The Free Press WV

There has been considerable angst in the County because of proposed riffs and transfers of school system employees by the Superintendent and Personnel Director.

It is understood that ten employees were on a riff list and ten were slated for transfers.

At a special meeting at 4:00 PM, Monday evening, April 24, 2017, the Gilmer County Board Of Education refused to approve any riffs and transfers, and jobs believed to have been lost were restored.

Members of the school board made it evident that with full authority restored they will watch out for the County’s children and school system employees too.

Thank you GCBOE members.

You gave a highly-needed morale boost to employees after all we have suffered through during the long years of the State’s intervention.

It is a proven fact that high morale is one of the most important ingredients for having high performance schools, and that is what the County’s children deserve.

Employees at all levels will continue to look to the GCBOE to set exemplary leadership standards as demonstrated at the special meeting.

With all of us working together as a dedicated team, from the GCBOE on down, Gilmer County can be a trend setter to have one of the best school systems in WV.

~~  An Observer in the Meeting (Identity on File)  ~~

I like to thank all the board members for keeping our job. I could not believe that Mr. DeVano had the guts to get the teachers in a circle telling us that he had saved our positions.

Comment by Thankful  on  04.25.2017

He must think the people are dumb. HE was the one recommending the riffs and transfers.

Comment by Jimmy D.  on  04.25.2017

A game changer is about to happen.  New blood as Superintendent, backed by our elected board members, who are our friends and neighbors, and have the best interest of students, staff, and community in their heart.

Yes, our elected board members will correct six years of intervention.  They will need some time to access and repair issues, but they will do their job.

Many of us have faith that issues like this will be dealt with in a fair and professional manner.

Comment by 67 days = no Devano  on  04.25.2017

All I can say their hidden agenda did not work. Now he has to answer the ones they were catering to.

Comment by Ed Watcher  on  04.25.2017

Gabe Devono was ready to stab the employees on his personally hand picked RIFF and transfer list in the back. That was all too clear. 
Then when he gets in a Board meeting and sees he won’t get his way he flips.  Trying to tell the ones he was fine with hurting that he was really on their side all along. Who on earth would be fool enough to fall for that?
The Devono script has always read he’ll do what he pleases when he pleases and if you don’t agree with him you don’t matter to him.
This time, it didn’t happen. Thank heaven Charleston BOE had the good sense to give back control.  Professionals and Service personnel alike have reason to feel their hard work is appreciated.

Comment by Come On June 30  on  04.25.2017

There is no “look” or “appearance” that gives absolutely any indication of a person’s sense of ethics or morality or ability for service above self. That’s on the inside and your super is not a good judge of character not having any himself.
Neither, it would seem, do the yes Gabe” puppets he travels with. We know the names.

Comment by Wave By By  on  04.26.2017

Had nerve to tell employees that night they owed him 50 dollars for saving their jobs.

Comment by LOL Not  on  04.26.2017

It will be a good day when this county has a superintendent of schools who understands how to work with people using a non threatening method of communication which only keeps people upset and nonproductive.

Comment by C Dillburton  on  04.26.2017

Findings and Recommendations of WV OEPA


“The Team conducted an interview with the state appointed superintendent. The superintendent opposed the ending of the state control, stating that the board remained dysfunctional, politicized, and incapable of functioning as a local board. He stated more time was needed for the treasurer and personnel staff to acclimate to their job responsibilities”

So much for what Superintendent Devono REALLY thinks about Gilmer County’s chosen representatives. Always said he didn’t need a Board.???

Comment by GILMER DOES ATTITUDE  on  04.27.2017

Tells exactly what the man is…pretty much in his own words !

He apparently has been doing his best to keep control away from your local board the entire time Gilmer County has been shackled with him.

What a choice the Manchin Clan and their minions made for Gilmer’s citizens!

His one and only concern appears to be none other than Gabe Devano?

His water carrying crew should clearly understand they were being coddled along only for the benefit of old Gabe.  They were ‘had’.

