Board Conference Room

Capitol Building 6, Room 353

1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East

Charleston, West Virginia

April 1, 2009

I. Call to Order

President Delores W. Cook called the pre-suspension hearing for an employee of the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) to order at 9:05 a.m. on April 1, 2009, in the Board Conference Room, Capitol Building 6, Room 353, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, West Virginia.

The following members were present:  President Cook, Vice President Priscilla M. Haden, Barbara N. Fish, Burma Hatfield, Lowell E. Johnson, L. Wade Linger Jr., and Gayle C. Manchin, and ex officio Steven L. Paine, State Superintendent of Schools.  Members absent were Secretary Jenny N. Phillips and Robert W. Dunlevy and ex officios Brian E. Noland, Chancellor, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, and James L. Skidmore, Chancellor, West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education.

II. Approval of Agenda

Upon motion by Dr. Johnson, seconded by Ms. Haden, the Board unanimously approved the agenda. 

III. Pre-suspension Hearing for WVBE Employee at the

West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Employee

President Cook questioned the employee as whether the employee wanted the hearing to be open or closed to the public.  The employee requested that the hearing be closed and that the employee’s spouse be allowed to remain in the room.  At the request of the employee, and per W. Va. Code §6-9A-3 (matters involving attorney‑client privilege) and §6-9A-4(b)(2)(A) (personnel exception), Mrs. Manchin moved, and Ms. Hatfield seconded, that the Board move into executive session to conduct the hearing.   

IV. Break

President Cook called for a break for lunch at 12:10 p.m.  Superintendent Paine departed the hearing.

V. Call to Order

President Cook called the hearing back to order at 1:03 p.m.  Superintendent Paine rejoined the hearing at 2:09 p.m.

VI. Break

President Cook called for a break at 3:08 p.m.  Superintendent Paine departed the hearing.

VII. Call to Order

President Cook called the hearing back to order at 3:15 p.m.  

VIII. Break

President Cook called for a break at 8:14 p.m.  Ms. Hatfield departed the hearing.

IX. Call to Order

President Cook called the hearing back to order at 8:25 p.m.  

X. Return from Executive Session

The Board returned from executive session at 11:24 p.m. with no action taken.  Thereupon, President Cook moved that the Board accept the recommendation of Dr. Paine and Dr. Shank to suspend, without pay, Ms. Durst for the remainder of the school year and that she be required to undergo an evaluation and counseling.  President Cook also moved that the evaluation and counseling be undertaken by a psychologist or psychiatrist (and not a licensed counselor).  If a favorable evaluation is received, Ms. Durst may then return to teaching with the caveat that she be accompanied by another adult if she is in the presence of children who are sixth graders or older.  Ms. Durst will be on probation for a period of two years during which time she shall be evaluated every year.  Ms. Haden seconded the motion and it was carried with four members voting yes and two members voting no.

XI. Future Meetings

The West Virginia Board of Education=s Communications Committee will meet April 6, 2009 in Charleston, West Virginia.   The West Virginia Board of Education will meet in regular session on April 8-9, 2009 in Charleston, West Virginia. 

XII. Adjournment

Upon motion by Mrs. Manchin, seconded by Dr. Johnson and unanimously carried, the Board adjourned at 11:27 p.m.


   Minutes approved by the Board on May 14, 2009.


Delores W. Cook, President


Jenny N. Phillips, Secretary

   Minutes were recorded by

         Virginia M. Harris

       Secretary to the Board.