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Harrison Board of Ed takes personnel actions

by Shawn Gainer

STAFF WRITER

The Harrison County Board of Education took several personnel actions, tabled a motion to request a second auction of Hartman Elementary School and received a yearly report on the county teen parent program at a meeting Tuesday night.

The first auction for the Hartman Elementary building was conducted about three months ago. The board had set a minimum bid of $50,000, but the only bid received was $30,000 from Emmanuel Baptist Church in North View, said board member D.D. Meighen.

After a presentation by Vic Gabriel, director of facilities and transportation services, members voted to table the auction request until they tour the building. Gabriel said the building is in good condition, but added it has historically been difficult to get a good price for school buildings.

"The building is in excellent condition," Gabriel said. "It hasn't been used for a couple of years, but we've kept minimum heating. The last time I was in it, there were a couple of broken windows in the back, but basically, it's a pretty sound structure."

In a presentation before the board, Teen Parent Resource teacher Cindy Fazzini reported the teen parent program continues to be successful. According to a report compiled by Fazzini, 90 percent of the 61 teen-age mothers in Harrison County schools stayed in school during the 1998-1999 academic year. Fazzini also stated in the report that nationally, only 40 percent of teenage mothers stay in school until graduation.

"We've had fewer and fewer girls in the program," Fazzini said. "It's good for the county. Fewer girls are getting pregnant, and the dropout rate has declined to 10 percent from 30 percent in the early years of the program.

"It's possible to help fewer girls more intensely."

The board approved hiring 12 elementary teachers. Also, the board approved hiring Mark Clayton, assistant football coach at Robert C. Byrd High School, as head football coach at Liberty High School.

Before board members retired to executive session to discuss personnel matters, RCB head football Richard Iaquinta asked them to consider an interim assistant coach for Clayton's transition, as well as another assistant coach.

"I need another assistant coach to be competitive at the AAA level," Iaquinta said. "Whether we like it or not, our athletic programs are judged by whether we win or lose. We have the fewest coaches of any AAA school."

Board members seemed receptive to Iaquinta's request.

"We think his proposal merits consideration," Meighen said after the meeting. "We want excellence in our athletic programs as well as our academic programs."

Staff writer Shawn Gainer can be reached at 626-1442.

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