Comment by OEPA SAYS IT ALL  on  04.28.2017

That board he didn’t need sure saved a lot of much needed jobs in Gilmer County.

Comment by Much Appreciated  on  04.28.2017

Financial information has been kept highly secret from the GCBOE. It is easy to detect that when important questions are asked at school board meetings and they go unanswered.

More often than not those who have asked questions have been attacked for trying to do their jobs to watch out for the County’s children.

Come July 1 the first order of business should be to have an independent investigative accounting done for all funds spent during the past six years on everything related to facilities and no-bid purchases of goods and services too.

Comment by July 1  on  04.29.2017

Another year for the GCBOE treasurer and personnel staff to need to be able to do their jobs?

What happened to the free market concept of always hiring job ready individuals?

How much do the GCBOE treasurer and personnel staff get paid?

Don’t they get more than 60K per year counting generous benefits most of us don’t have?

Comment by RECENT OEPA AUDIT  on  04.29.2017


Buy out Superintendent Devano’s contract now.
Install an interim Superintendent.

It will tax dollars well spent.  Common knowledge the board will be fought against, undermined, and sabotaged at every step.

For the sake of our community, children, staff….do it now.  It will well be worth the cost, in saved aggravation.

Hopefully other community members will find their voice and chime in! p

Comment by CONCERNED CITIZENS DIRECTIVE6  on  05.02.2017

Citizens are watching very closely what happens with hiring a new Gilmer County superintendent of schools.

The school board owes it to our children to select an outstanding person with a proven record as a successful administrator who will make our school system a model in WV. Why demand anything less Gilmer County?

Ugly politics as usual must be kept out of the hiring. The County has had far too much of that as indicated by constant turmoil our school system has experienced for too long.

The revamped school board with Mr. Minigh, Mr. Ramezan, and Mr. Triplett on it now has a solemn obligation to our children to hire the best person the County can get for our next superintendent and that is what Gilmer’s citizens expect.

Comment by Hire The Best Superintendent Gilmer Can Get  on  05.06.2017

In a situation that would be called normal, you might speculate that the superintendent would have been ‘evaluated’ by ‘health’ professionals?  54 days = normal times return.

Comment by Gilmer not normal situation  on  05.07.2017

What happens too much in WV at the expense of children is that individuals get on county boards to watch out for relatives and friends.

When this type of betrayal occurs by public officials it cannot be kept immune from local court’s of opinion and it causes school boards to be disrespected because information always leaks.

Gilmer County is being scrutinized for what is being done in hiring your new superintendent and modern networking makes that possible.

It is assumed in advance that your school board will conduct business honorably in selecting your next superintendent to make WV proud of Gilmer County after getting out of intervention.

Comment by Charleston Mole With G County Roots  on  05.07.2017

The selection of superintendents can be a farce. Our county qualified for that hands down.

A board member who had the deciding vote was a good friend of a female candidate for the job, a very good friend indeed, and she was hired.

Couldn’t do the job and after two years of a flop her contract was not renewed thanks to new board members coming on.

Abuse of power is common in WV to be one reason for the poor quality of our school system, as Governor Justice described, to be mired down at 50th place in the USA.

Who are the real victims? WV’s children of course.

Comment by Nepotism and Conflicts Of Interest  on  05.07.2017

One common WV practice in school systems is for selection of a superintendent to be made before a position is advertised and job seekers go for interviews.

The term is pre-selection.Those with human resources and personnel backgrounds, and employment law credentials know that pre-selection is prohibited.

When it happens there are grounds for costly and time consuming law suits and grievances.

When pre-selection happens the public finds out about it because loose lips always sink ships.

Comment by Charleston Legal Eagle  on  05.07.2017

Will politics decide the new superintendent?
That’s our WV way.
Gilmer County certainly is no exception.
Will some old family name be in the equation?

