Bath School Board hears about many opportunities for students (part one)

February is School Board appreciation month, and there’s no doubt Bath County’s School Board left their meeting Tuesday evening feeling appreciated. Early in the evening each school principal presented the members with a gift from their student body. The high school gave them desk caddies hand-made, and with their names burned into them from the Carpentry class; Millboro Elementary gave them pictures of the whole school with special assembly frames, and students at Valley elementary prepared a video with scenes from their daily school life relevant quotes throughout. Principal Steve Sizemore shared one of the quotes, which students felt School Board members model, and echoed through all of the conversation and information for the rest of the meeting.

“Education is for improving the lives of others, and leaving your community and world better than the way you found it.”

Superintendent Sue Hirsh noted the award of 5th District music educator of the year award to Melinda Hooker, and several other honors to students. Then Eddie Graham spoke to the Board, and described the James River Governor’s School Program to them. He described how the young people eligible for this opportunity show a higher than average interest or expertise in math and science. Students attending JRGS can be from Allegheny, Botetourt, Bath Counties, and the cities of Covington, Clifton Forge and Buena Vista.   They go to classes at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Math and Sciences in the morning and return to their own high schools for their classes and extracurricular activities in the afternoons.  Students who participate for their Junior and Senior years of high school can earn up to thirty-nine college credits before graduating. Some of the classes they take are Advanced Chemistry, Statistics, College Algebra/Trigonometry/ analytic geometry, introduction to scientific research, Calculus, Biology and more. Costs for the students attending the Governor’s School are paid by their local school district. As almost all of the student completing the James River Governor’s School course of studies will be entering colleges as sophomores, they save themselves and their families a year of tuition. For those willing to take additional classes either in the evenings, summer school or on-line there is an opportunity to graduate with an Associate’s Degree too. One Bath County High School student, Aaron Loan, took this option last year. Along with Director, Eddie Graham, at Tuesday night’s meeting current Bath Co. and Governor’s School student, Allen Kimmel spoke about his experience so far. He mentioned the faculty has high expectations, and students learn to take increased responsibility for their work.  If this program sounds like something you want to pursue, or you know a high schooler who needs some encouragement to apply, start with their guidance counselor. Applications are in schools during this semester to begin next fall; you can also learn more by talking to Mr. Eddie Graham at 540-863-2872.

Part two of this report will touch on three other programs available at the high school, and some of the exciting new offerings in the 2018-19 high school program of studies presented by Dr. Mike Perry.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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