All posts by Mr. Wood

New Playground Equipment Installed at McNinch Primary

McNinch New Playground Pic 1For the past five years, McNinch Primary School Nurse Tammy Riding and Physical Education teacher Ashley Doty have been raising funds to put toward making the school’s playground handicap accessible. Their hard work has finally paid off.

The playground, now equipped with special needs adaptive swings and a cushioned surface, was designed so every student at the school can use the play area. The goal is to increase the number of days the students can play outside.

When students at McNinch Primary in Moundsville returned to school last week they were excited to see the improvements. “Students’ comments were very positive,” said Doty.  “They couldn’t wait to use the new equipment.”

The Marshall County Board of Education also helped fund the project along with grants from the Evan G. Roberts Charitable Trust Fund and the Chevron Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley.


WTRF News Playground Pic

7News Reporter Paige Madden stopped by McNinch Primary School to see the new playground.  Her story can be seen at the link below.

Pre-K Students Return

2016 PreK 6
Hilltop Elementary student Kallie Butler gets excited about the books she sees in her Pre-K classroom.

Marshall County Schools Universal Pre-K classes began on Friday, August 26, 2016.

Pre-K students attend school Monday through Friday. Because of the one hour delay on Wednesday, Pre-K students report one hour later. Free breakfast and lunch are provided daily.

Marshall County Schools Universal Pre-K is a collaboration of the school district and community agencies that include Head Start and day care facilities. All seven Marshall County Schools Pre-K locations offer the same curriculum and a staff of certified teachers.

Classes are held at Cameron Elementary School, Center McMechen Elementary School, Glen Dale Child Development Center, Hilltop Elementary School, McNinch Primary School, Marshall County Daycare and Washington Lands Elementary School.

Daily instruction focuses on getting students prepared for not only kindergarten but later in life. Take home lessons are designed to bring family members together for special activities. Parents and grandparents also have opportunities to volunteer in the classroom.

Universal Pre-K serves 4-year-olds and is not mandatory. Students are placed across the district based on time of enrollment, not by where they live. Screening and registration for Universal Pre-K take place each year in early spring.

School Year Begins in Marshall County

Students in grades 1st through 12th returned to school in Marshall County on Monday, August 15 for the start of the 2016 – 2017 academic year.

Home visits and school orientation for kindergarten students happen on Monday, August 15, 2016 and Tuesday, August 16, 2016.  The first day of class for kindergarten students is Wednesday, August 17, 2016.

Parents with a student attending WV Universal PreK will be notified about the orientation which takes place on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 and Thursday, August 25, 2016.  WV Universal PreK classes begin on Friday, August 26, 2016.

2016-2017 Marshall County Schools Information

No Cost Meals Program Continues for Students

The Marshall County Board of Education will continue the availability of a breakfast and a lunch each day at school for all students regardless of income for the 2016-2017 school year at no cost. Under the Community Eligibility Option Provision applications will not need to be completed to be eligible for the free meals.

The price for an extra milk will be .35 cents and a second lunch will be $1.75 and must be paid with cash at the time of purchase.

Please note Parents/Guardians are still responsible for any unpaid account balances.

If you have any questions, feel free to the Office of Child Nutrition at 304-843-4400 x 338 or 346.

Marshall County Schools Participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Food Care Program, Summer Meals Program, After School Supper Program and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.


Wellness Policy and Child Nutrition Website

Our District has developed a Wellness Policy that is focused on improving the health of students. The policy was developed with a health and wellness advisory council that includes teachers, parents, students, administrators, guidance counselors, and nurses. The key areas of the wellness policy focus on nutrition education, physical activity, and other school based activities that promote student wellness.  If you want to be involved with Marshall County’s wellness policy, please contact Debbie Derico at 304-843-4448 x 338.

Marshall County Schools maintains a website for all your nutritional and wellness needs. This website will be your source for menus, nutritional information, and wellness resources.  You will be able to sign up to have the menus emailed to you on a monthly basis.  Check it out at


Substitutions Made for Students with Dietary Needs

Accommodations in meal services are available for Marshall County School students with special dietary needs. Schools will make substitutions in foods for students with dietary needs who are unable to consume the regular meal because of medical or other special dietary needs.  These meals/substitutions will be provided at no additional charge.