Comment by Will politics rule?  on  05.07.2017

Qualifications are defined in the dictionary as qualities or accomplishments that make someone suitable for a particular job or activity.  Any applicant considered has to be “qualified”. That is set in W.V. Code.

But what about the things you can’t find on a resume?  The qualities that make a person a good fit for Gilmer County.

Will this board hire someone who has invested time in our county or someone who rents the title spending just enough time to pad that resume and move on to bigger and better things?
Will they hire someone more impressed with connections to the economic indicators, to new buildings, rather than concern about each and every child inside those buildings?
Time and again we have ended up with a Superintendent finding the social calendar more important than the school calendar.

The State Board of Education went local for their new Superintendent by design.  Gilmer County is still reeling from intervention and consolidation. That may not be over. Think about it.

Hard to believe someone unfamiliar with what happened here the last six years, someone with no sense of the history can quickly enable administrators, Teachers and Parents to work as a team. Will a relative unknown be ready to make them feel appreciated and join them in the common goal of improving the achievement and future of every child attending Gilmer County schools? Will they instill pride?

How’s that worked out so far?

Comment by Dr Who  on  05.07.2017

To borrow a line from retiring GSC Prez, this is a time for us to think ahead and move forward.
We all know there is no future if we haven’t learned the lessons of the past.
Surely we will have a unanimous BOE Board decision on the best choice for Superintendent.  Fight it out in the board room and come out united Board of Ed! There’s been too much effort to create a cohesive group to have it fall apart now due to undermining and personal agendas. The ability is there, be courageous.

Comment by C L Who  on  05.07.2017

Being courageous is not succumbing to political correctness and instead to make all decisions for the good of children based on verifiable facts and outcomes from rigorous and objective debate.

Raw emotions, peer pressures, and orders barked from the County’s powerful and political operatives must not enter into it.

Politics and political correctness will not carry the day when the excess levy is up for a vote again.

Citizens will make their voting decisions based on whether or not more money for the downsized school system would be worthwhile, and the caliber of the person chosen for the next superintendent will certainly come into play.

Comment by Don't Base Decisions On Political Correctness  on  05.07.2017

The WHO entry is a dream for those who study meanings of cryptic messages.

Look at the phrase “spending just enough time to pad that resume”. That suggests that applicants with outstanding backgrounds as covered in their resumes should not get as much consideration for hiring as those with poorer resumes.

Professionals in all fields know that resumes should be written in a way to make the best impression possible.

If some applicants had impressive resumes why should that be held against them?

Something is going on here. What is WHO’s motive for posting the entry?

Does he/she have special access to confidential information to be prompted to degrade applicants with less impressive resumes?

The school board will surely check out all candidates to ensure that resume embellishments did not occur.

Additionally, the County’s school board is criticized by WHO to suggest that its members are too incompetent to do proper vetting job.

Comment by Retired Profiler  on  05.07.2017

Based on what I am reading into the comments there is intense pressure from someone in the County to disqualify those with the best resumes.

The next thing we will hear is that a lesser quality resume was caused by test anxiety! We hear that all the time as educators.

If an objective job is being done by the GCBOE in trying to hire the best qualified candidate how could professional backgrounds,education levels, and documented achievements in pre-K-12 education be weighed if resumes are not as we say in education used as—-rubrics?

If resumes fall short reasons are that applicants did not take time to do their best in writing them, they were deficient in communication skills, or they lacked information to put in them.

The comment about basic qualifications sufficing for the job is interesting.

If you have a serious medical problem do you select a physician basically qualified or one with a reputation for being outstanding?

The same rationale should apply to decisions for selecting a superintendent too.

Comment by GC Teachers  on  05.08.2017

Reading an application is not a vetting job. See no evidence of what the retired P suggests. The internet makes a lot of information available way before and beyond the pen to paper app. Don’t twist others words, speak your own thoughts.

When the Gilmer Board voted to protect the jobs of Teachers and Service personnel there was no question they made the right decision and took this county, its finances and needs under consideration. It was the first major decision exercising authority with vision that they were permitted to make after coming through from under intervention.

