New assistant principal hired for Williamstown High School

The Wood County Board of Education unanimously approved Jason Ward as the new assistant principal at Williamstown High School despite protests from two elementary school administrators.

Ward has worked for Wood County Schools in the past but currently works for Jackson County Schools. Worthington Elementary School Principal Tom Wheeler, who has been an administrator at Wood County Schools for nine years, also applied for the position but was not chosen. Wheeler said he feels his seniority and qualifications were ignored.

“I feel I was not treated fairly,” he said. “I am asking that you, the board members, do the right thing and support me and support the experienced administrators of Wood County Schools.”

Williamstown Elementary School Principal Heather Bretthauer also spoke out against the hire, saying she had no issue with Ward but felt the hire would send a negative message to other local administrators who are looking to move between schools.

“If I wanted to step back and take an assistant’s position and my goal was to be a principal in a high school some day, would that offer not be given to me either?” she said.

Williamstown High School Principal Pat Peters, who has been absent from work for several months while recovering from surgery and has not yet returned as principal, said he was part of the interview process and selected Ward “because I felt he was the best candidate and the best fit for Williamstown High School.”

The board held no discussion on the hire, but board President Lawrence Hasbargen said he would hope a “responsible administrator who has demonstrated good work” in the county should be given “a serious look.”

The board voted 5-0 to approve Ward, who will begin once he is released from his contract with Jackson County Schools.