Right Path program in need of coordinator

The Right Path for Washington County is still looking for someone to take over the coordinator position, as they have been since current coordinator Cathy Harper took over as Marietta’s treasurer.

Harper said the person she had lined up for the job couldn’t wait to find out if Harper would win the treasurer’s spot in November’s election.

“The person I was hoping would step into my position took another position,” Harper said. “We are looking for somebody interested in working 15 hours (a week). (Until then) we’ll just continue the way we’ve been doing it.”

The Right Path promotes alcohol and drug prevention for Washington County’s youth, by partnering with different organizations, like Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). Harper said a lot of The Right Path’s work involved bringing in new partners and getting students involved.

“The Right Path is our community, our board and the people that support us; it’s the whole community working together,” she said.

The Right Path still has 15 of the original 25 board members and they stepped up to take over some of Harper’s duties while she turns her main efforts toward being treasurer.

“We had our board meeting in December and we just voted for our board to take a more active role,” Harper said.

Harper usually works at the Right Path on evenings and weekends, but said she’s scaling her position back from full-time at around 35 hours to about 10 hours a week.

“The board is filling in the rest of the time,” she said.

Karen Waller, executive director of the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce, is one of those board members. Waller is the immediate past president and said it’s been easy to take on more duties.

“We’ve had committee chairmen all along; everyone who’s active takes one of those jobs,” Waller said, adding that the extra duties were just an extension of those jobs.

Waller said her current responsibility is putting together the annual spaghetti dinner, which is held at Spagna’s.

Since taking on the treasurer’s role Harper said she isn’t trying to split time between the two roles she has.

“Obviously, I have a lot to keep me busy at the treasurer’s office,” she said. “(My work at the Right Path) doesn’t interfere, but I’m not trying to split my time. We don’t want to water down either position.”

Waller said Harper scaling back hadn’t affected the services the Right Path is providing and the board still had confidence in Harper to do her job.

“We all serve the public and the kids serve right along with us,” Waller said. “We don’t see big changes as far as what we offer…The board is taking up responsibility with the Rightditarod and the fish fry. We’ll divide other small jobs (among the board). Cathy is still the coordinator. The confidence is still there.”

Waller said thus far Harper is still very active in her work with the Right Path.

“She’s still doing all the ground work,” she said. “She does all the stuff none of us want to or can’t do…She’s kind enough that she doesn’t take credit.”