Bath School Board holds August meeting

Bath County School Board had already been busy when their public meeting began on Tuesday night. They had addressed several important items in closed session, a few being mentioned here. Sixty-five non-resident students were approved to enroll in Bath County Schools for this 2017-2018 year. The board also acknowledged appointments they had authorized Sue Hirsh, superintendent, to make over the summer. Some of those new personnel are: Dr. Michael Perry, principal of Bath County High School, Rosita Perry, Director of Food Service, Rhonda Ervin, School counselor, and David Guyre, Computer technician. A new custodian, Dennis Holmes was appointed to the high school and Valley Elementary School, and Jamie Morre is a new teacher at Valley. At Millboro elementary School, Rebecca Smolarek is a new teacher, and Kodie Criser and Tonya Fitzgerald are new aides. Dallas Reynolds is the new behavior intervention specialist. Emily Beard was hired to be art teacher for the whole school division. Both Melinda Hooker, and Code Sizemore will be serving as mentor teachers this year.

Twenty-seven continuing substitute teachers remain on that roster; eight new substitute teachers were appointed, as well as fifteen continuing substitute bus and vehicle drivers.

Also during the meeting, the principals gave brief reports on each of their schools, and the progress being made towards the first day back on August 16th. They all expressed huge gratitude for custodial staff that worked hard all summer to rejuvenate, and maintain the buildings.

The board heard from Alternate Energy Concepts Incorporated about one adjustment needing to be made in the installation of solar panels at Valley Elementary. Representatives of the company recommended how, because Valley Elementary’s system will be the largest of all three school ‘s new solar electricity systems it would be more efficient to allow some cable to go through the roof rather than along it and the outside of the building.   After agreeing the original contract with Reliable Energy, a subsidiary of BARC electric, could be amended to include the company’s responsibility for any necessary repairs as result of this design change for the life of the project, the Board voted four to one to approve the recommendation. Both school administration, and Affordable Energy Concepts representatives expressed enthusiasm and confidence about this solar installation project at all three schools. The work will begin in the next couple of weeks at Valley Elementary School, and move on to the other schools from there. One of the many benefits to the school system, in addition to reduction in electricity expenses, is a web-based monitoring system which students will be able to use to learn about peak and average use, distribution of kilowatt hours, and more.

One other topic over which everyone expressed optimism and appreciation is the new on-line registration system for enrolling students. Computers are available during regular school hours at each school, and at Warm Springs and Goshen Libraries on August 8th from 4:00 to 7:00, and at school computer labs with staff assistance on Wednesday August 9th 1:00 to 7:00 pm. Another opportunity to use the online returning student registration is Saturday, August 12th from 4-7 in each school’s computer lab. A snap code to use for the process will be arriving soon by mail, if it hasn’t already.   Go to and click on the registration link. One principal offered feedback so far is that a new user might take 10 to 15 minutes for the first child, but after that the process goes smoothly, and is an improvement on waiting in lines on a mid-August evening.


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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