Bath School Board holds March ’18 meeting

When Bath County’s School Board met on March 6th, the Parkland Florida School Shooting was still fresh in everyone’s minds.   In some opening public comments Sherriff Robert Plecker described some of the security measures already in place to protect students, and his hope that before long the school budget will allow for a resource officer at each school. While students’ anxiety and confusion may increase during times like these, student representative Mary Dressler, expressed appreciation for many adults in and outside of the school system who have been willing to discuss, and work through those fears with our youth. Justin Rider, the schools’ business manager gave an overview of the proposed budget, and mentioned an addition for the next fiscal year.

“Another Safety Factor from a medical perspective is to change the current school nurse which we have two, three quarter nurses from part time to full time. This would assume a two hundred day contract, and they would be here seven and a quarter hours a day, or a teacher equivalent, and that price is 24,092 with benefits. “

Later in his presentation Rider gave some background on what to expect from the state, and the importance of communicating with School Board members and Supervisors about items considered priorities.

“We will take note that the state funds have decreased a little bit even though our enrollment was still at five fifteen. Five fifteen is the budgeted figure for ’17-’18 as well. And those in school finance know that March 31st is the real date for who gets the money.”

Allison Hicklin, MES principal presenting in Superintendent Sue Hirsch’s absence, described one of the several areas in which Bath County students have excelled recently.

“Mid February, 15th and 16th, our Beta club from the high school attended the National Bata Conference in Hampton. They competed in variety of different competitions with thirty other schools, and we took away several winners: Emma Marshall, First place, on site painting, second place visual arts; Taylor Gentry second place in science, Division One, and the Scrapbook Team took third place; ***Members of that team were: Gabrielle Reed , Skylin Reed, Samantha Stinespring, Courtney Hoover, Taylor Gentry, Fenia Skovira and Jennifer Ford.

This year three teams, 2 with middle school aged students on them, and the veteran team from the high school attended the Kid Wind competition. These teams are scored in the following categories to determine their final placing: the first is specifically how much power their turbine generates, next how well they present and discuss their own designs and turbines with the judges, and finally their knowledge about sustainable energy and wind power. All three teams had fine showings and qualified to participate in the National competition in Chicago in May.

They will need to raise close to twenty-four thousand dollars to cover the expenses of such a trip for this many students and their sponsors. As Stephen Hiner, of Mountain Grove, who observed the regional competition, and was present at the school board meeting commented,

“Hopefully the community will rally behind these young students and provide all the resources that they need to continue this study with wind turbines, and also take the trip to Chicago.” For information on the Kid Wind Competition, and Bath County’s participation, please contact Larry Grubbs or Joey Altizer, or the school board office at 839-2722.


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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