April Goff, New Highland HS Principal Addresses Highland School Board

Monterey, VA – Highland High School has a new Principal to start off the 2011 school year. Mrs. April Goff made a brief presentation at the School Board meeting Monday evening.

“Thank you for having me become a Principal here at Highland” says Goff. “This first week has been a very educating and rewarding experience already. I went to the Principals Conference right at the end of June and Dr. Patricia Wright was there and I made a point to go introduce myself to her so she could put a face with the name of the new person; and she spoke to me about Highland County and the challenges that were going to be here – it was a good conversation. And I just want to say thank you again, I’m really excited about being here.”

The school year will present many challenges as the school system tries to cope with continued state funding cuts and declining enrollment.
Tish Amirault and Dr. Kim Bird from the Highland Medical Center were also on hand Monday to talk about the memorandum of agreement between the school and medical center. Ms. Amirault describes this unique health care program for the school system.

“It’s a collaboration between the Highland Medical Center and the Highland public schools to provide onsite primary and mental health services to the children” says Amirault. “We collaborate with Social Services, with primary care providers, hospitals; whatever needs need to be met, we try and meet those for the kids at school whenever it’s possible. Currently we are the only school system in the state of Virginia to have a school based health care program.”

69% of the students are registered for this program. Last year there were about 600 student visits to the medical center for health care. Ms. Amirault goes on to discuss the dental treatment program available to students.

“Last year we proposed dental services whereby the kids could come during school to the clinic” she says. “We would have a [dental] hygienist to do their preventive care and cleaning, particularly the Medicaid kids. Elementary kids are doing the Swish program, the Fluoride swish, because there’s no fluoridation in our water here. Right now we’re doing a half day week of medical slots, a full day mental health services.”

Ms. Amirault then provided some details about the program for School Board members.

“The program is free of charge to the school system; we bill private insurances or we use federal grant monies to pay for kids who don’t have insurance” she says. “Parental permission is required; they can come to school if they want for the appointments with their kids. I always give them a call the same day of the appointment to let them know what we’ve talked about, make sure there’s no other questions, make sure everybody’s on the same page.”

The School Board approved the memorandum of agreement with the Highland Medical Center. If you have questions about this program, contact the Highland Medical Center in Monterey.

The next regular meeting of the Highland County School Board will be Monday, August 1, at 7 PM in the High School library.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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