Webster County residents met Friday at Bakers Island Park in Webster Springs to discuss the Webster County School Board of Education.
Specifically the removal of Superintendent Doctor Martha Dean. Residents said that they are not giving up, and they said that they do not want Dean back as school superintendent next year. They do not want her renewed contract to take effect.
The community said there are many problems such as school employees being shorted on pay in the amounts around $15,000. They also said that amount has to be paid to that employee immediately.
“We do not want her here. She’s done nothing but close our schools. She’s cost our schools money, our county money. Next year she will be retiring and moving back to Braxton County, so she doesn't care, she has no stakes in our county at all,” said Linda Cochran, Webster County resident.
Residents said with all the changes they are afraid that if the school board becomes bankrupt, the state could take over Webster County Schools and they locally would have no control.
“They have created a volleyball team this year that they've hired a coach for. They will have to have equipment for that, but yet they could not financially keep another school open. They cannot financially give a bus to preschool through sixth grade to take them that will be closer the Hacker Valley School. They cannot financially give them a bus to send those kids over there, they have to come over here(Webster Springs Elementary), which is a lot further for them,” Cochran said.
Residents also expressed giving Dean a $6,000 raise, and doing a remodel of Webster County High School's wing to house Glade and Diana Middle School which is making a big impact on the school boards budget.
“So if you cannot financially do this stuff for the kids then you should not be giving raises, you should not be creating new teams, you should not be hiring coaches for a golf team that they’re going the have to bus or transport to Richwood, because that’s the only golf course around, pay for that golf course. There’s no income coming in now because no one is going to pay to go see it. The volleyball team is going to be out, there will be no money coming in for at least a couple years until you've got kids that are really starting to play and do good, and parents and people are going to start to pay to go see them. There’s not going to be any income coming in for those two sports it’s all going to be going out. So if you cant afford to do this for these children then you should not be doing all this extra,” Cochran said.
Many people said they’re frustrated that the board cannot keep Diana and Glade Middle, and Diana Elementary Schools open.
The group would like more input from more residents, and want to see more in attendance at their meeting that will be on Bakers Island on June 23rd at 7:30 p.m.