.

In operations matters, six different building projects are up for board approval:

• new addition to Martha Elementary School, valued at $876,600 through bond surplus and local funds, awarded to Swope Construction.

• “mantrap” entrance for Altizer Elementary School, valued at $219,999 through School Building Authorities and local funds, awarded to Danhill Construction.

• partial roof replacement at Culloden, Milton and Ona elementary schools and the Milton Pre-K, valued at $385,100 through the Permanent Improvement fund, awarded to PAR Roofing.

• carpet replacement countywide, valued at $120,000 through the Permanent Improvement fund, awarded to Fabric Town.

• installation of an emergency generator receptacle at Davis Creek Elementary, valued at $3,404.65 through the Permanent Improvement fund, awarded to C.J. Hughes Construction.

• grant of easement to the Culloden Public Service District to allow access to Culloden Elementary School to complete a sanitary sewer project.

The Cabell County Board of Education meets every first and third Tuesday of each month. Meetings are always open to the public.

Follow reporter Bishop Nash on Twitter at @BIshopNash.

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