Interpretation's Date: January 5, 2001
by superintendent David Stewart
Section: V. Personnel
SubSection: A. Professional Personnel



January 5, 2001

Ms. Joan E. Smith
United Technical Center
Route 3, Box 43-C
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26301

Dear Ms. Smith:

I am in receipt of your request regarding applications for extracurricular positions and seniority for employees of multi-county technical centers. Specifically, your questions concern a teacher who worked in Harrison County for eight years and then transferred to the multi-county center where she has worked for sixteen years without a break in service.

This teacher was incorrectly told that she was not allowed to interview for an extracurricular position in Harrison County because she is not a Harrison County employee. Any individual may apply for posted extracurricular positions. Pursuant to West Virginia Code 18A-3-2a(4), the state superintendent, subject to approval of the state board, may issue certificates or permits to persons who do not qualify for professional or paraprofessional certificates in order that those individuals serve as athletic coaches or other extracurricular activities coaches. However, according to that same statute, currently employed certified professional educators are to be given first preference over other applicants.

The multi-county teacher to whom you refer is to be considered a currently employed certified professional educator in Harrison County. Pursuant to West Virginia Code 18A-4-8c,

"any professional or service personnel whose employment with the multi- county vocational center was immediately preceded by employment with one of the county boards participating in the operation of the center... (1) shall retain any seniority accrued during employment by said county board;

Ms.Joan E. Smith
January 5, 2001
Page 2

(2) shall accrue seniority as a regular employee with said county board during employment with the center; .... (4) shall retain and continue to accrue county and center seniority in the event of reemployment by said participating county as a result of direct transfer from the center or recall from the preferred list." This section does not apply exclusively to RIF situations.

However, when there are other currently employed certified professional educators interested in the position, the qualifications of the applicants will determine who is awarded the position. (See Superintendent Interpretation of 8/22/97, attached hereto.)

Thus, the answer to your first question is "no", state law does not mandate that the county should look at someone working in the county first before considering the multi-county teacher.

Finally, the answer to your last questions is "yes". If the multi-county teacher applies for a position in Harrison County for which he/she is certified, he/she can take the accrued seniority and use it to apply for the job. The pertinent provisions of 18A-4-8c, cited above, allow for the accrual and use of seniority in this manner.
If you have any questions or concerns relative to this issue, please contact our Legal Services' office at (304) 558-3667.



David Stewart
State Superintendent of Schools




Back to Superintendent's Interpretations Home