Two members of the Marshall County Board of Education renewed their oaths Thursday evening, but one longtime member said his goodbye as a new face was sworn in.
Tom Gilbert, who has been a member of the board since 2006, was bid farewell by his fellow board members at his final meeting before his position was assumed by Brenda Coffield. She was elected in May.
Coffield, a 1965 graduate of Moundsville High School, served as a secretary with the district for 26 years, 25 of which were as the main office secretary at John Marshall High School. She said she felt the board represented a wide variety of disciplines, and feels that her experience will help her represent the district’s service personnel. However, she said, the students come first.
“We have teachers who are retired, Dr. (Duane) Miller is a chiropractor, Mrs. (Lori) Kestner is a human resource director and I’m former service personnel,” Coffield said. “I think I can see both ends — they can see the professional side, I can see the service side.”
In her time, Coffield said she has seen many students graduate — including Miller, who attended the school during Coffield’s time as secretary.
“I guess I’ve been around the block a long time,” she said. “I tend to look at things objectively, make my own decisions. I realize every decision we make isn’t going to be popular.”
Christie Robison was appointed to the board to fill the unexpired term left by Beth Philips, who resigned in March 2017 to pursue a job at the county office. Robison, a retired teacher from the county, has more than 36 years of teaching experience.
Miller has served as a board member for the past four years.
In other board matters, the first phase of the Monarch Stadium renovation project was declared complete by Professional Maintenance Supervisor Ron Blatt. Phase one included demolition of the former stadium, and the second phase begins as aluminum grandstands are now visible from W.Va. 2.
“Stadium Solutions are installing the home grandstands,” Blatt said.
“If you’ve been by the site in the past week, you’ll see the structure erected, they’re seating the seats.
“Field Turf has a direct contract with the schools,” he said. “If you were by the site today, you’d see the concrete stabilization of the field.”
After a seven-day waiting period, crews will begin laying the turf. The track will follow shortly after. The final completion date would be in mid-November, with the stadium functional by opening day in October.
“We’ll be playing game one at Monarch Stadium,” said Gilbert. “You can tell all your friends.”
The board will meet in a special meeting at 7 p.m. Monday to elect board officers.