Neola forges relationship with Dinsmore and Shohl law firm

STOW, OHIO – Neola, a public education policy development provider with more than 1,300 clients in seven states including West Virginia, has announced a legal relationship with Dinsmore & Shohl, an Ohio-based law firm with five offices in the Mountain State.

The affiliation, effective immediately, will enable Neola to continue to provide personalized, warranted, high-quality policy services to each of its 18 West Virginia clients, particularly with regard to legal review and compliance.

“Our commitment to our West Virginia clients is unwavering,” said Dr. Richard Clapp, Neola’s CEO. “That’s why we’re so excited about this partnership – because Dinsmore & Shohl’s track record of legal support for West Virginia school districts is most impressive.”

Dinsmore & Shohl was founded in 1908 and has offices in nine states and Washington D.C. The firm’s West Virginia offices are located in Charleston, Huntington, Lewisburg, Morgantown and Wheeling. Dinsmore & Shohl’s Education Law Practice Group has provided legal services to many of the 55 school districts in West Virginia in a variety of legal capacities.

The three attorneys who will work with Neola all have deep roots and experience in public education.

Jason S. Long, a managing partner in the firm’s Lewisburg office, chairs the West Virginia Education Law Practice Group. An educator prior to becoming an attorney, he is the son of a recently retired superintendent of schools. He focuses on representing school systems on a variety of issues, including  personnel, student and discipline-related matters, special education matters, as well as various due process hearings.

Denise M. Spatafore, of counsel in the firm’s Morgantown office, is the former personnel director for Harrison County Schools and previously served as an administrative law judge for the Public Employees Grievance Board. Hundreds of Ms. Spatafore’s administrative decisions are considered precedent in West Virginia school personnel law as it relates to both service and professional personnel.

Jacob A. Manning, a partner in the firm’s Wheeling office, handles a number of county board of education-related issues, including levy calls, school closure process, construction, vendor and service contracts on behalf of boards of education and other public entities. He also has a significant amount of experience the topic of religion in schools and facility-related issues, often presenting on these topics throughout the Mountain State.

“Dinsmore & Shohl is extremely pleased to partner with Neola. Our purpose is to ensure that Neola policies are compliant with any and all laws in West Virginia and are federally compliant as well,” Mr. Long said.

“We are confident that it will be a great fit,” Dr. Clapp added.

Neola clients should continue to direct all questions to their West Virginia associate, Sam Kalbaugh.