Putnam school board names new Conner Street Elementary principal

WINFIELD — The Putnam County Board of Education named Kristi Barker the new principal of Hurricane’s Conner Street Elementary School Monday night.

Jana McGinnis, Conner Street Elementary’s current principal, is transferring to an assistant principal position at Winfield Middle School. Barker is currently an assistant principal at Hurricane’s Mountain View Elementary.

“She’s a relatively new administrator who’s doing a great job,” said Penny Fisher, assistant superintendent for personnel. Fisher said Barker is a former teacher, but didn’t know offhand Monday where she had worked.

The position Barker is leaving is now the last principal or assistant principal position the school board must fill before classes resume Aug. 18, Fisher said.

She said the district must also fill about two full-time teacher positions. The board will have a special meeting Aug. 13 for last-minute hiring.

“I think we’re in pretty good shape,” Fisher said. “But those days are going fast.” School officials have said make-up days necessitated by the water crisis and the harsh winter shortened the summer hiring period.

Fisher believes the district has so far only added a couple teaching positions over the last school year.

Also Monday, the school board voted to provide liability insurance coverage for 28 entities where students can participate in “unpaid work-based learning experiences.” The entities include the Putnam County Animal Shelter, the Hurricane Animal Hospital, CAMC Teays Valley Hospital, Ghareeb Dental Group, the West Virginia University Extension Service, the Eleanor Foodland and Captain D’s.

Board member Jack Coyner said the program has been around 15 years, and students are required to participate for graduation. He said there’s never been a claim for the insurance.

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