Board swears in president, vice president

T-L Photo/RICK THORP Michael “Chops” Jacob, left, is sworn in as president of the St. Clairsville-Richland City Schools Board of Education by district Treasurer Amy Porter during the board’s organizational meeting Tuesday morning.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Michael Jacob and Michael Fador were sworn in as president and vice president, respectively, of the St. Clairsville-Richland City Board of Education during the organization’s first meeting of the year Tuesday.

The duo held similar roles last year.

Board members conducted an organizational meeting prior to the regular board meeting, both taking place during National School Board Appreciation Month. In recognition of the occasion, Superintendent Walt Skaggs presented each board member — Jacob, Fador, Bill Zanders, Pam Jones and Jim Cook –with a certificate honoring their efforts.

“We are blessed to have you, and we appreciate what you do,” Skaggs said.

Skaggs also had heartfelt feelings for another longtime employee — Kelly Rine — who will retire, effective June 28. The board accepted Rine’s retirement as athletic director Tuesday, and Skaggs choked back emotions as he lauded his longtime counterpart in the St. Clairsville administration. He said Rine wanted to announce his retirement at this time in order to begin the process of grooming a successor.

The board also hired Rob Gallentine as head softball coach and approved Cynthia Ross and Kyle Shepherd as certified substitutes for the current school year.

In his remarks to the board, Skaggs spoke of the success of Eric Trio’s Music Maker winter performance. He also said Trio raised $2,600 for the purchase of bass xylophones through the Donors Choose program.

Skaggs also passed out plaudits to Nate Palmer, Andrew Vera and Rileigh Wood, winners of the local portion of the national Patriot’s Pen essay contest. Wood’s essay, sponsored locally by St. Clairsville VFW Post 5356, won first place in the district, while Vera’s won second. Wood advanced to state competition.

A rusted conduit in an elevator shaft was replaced over the winter break, Skaggs told the board. He also said a light pole behind the elementary building broke. The city will replace the pole and check others, Skaggs said.

During the public portion of the meeting, the board heard from St. Clairsville resident Larry Elliott. A former superintendent of Switzerland of Ohio Local School District, Elliott spoke about his approval of the district’s desire to improve its facilities and passed along ideas he thought might better endear the district with voters. One suggestion was to conduct board meetings at a time in the afternoon when more members of the public might be able to attend. Prior to his remarks, the board had discussed moving some future meetings to 5 p.m. instead of the traditional 7 a.m. start.

The following donations were accepted during December: Your Cause (Principal Fund, $100: Mr. & Mrs. Troy Balgo (high school vocal music, $9,022); American Legion Post 159 (St. Clairsville Band, $750); Red Devil Club (athletic department, $4,300); Jenkins Sporting Goods (middle school art fund, $2,644); Bellaire Harbor Service LLC (athletic department wrestling bags, $1,500); The Saints Club (athletic department, $7,500).