Bath School Board holds first of 3 February meetings

Bath County’s School board meeting on Tuesday evening was an invitation and a reminder to residents interested in learning more about how budgets are developed, and what it costs to run a school system.  In public comments towards the beginning of the meeting, Stephen Hiner of Mtn. Grove listed some funding categories for which he hoped the board could provide  information in an easily accessible format. 

“Cost per student- I guarantee you’ve heard this a million times, why are we spending twenty grand plus? Transportation costs, bussing routes, state and federal requirements, mandates; you know I’m not familiar with all the requirements where you have to provide a certain service.  That’s bound to cost money.”

Mr. Hiner encouraged board members to:

“Do whatever you can to get it out there explaining the school budget to the citizenry.”

At the end of the evening when board members were making their own comments several indicated the opportunities each of their public meetings offer, and specifically work sessions with the board of supervisors for learning many aspects of budget development  from operational expenses to capital improvements.  The next of those opportunities is a work session with the Board of Supervisors, Wednesday, February 13th at 6:00 at the School Board administration Building in Warm Springs, and another the following week with just the School Board Tuesday, February 19th at 5:30 at the same location.

When offering her report, Superintendent Sue Hirsch, mentioned an appreciation week that hadn’t happened yet at the last meeting but was essential to note. 

“We missed the opportunity in early January to acknowledge our three school principals.  I’d personally like to thank all three for the daily work that they do.  No day is the same as the day before, and won’t be the same as the next one. So for Mrs. Hicklin, Mr. Sizemore, and Dr. Perry, thank you for what you do for staff and students.”

     Mrs. Hirsch also read a resolution thanking former school board member, Brian Secoy, for his three years representing Millboro.    Elementary School principals, and members of the high school woodworking class  presented School board members with appreciation gifts for their service. Several students were commended for their participation and successes in district and regional band competition.   The superintendent also noted this week,    February 4th through 8th, is National School Counseling Week, student representative, Emma Marshall reported high school students are grateful for new guidance counselor, Eli Duboe. 

     When it was time for Focus on the Schools one of this year’s two Kid Wind teams represented the Career and Technical Education Center. These high school students have been growing their understanding of wind energy and different ways to generate it, for some of them since middle school.  Joey Altizer, one of the team sponsors and carpentry/technology teachers spoke before the young men presented their model.

“But all these guys are seniors now, and every year we’ve tried to up our game.  Three years ago we had one that was computer driven.  Last year we had the homemade generator.  So this year we started researching.  How could we get better? How could we outdo blowing the national record out of the water by six times?”

This year’s turbine uses electromagnetic energy to turn the spindle of the turbine, and because it’s still in the development stages won’t be revealed publicly until closer to the competitions. 

Business after what was clearly an engaging, and innovative part of the meeting dealt with accepting some resignations of spring coaching staff, and designating the superintendent to place ads for more spring sports coaches. 

Another upcoming change is some classes already being offered at the high school will soon meet the criteria of being dual enrollment classes with Danny S. Lancaster Community College. Dr. Perry explained BCHS is fortunate to have staff qualified and willing to serve as adjunct faculty, and a counselor to facilitate the administrative side of dual enrollment.  Students will still need to take the Virginia Community College Placement tests. Dr. Perry also mentioned the savings for students and families on college level courses before leaving home could be significant. Interested students, or parents of students can contact Marsha Keyser at Bath County High School. 

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.

Current Weather