FRONT ROYAL – Warren County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Melody Sheppard was named the interim superintendent during the Warren County School Board work session on Wednesday.
Sheppard will assume the role Jan. 1 and will lead the division until a new superintendent is hired.
“I’d like to thank the board for their continued support and for everything that they do,” Sheppard said.
Sheppard has already assumed many of the daily superintendent duties since the board put Superintendent Greg Drescher on paid administrative leave at the end of September. Drescher is set to retire from the position in January.
The board placed Drescher on leave a week after he was indicted on two misdemeanor counts of misfeasance and one count of nonfeasance by a special grand jury investigating potential criminal activity involving the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority. Drescher, who previously served as the EDA board chairman, was among 14 people indicted on the same charges.
Sheppard announced during Wednesday's meeting that George Smith, the division's director of personnel, and Greg Livesay, the director of maintenance, will be assuming some additional responsibilities until a new superintendent is hired.
Livesay will oversee custodial services, coordinate the A.S. Rhodes Elementary School renovations, and be the contact person for school grounds maintenance. Smith will oversee the transportation department and will be the contact person if Sheppard is out of the office.
The School Board discussed moving forward with the superintendent search. Robert Ballentine, the division's director of finance, recommended that the board have a consulting board to assist in the search process to be selected by the end of December. Ballentine presented a preliminary timeline for the search process, which is expected to run from January to May and will include interviews with potential candidates and a public input session.
Sheppard provided an update on the A.S. Rhodes Elementary School renovations on Wednesday. She said that the district had received a bid from Lantz Construction in Winchester at the end of September. The base bid for the project is $3,388,800, which includes a new floor for the school, relocation of the office to the front of the building, and upgrading restrooms to be ADA compliant. The district has $3.5 million for the renovations.
Sheppard said that the base bid did not include replacing the school’s flat roof, installing the casework and sinks in the classrooms, or the HVAC units.
“The funding needed for the entire project would be $5 million,” she said. “We currently have the money to complete the part of the project included in the base bid.”
Lantz Construction was the only firm to submit a bid for the project in June, which was $6,591,000. The high bid was due to the requested work schedule of nights and weekends so the construction work did not disrupt instruction time.
The renovations at A.S. Rhodes Elementary are scheduled to begin in November, with the project expected to be completed by July 10.