Van Devender, Waverly members urge Wood County BOE to find other options to closure

PARKERSBURG, West Virginia (WTAP) - Members of Van Devender and Waverly schools voiced opposition to possible closures at the Wood County Board of Education meeting Thursday.

Superintendent William Hosaflook began the meeting by recognizing three students from Williamstown High School for qualifying for the national Future Business Leaders of America competition, being held in San Antonio, Texas this weekend.

After hearing minor updates to several construction projects in the district, several members of the public offered comments about the proposed consolidation...in particular the targeting of Van Devender and Waverly schools.

"Families living in rural and outlying areas are just as important as any group of people," Waverly Elementary member Sharon Corbit said, "one group should not be put above another just because of where they live."

"You are setting them up for academic failure," incoming teacher at Van Devender Betsy Utt said, "by moving them, three quarters of them, to a school that is going to increase the discrepancy between the haves and the have-nots."

"You will not regret not closing Vandy," Van Devender teacher Katrina Strohl said, "but if you close it it will be the gravest mistake you ever made."

Board members have said consolidation plans are in the works but no decisions have been made on what schools will be affected.