Warren schools to split welding position

FRONT ROYAL – One of two instructional positions still vacant in Warren County Public Schools will become a shared position with Page County schools this coming school year.

The School Board unanimously approved making a part-time welding position for Blue Ridge Technical Center into a full-time position at its July meeting. The part-time position has been vacant since fall 2015 and hard to fill, according to Buck Smith, director of personnel.

“It’s really difficult to compete with the private sector and those type of things with welding,” he said.

Upon discovering that Page County Public Schools was in a similar situation, Smith said he discussed splitting the position with the human resources director there. Smith said Warren County would hire the person and Page would reimburse half the cost. The teacher would work for one semester per year at each district.

Smith said the Warren school division has considered several potential hirees for the split position. Assistant Superintendent for Administration Melody Sheppard said the welding classes have been popular, sometimes at capacity.

School Board member Douglas Rosen remarked on the hiring solution.

“I think we need to be as creative as we can, so here’s an opportunity,” he said.

The other vacant position is that of a Warren County High School math teacher. Smith said the personnel department has looked to advertise that position in West Virginia and online search engines.

At the July meeting, the School Board also selected James Wells to continue as a delegate for Virginia School Board Association’s November assembly. Arnold Williams Jr. was chosen as alternate.

The School Board unanimously approved the third and final reading of 2016 Virginia School Board Association policy updates.

Rosen remarked on the progress of various construction and improvement projects during his report, relaying that the new middle school is “moving along very well” at a 36 percent completion rate.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com