A Special Dietary Needs Medical Statement is required for us to make these accommodations. The form can be found on our website at or calling the Office of Child Nutrition at 304-843-4400 x 346.  The Special Dietary Needs Medical Statement must be completed by a physician and completed annually.  Substitutions will be made on a case-by-case basis.   Contact your school immediately to inform them of any special diet of food allergies, or other needs.  Substitutions cannot be made for vegetarian diets.  Also, juice can only be substituted for milk when there is a disabling medical condition.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)   mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)   fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)  email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Marshall County Back-to-School Fun Fair Planned

2016 Marshall Co Back to School Fun Fair PicThe 16th annual Marshall County Back-to-School Fun Fair will be held on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at the former West Virginia State Penitentiary in Moundsville from 8 a.m. until noon.

The “Fun Fair” is open to any Marshall County School student, pre-school through 12th grade, who is accompanied by an adult.  Each child will receive free school supplies which includes a backpack, pencils, pens, notebooks and more.

All other services offered at the “Fun Fair” are also free.  The Marshall County Health Department will provide check-ups and hairstylists will be giving haircuts.  Nearly 50 different agencies will be on hand to assist students and parents.  Pizza will be served for lunch.

Marshall County Schools employee Susie Baker started the “Fun Fair” because of her own childhood experiences and her observations as an adult.  “I was the child who felt sad every year about going to school with nothing.  I saw a need in Marshall County and didn’t want any kids to have to feel the way I did growing up.”

Since 2000, the “Fun Fair” has become a popular way for Marshall County students to celebrate a return to school.  Last year more than 1,200 families took part in the event.  Attending gives participants a chance to win prizes such as Kennywood Park tickets, bicycles and more.

There are no income guidelines to participate in the “Fun Fair.”

Reading Teacher of the Year Announced

2016 Reading Council Teacher of the Year HaughtHeather Haught, a first grade teacher at McNinch Primary School, has been named the Rita Takach Reading Teacher of the Year for Marshall County Schools.

Each year the Marshall County Reading Council accepts nominations for the award named in honor of Rita Takach who was a dedicated Title I Reading Specialist with Marshall County Schools for more than 30 years.

Nominees represent certified K-12 teachers who have made outstanding contributions to helping students become proficient readers and motivating them to become lifelong learners.

Haught was chosen because she works with her students daily to build the foundational skills that will help them grow to be successful readers.  She also strives to keep her classroom a positive and safe place so students can perform their best.  Haught’s classroom is filled with literacy enriched centers that she constantly changes to meet the needs of individual students.

The other two finalists this year were Center McMechen Elementary School fourth grade teacher Bethani Vilkoski and Hilltop Elementary School third grade teacher Kimberly Wood.

Youth Football Camp Planned

On Saturday, May 21st, youth in grades two through seven will have the opportunity to attend the John Marshall Monarch Youth Football Camp at Monarch Stadium in Moundsville.  The camp is a non-contact football camp designed to develop each athlete’s age appropriate football skills under the direction of the JMHS coaching staff along with members of the 2016 team.  The camp will feature a low athlete to coach ratio allowing for significant one on one attention and guidance.

Campers will experience the fun of football while concentrating on the fundamentals.  Character, discipline, and work ethics will be consistently taught as they run through offensive and defensive position drills.  Students at this age level need introduced to all parts of the game and will have fun working with adults and high school students in a positive environment.  They will also have a question and answer period with coaches and players.

Interested students and parents should visit the John Marshall website to download the application form (or get the form from your child’s school.)  The cost of the four hour camp is $20 and is from 9 am – 1 pm.    Early registrants (by May 13th) will receive a T-shirt.  Campers should wear tennis shoes or spiked shoes and shorts or sweats.  For more information, call Chasity Birkett of the Monarch Football Moms at 304-281-1783.


