The Hancock County Board of Education voted to appeal a ruling by an Administrative Law Judge directing them to post the Director of Personnel position at Monday night’s meeting. Administrative Law Judge Joshua S. Fraenkel ruled last week that Superintendent Dawn Petrovich had showed favoritism in selecting close friend Sarah Parsons for the position and the Board had 30 days to either post the position or appeal the ruling to Kanawha County Circuit Court. After a lengthy Executive Session, the Board emerged to vote 4 to 1 to appeal. Board member Michelle Chappell voted no. Chappell was the sole no vote when the Board initially voted to follow Petrovich’s recommendation to hire Parsons for the position. Chappell requested the interview notes and matrix prior to the vote being taken to hire Parsons but the ruling said she was denied them. The ALJ’s “findings of fact” state that non-selected candidates were not ranked and no interview scores were assigned to each candidate and that the Superintendent usurped the Board’s authority by determining the weight for each selection factor.
Oak Glen Middle School Principal Alyssa Mick, a candidate for the position, filed the grievance alleging favoritism was shown by Petrovich in the selection. Mick who holds a Ph.D. also said that she was more qualified than Parsons who represented she had three master’s degrees on her application when in fact she had only one.
While Mick had asked to be instated into the position, Fraenkel’s ruling said the position must be bid out again because both qualifications and service were to be considered in the selection and Oak Glen Principal David Smith was deemed to have more experience.
The Board now has 30 days to file the appeal which will then go to Kanawha County Circuit Court to be placed on its docket.