Board to vote on middle school name

FRONT ROYAL — The Warren County School Board heard preliminary results of a survey from residents on potential names for a new middle school this week.

The school, planned for completion by the fall of 2017, will serve students in the eastern part of the county and progress students to Warren County High School.

A majority of county residents who responded to the School Board’s survey would support either naming the new school Happy Creek Middle School or changing the name of the existing middle school to Skyline Middle School, allowing the new school to be named Warren County Middle School.

Should the School Board vote to approve the second option, students in the eastern part of the county will attend the new Warren County Middle and Warren County High, while students in western Warren attend the renamed Skyline Middle and Skyline High.

Of 1,983 respondents, 1,444, or 73 percent, voted to change the name of the current Warren County Middle, should the School Board choose that option.

In a second option, 47 percent of respondents have so far voted for the new school to be named Happy Creek Middle School, over other choices of Mountain View, Twin Rivers and Royal Oak.

The board plans to consider its options at the next board meeting, at 5 p.m. June 25. At that meeting, the board also plans to close out its budget for the 2015 fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Thursday’s meeting was the last televised one Superintendent Pamela McInnis will attend before retiring later this month, and members of the board, school division and community recognized her nearly 40 years with the school system, 14 as superintendent, wishing her well in her retirement.

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Greg Drescher will succeed her as superintendent beginning July 1.

Said McInnis, “Probably the saddest part for me is going to be when I hand those keys to Greg as I leave.”

“It has been my honor to serve as your superintendent,” she said.

The district also announced personnel changes, including the appointment of Randa Vernazza as assistant principal of Warren County High School, replacing Robert Johnston.

Johnston will replace Edward “Alan” Fox as principal of Warren County Middle School, and Fox will be director of secondary instruction.

Lisa Rudacille, director of professional development for pre-school, has been named director of elementary instruction.

Meeting actions included awarding a $17,213 contract for online learning software and other service contracts that include new vendors for elevator service, dumpster service, pest control, LP gas and security monitoring. The board approved the February Virginia School Board Association policy updates and the donation of a used 2005 Ford 500 to the Warren County Parks and Recreation Department.

The board also awarded a contract of no more than $60,000 for the purchase of used replacement vehicles from G&M Auto Sales. The vehicles will be a truck for the transportation department’s shop foreman and two fleet cars.

Sodexo presented a check for $6,500 to the district’s Backpack Buddies grant that supplies children with weekend food each summer, and $142 that area children collected for the program.

Skyline High School English teacher Richard Follett announced the school’s recently formed Parent-Teacher-Student organization has raised two $100 scholarships for graduating seniors to be given each year for the next five years.

The next regular meeting will be at 5 p.m. June 25 at 210 N. Commerce Ave., Front Royal.

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com