Marshall County Special Olympics Track and Field Event Held

2016 Special Olympics Track and Field 4Mother Nature’s rain didn’t wash the smiles off the faces of the more than 130 student and adult athletes at the 29th annual Marshall County Special Olympics Track and Field event at John Marshall High School.

Because showers were in the forecast, the games were moved inside.  JM Agriculture students Lain Ferrell, Ben Hazlett, Michael Shultz and Austin Norris figured out the layout for the relocation to the school’s gymnasium.

170 peer tutors from both high schools, John Marshall and Cameron, assisted the athletes with various track and field events.  Participants also made arts and crafts and had the opportunity to learn about the unique customs of the Delaware Nation, a Native American Tribe.

Everyone received a t-shirt featuring original designs by John Marshall High School students Chris Games and Thomas Luppe.  Lunch was prepared by the JM Pro Start students.

2016 Special Olympics Track and Field 2
Special Olympians were introduced to Native American drumming techniques by John Leasure when not participating in track and field events.

Marshall County Teachers Honored at Board Meeting

2017 Teacher of the Year RitzMarshall County Board of Education members and county administrators recognized Teacher of the Year candidates from each of the county’s twelve schools during the regular board meeting on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.

Each year teachers and administration vote a faculty member to represent their school as a Teacher of the Year contender. Then a committee, consisting of county office officials and previous award recipients, choose the county winner.

Amy Ritz was awarded 2017 Marshall County Schools Teacher of the Year.  She has taught math at Moundsville Middle School for the past two years and previously taught at John Marshall High School and West Virginia Northern Community College. Ritz attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Wheeling Jesuit University.

“Students at Moundsville Middle School make teaching fun for me,” said Ritz.  “I love teaching because every day is a win.  It may be small but every day a student leaves my classroom understanding they have potential.”   

Teacher of the Year nominees at each school include: Kerry King (Cameron Elementary School), Mark Witzberger (Cameron High School), Jerilyn Eskridge (Central Elementary School), Ruth Mozingo (Center McMechen Elementary School), Tami Scollick (Glen Dale Elementary School), Kim Wood (Hilltop Elementary Elementary School), Dianne Magers (John Marshall High School), Dave Parsons (John Marshall High School), Heather Haught (McNinch Primary School), Diane Gellner (Sand Hill Elementary School), Justin Hamrick (Sherrard Middle School) and Jessica Diefenbaugh (Washington Lands Elementary School).

All nominees were presented with a certificate for being a top teacher at their respective schools.  

2017 Teacher of the Year School Representatives v2
Front row (left to right): Tami Scollick, Heather Haught, Jessica Diefenbaugh, Jerilyn Eskridge, Amy Ritz, Ruth Mozingo and Kim Wood. Back row (left to right): Justin Hamrick, Dave Parsons, Dianne Magers, Kerry King, Diane Gellner and Mark Witzberger.

Sparks to Conduct Final Marshall County Suzuki Strings Concert

The Marshall County Suzuki Strings Program, under the direction of Janet Sparks, will perform the group’s farewell concert on Friday, May 6, 2016 at the John Marshall High School Center for the Performing Arts beginning at 6:00 PM.

2016 Suzuki Final Concert Pic
Instructor Janet Sparks is pictured with members of the Marshall County String Orchestra. The Marshall County Suzuki Strings Program’s finale happens Friday, May 6, 2016 at the JM CPA.

Strings students ages six to eighteen will perform an eclectic group of musical selections.  Ensembles and small groups will play classical, pop, fiddle and folk tunes.  The Marshall County String Orchestra will also perform numerous selections including music from the film “The Hunger Games” and Dust in the Wind” by Kansas.

Sparks started the Suzuki Strings Program of Marshall County in 1986.  Since then the organization has grown from a handful of students to a collection of fine musicians, from kindergartners to seniors in high school, and remains a method rarely taught in a public school system.

In the past 30 years the group has served area communities in many different ways such as holding annual concerts at nursing homes in Marshall and Ohio counties.  The Marshall County Suzuki Strings Association also donated a lighting system and grand piano to the Strand Theatre in Moundsville.

The public is invited to attend the Marshall County Suzuki Strings Program’s final concert. There is no charge for admission.