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Most positions filled for new Jefferson Co. high school

July 03, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. -- Despite concerns about low teacher salaries in the area and the ability to keep teachers on the job because of the pay, getting the staff in place for the new Washington High School has been successful, a school official said.

There were about 80 positions to fill for the new school south of downtown along the Charles Town Bypass, said Pete Dougherty, president of the Jefferson County Board of Education.

Nearly all of the positions have been filled with only some special education jobs possibly still open, Dougherty said.

There is an open foreign languages job that has been tough to fill, too, Dougherty said.

Because the new school is meant to relieve overcrowding at Jefferson High School, school officials were able to cut some positions at Jefferson High School as Washington High School came on line, Dougherty said.

Some Jefferson High School teachers transferred to the new school, while other Washington High School teachers were hired from outside the county, Dougherty said.

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While low local teacher pay has hampered the ability of school officials in the Eastern Panhandle to attract teachers, Dougherty said recent raises have helped.

The state recently gave a $1,600 teacher pay raise and the board of education added another $2,100 raise, Dougherty said.

"It's a good group of experienced teachers at both schools," Dougherty said Monday.

Jefferson High School and the adjoining Ninth Grade Center have about 2,400 students.

When Washington High School opens in August, it will have 1,100 students and Jefferson High School will have about 1,300 students, Dougherty said.

Other preparations for Washington High School are coming along well, with workers progressing on the football field and tennis courts, and rough gravel in place on the running track, Dougherty said.

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