STEUBENVILLE - The Jefferson County Governing Board for the Educational Service Center approved several personnel matters Friday and then said goodbye and good luck to Superintendent Joy Howell who is set to retire Wednesday.
"Serving you has been one of my greatest privileges in life. You were the solid rock behind me, and I will miss you all. You kept the focus on the students, teachers and administrators. This is bittersweet for me because I love what I do and I love the people I work with," Howell told the school board members.
"You have guided this ship very well. Thank you for your services," responded board President Ken Simeral.
Board member Barb Cunningham told Howell, "I have really admired you. You have been an inspiration to me and I will certainly miss you."
"You have been an exceptional administrator. I have never met a finer lady," said board member Bill Lollini.
Board Vice President Larry George called Howell, " a true friend."
"It has been a great pleasure to serve the community with you," added George.
And board member and former Edison Local High School teacher Bill Schaefer recalled when Howell served as principal of Stanton High School.
"You were the one administrator the teachers wanted to see. And when they didn't see you they were looking for you because they depended on you," Schaeffer said.
Howell will be replaced by George Ash who resigned earlier this year as superintendent in the Harrison Hills City School District.
During the meeting the board unanimously approved the hiring of Chuck Kokiko as a supervisor.
According to Simeral, Kokiko will be supervising the startup of the new Ohio Cyber Academy that will be operated in conjunction with the Virtual Learning Academy.
"Hopefully by this time next year we will see some major changes with the Ohio Cyber Academy under Chuck's direction," said Simeral.
In other business, the board:
Approved George to serve as the official delegate and Simeral as the alternative for the annual business meeting of the Ohio School Boards Association on Nov. 11.
Renewed an agreement with Software Answers for VLA Hosted Systems Support through June 30.
Ok'd participation in the 2014 OSBA Workers' Compensation Group rating program.
The board agreed to employee Linda Scarabino as an aide; Keith Eddy as an instructional technology coordinator; Jordan Byrley and Ethan Tice as interns; and John Alleman, Ed Kovacik and Clara Joyce as evaluators.
Beth Altieri was approved for assignment to the Buckeye Local School District, Edison Local School District and the Indian Creek Local School District for pre-school pupils with special needs.