Architects Explain to the Board of Ed. the Slow Progress of the PCHS Major Improvement Project

At the June 11th Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, Bill Shelton, Blair Frier and Randy Jones of the OWPR Architects addressed the Board about concerns previously expressed by School Superintendent Terrence Beam about the slow pace of the Major Improvement Project at Pocahontas County High School. The one-million-dollar project was approved last summer by the School Building Authority -or SBA – to replace the failing sewer plant, the water tower and make roof, window and door repairs on the vocational building at the school. OWPR Architects were hired to ramrod the project and it had been hoped that the most critical part of the project, replacing the sewer system could be completed over the summer break. Mr. Beam’s concerns were that as of the end of the school year, construction has not yet begun.

The Architects explained to the Board that a lot of the delay is because all of the received bids on the project this spring were too far over budget and had to be rejected. They also explained that turnover in the management at the SBA has also delayed the project, but now the new SBA leaders have pledged to become a “kinder and gentler organization” and to be more flexible. This flexibility should help move the project forward by allowing direct purchase of the materials and permit the installation by local contractors.

This Board meeting was held at the impressive new Board of Education Office in Buckeye.

Josh Hardy expressed his concerns to the Board about the elimination of the band at Hillsboro Elementary School and that regular teachers were being expected to replace the dedicated art and music teachers at the school He felt this not only shortchanged the quality of art and music education but placed extra burdens on the already overworked regular teachers at the school. Mr. Beam addressed those concerns. He said that the school had agreed to exchange those positions for an additional full-time Teacher, but next year the band will be restored and a music teacher will be at the school 2 days a week. He said they are looking a replacement Art teacher as well for next year. Mr. Hardy appeared satisfied with that information.

In addition to routing financial reports and authorizations, the Board approved the purchase of workers’ compensation insurance from Brickstreet Mutual Insurance Company at an annual premium of $42,878.00. Sherry Radcliff, the School system’s Treasurer explained that this is $7000 less than last year’s premium with their previous insurance carrier.

They approved the enrollment of one student who resides in Randolph County into the Pocahontas County schools and of two students who reside in Pocahontas County to enroll in the Greenbrier County Schools.

The Board gave retroactive approval for P. Erwin Berry to transport 10 students to Dawson, Virginia on June 7th and 8th. Board Member Steve Tritapoe voted against this because the Board has warned Teachers to ask for Board approval of field trips in advance of the trip.

Crystal Kerr and Derek Trull were approved as volunteer Cheerleading Coaches at PCHS.

Devan Simmons was approved to be the volunteer Cheerleading Coach  and Stephanie Burns and Jenny Friel as volunteer Assistant Cheerleading Coaches at Marlinton Middle School.

Kevin Stitzinger was approved as the volunteer Cross Country Track Coach at PCHS.

The Board approved a Professional and Service Personnel agenda which can be found below.

During the Board Members Matters of the Board remarks:

  • Board Member Steve Tritapoe, serving at his last Board Meeting thanked his fellow Board Members and school staff, said they all served the best interests of the students, and jokingly told the incoming Board Members that if they have any questions “don’t call me”
  • Board Vice President Jessica Hefner, also serving at her last meeting, said that it was her pleasure to have served as a Board Member and that it was a very educational experience.
  • Board President Emery Grimes, presiding over his last meeting, also said it was a pleasure to have served as Board President, and told the incoming Board Members that the current Board left the schools’ head financially above water and it would be their responsibility keep it that way.
  • Board Member Becky Campbell said she would miss the outgoing Board Members but looked forward to working with the new Members.
  • Board Member Joe Walker talked about the Homeland Security Grants that have been applied for,



June 11, 2018

Professional and Service Personnel


Green Bank Elementary-Middle School:

REQUESTED TRANSFER: MARSHA BEVERAGE, from Teacher of Multi-Subjects at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School to Teacher of Multi-Subjects at Green Bank, effective

for the 2018-2019 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience, term of employment is 200 days.

Hillsboro Elementary School:

REQUESTED TRANSFER: NICOLE ROSE-TAYLOR, from Teacher of Early Education at Marlinton Elementary School to Teacher of Multi-Subjects at Hillsboro Elementary School,

effective for the 2018-2019 school year, at state basic salary based on degree

and experience, term of employment is 200 days.

Marlinton Elementary School:

EMPLOYMENT: CHRISTINA M. SMITH, as Teacher of Title I at Marlinton Elementary School, effective for the 2018-2019 school year, at state basic salary based on degree

and experience, term of employment is 200 days.

RESCIND RESIGNATION:JOANNE V. ESTEP, as Secretary III/Accountant III at Marlinton Elementary School.

Marlinton Middle School:

EMPLOYMENT: SETH A. KIRILUK, as Teacher of Social Studies at Marlinton Middle School, effective for the 2018-2019 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience, term of employment is 200 days.

Pocahontas County Schools:

EMPLOYMENT: JENNIFER CHESTNUT, as Extended Year Services/Compensatory Time

Speech/Language Pathologist for Pocahontas County Schools, effective June 25,2018 – July 31, 2018, 3 hours per day, 2 days per week, at $20 per hour.

PERMISSION: For the superintendent to post and fill vacancies prior to Board approval, effective June 11, 2018 through August 9, 2018.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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