Five retirees were honored for their service to the county at the February meeting of the Vinton County Local School District’s Board of Education. Awards were also given to seven employees celebrating their 25 years of service.

Catherine Mason, Karen Matteson, and Debbie Richards were presented with awards in honor of their time spent as educators with VCLSD. Jane Cheek and Sonya Tennant were not in attendance to receive their awards but the board also thanked them for their dedication to students.

Jane Cheek worked as both a substitute and full-time teacher for a first grade class at Allensville Elementary. She then taught intervention cursive writing to students in grades 1-5 for the 2019-2020 school year.

Catherine Mason was an educator for eleven years at multiple schools in Florida before coming to VCLSD as a substitute teacher in 1992. She subbed for a kindergarten class at Allensville Elementary. While there she earned a masters degree from the University of Rio Grande. From there, she transferred to South Elementary in 2003 and taught kindergarten there until her retirement.

Karen Matteson began her career with VCLSD in 1995 teaching special needs students at Allensville Elementary and later at Vinton County High School. She was recognized for her 25 years of service in the county along with her retirement.

Debbie Richards served as a substitute and full-time aid at Parker Elementary. Five years of her career were spent as a preschool aid at Zaleski Elementary with more time spent aiding classes at Hamden Elementary. She served as a clerical help aid at South Elementary since 2012.

Sonya Tennant began her teaching career at Jackson City Schools before moving to a substitute teacher and then full-time with VCLSD teaching multiple grades at multiple schools.

Other staff members were honored for their 25 years of service anniversaries. Judy Gillilan, Angela Knox, Michael Ogier, Brenda Radcliffe, Kristeen Rose, and Michelle Swan were all awarded certificates commemorating their achievements.

Judy Gillilan worked initially as a substitute aid, cook, and secretary before becoming an aid for a special needs student at Hamden Elementary. She built up such a special relationship with the child that she following the student throughout his academic career. A year was spent as a preschool aid from 1998-1999. She earned an associates degree in 2006 from the University of Rio Grande while also working full time. She currently is an aid for a preschool class at South Elementary.

Angela Knox started teaching sixth grade reading and math in 1995 at Wilkesville Elementary School. For the 2006-2007 school year, she taught a fourth grade class at Hamden Elementary and is currently teaching a fifth grade class at South Elementary.

Michael Ogier has been the transportation supervisor for VCLSD since 1995. He has extensive experience in mechanics and repairs. He is responsible for 32 buses that travel over 3,000 miles a day transporting students safely to school.

Brenda Radcliff began teaching kindergarten in 1995 at Wilkesville Elementary and then Hamden Elementary for the 1999-2000 school year. She now teaches kindergarten at South Elementary.

Kristeen Rose had multiple long-term teaching positions in other districts before coming to Vinton County in 1995 to teach full-time at Hamden Elementary. She began teaching first grade there in 1997 and continues to this day.

Michelle Staten was a long-term substitute teacher for third grade students at Wilkesville Elementary beginning in 1995. The next year she moved to a full-time position and then moved to a third grade class at South Elementary in 2007. She currently teaches a third grade class at Central Elementary.

Angela Knox, Jane Cheek, Debbie Richards, Brenda Radcliff, Kristeen Rose, and Michelle Staten also spent extra time with students at the Project Boost after-school program which is open to all elementary students grades K through 5 at each of the three elementary school buildings.

The retirement of Assistant Superintendent Michael Waggoner, effective April 1, 2021, was reluctantly passed by the board as they expressed their sadness at seeing him leave as well as their gratitude for his ears spent with the district.

Superintendent Brooks addressed Waggoner during the meeting when he said, “I appreciate everything you have done and you will be missed.”

Board member Mary Ann Hale shared an amusing story about the time she first met Mr. Waggoner when she sat on his lap at a function where Dr. Seuss books were being read to students, stating he was “dressed up as the Grinch or something.” to which Waggoner replied, “I was the Cat in the Hat, man.”

The final award of the evening was passed by a resolution naming Red Thompson and Total Media as the 2020 Ohio School Board Association Media Honor Roll.

Board President Tom McManis thanked him by stating, “much of the communities knowledge and opinions about public schools depend on the responsible reporting by local media representatives who decide which news to share with the community, how much attention will be focused on various issues, and what the tone of reporting will be.”

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