There’s every reason to believe that same common sense, good judgement and vision will be exercised during selection of the next Superintendent. This board knew since January 5 the job had to be filled by July 1. Hope they’ve been thinking about that choice a lot.   

Would respectfully suggest that when speaking to the past, one should have a copy of minutes in hand and put that out before saying what happened years ago. Some may find their memory fails them.

True political pressure comes from outside the boards and commissions of any county.  Always has.
The Board can only choose from the applications received unless you want them to reappoint state appointment G Devono? Is that where this is headed, he still wants it?  OMG.

Comment by Really?  on  05.08.2017

I do not believe the best way to go is the best resume .You can pay professionals to do a resume that promotes you. Research of history and interview will reveal more.

When selecting the best physician I would choose the one with the most success treating the specific disease. Not on paper but in fact. Many a person died going by reputation with survivors finding out later they missed out on the cure.Word of mouth is good but limited to who you know and sometimes what they want.

We’ve got a good board.  They care about the children and the staff.  They want Gilmer County to succeed. They spend a lot of time for little pay to get to the bottom of any issue. We need to reserve judgement and not make things more difficult.

Use of the matrix or “rubric” for hiring has been debated and blasted as unfair many times here. When all is said and done it could be discovered, in some cases, that top tier selections carry the most negative baggage. Time will tell all.

Comment by Proofs In The Puddin'  on  05.08.2017

Reading into what you see here is not the same as reading comprehension of facts in a statement.  It is putting a political (often negative) spin on others words to serve a purpose isn’t it? Trying to say you speak for ALL GC Teachers?

Comment by Are You The AFT?  on  05.08.2017

A resume is much like a Foodland sales flyer.
Its bait.  Sucker bait.  You might find the store empty?

Read the sales flyers.  But…..

You better check references closely, AND do research on the net.

That resume is no more than a sales pitch by a carnival barker in many cases?  Remember what the resumes gave Gilmer the past and current superintendent?

Hope our board of five does do diligence in checking applicants!

Comment by Common Sense and Background Searches NEEDED  on  05.08.2017

Tell Gilmer County where this is wrong.

Doesn’t the vetting process include reviewing resumes for solid evidence that candidates are ready to perform a job, checking resumes for accuracy and evidence of padding, checking references, and holding discussions by decision-makers to gain agreement on candidates to interview?

Then, after interviews all the information is considered with objectivity and there is eventual agreement on the best qualified candidate to hire.

This is the process for filling important positions in industry where making a mistake can have serious consequences and decision-makers are held accountable.

Maybe hiring is done differently in education and if it is could it be a reason that WV ranks 50th in K-12 education quality?

Comment by Raymond  on  05.08.2017

School board members do you know that when you are behind the closed door in the conference room individuals outside the room can hear what goes on?

Several times it has been mentioned that everything leaks within 15 minutes and if you want to know anything stroll down main street. Something to think about when you are in executive sessions.

Comment by Just Askin  on  05.08.2017

You can also hear quite a bit just strolling through the courthouse.

Comment by Ears everywhere  on  05.09.2017

Does anyone know what Head Start is closing down?

Gilmer County is plagued with poverty and Head Start was designed to begin down at the baby level to help them have better lives when they grow up.

Who is responsible for administering Head Start and what could be done to get it going again?

We lost Energy Express last year because of someone not doing their job and we understand that it is back this summer. Could Head Start be saved too?

GFP help us on this one.

Comment by E. Grogg  on  05.12.2017

No Energy Express last year?
The CHARLESTON APPOINTED not-so superintendent did not want to bother with making the arrangements is the word from Main Street.

Charleston knows too.  They -let- it happen.

Won’t take Randolph long to see what they have wrought.  Six months, maybe less?

They forgot to ask what his definition of transparent is?

Comment by Main Street KNOWS  on  05.14.2017
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