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Kanawha school board appoints Point Harmony principal, discusses AC issues

The Kanawha County Board of Education unanimously approved Monday filling the principal role at Point Harmony Elementary, the last principal position that was vacant ahead of the upcoming school year’s start.

Ashley Hope R. Duggan is, effective immediately, the new principal at Point Harmony, in Cross Lanes.

Bob Calhoun, Kanawha’s assistant superintendent for elementary schools, said Duggan was a teacher before becoming Edgewood Elementary’s assistant principal. She has been in that position the past two years, Calhoun said.

Last week, the school board unanimously approved transferring Jennifer Cummings-Cochran from the Point Harmony position to the principal role at Richmond Elementary.

Kanawha school officials said both women applied for their new positions.

Also Monday, board members Ryan White and Tracy White (no relation) asked county schools Superintendent Ron Duerring whether schools would be ready to open on time this coming Monday, the start of classes for most Kanawha schools.

Capital High students missed the whole first week of last school year due to elevated levels of mold detected there. Mold and heating, ventilation and air conditioning issues have plagued Kanawha schools for years and have caused missed school days.

“Right now, it looks like we’re in pretty good shape,” Duerring said.

Ryan White, the board president, then asked about Nitro High, but the superintendent said he wasn’t familiar with any issue there.

Nitro Principal Jason Redman said some teachers discovered the AC isn’t working in three classrooms Monday. He said his school’s rooms have individual units.

“In our schedule at any time we have, what, about an eighth of our teachers aren’t teaching, and plus we have some other common locations,” Redman said.

He said the auxiliary gym also doesn’t have working AC at this time.

Tracy White asked about Andrew Jackson Middle, and Duerring said an issue there should be fixed by the time school starts.

Briana Warner, the school system’s communications director, said an electrical switch gear was damaged there, meaning the Cross Lanes school currently doesn’t have power, water or phone service.

Reach Ryan Quinn at,, 304-348-1254 or follow

@RyanEQuinn on Twitter.

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