Bath School Board holds May meeting

The Bath County School Board held its regular monthly meeting at Bath County High School onTuesday evening.  The first part of the meeting was full of good news, lists of achievements by faculty and students alike.  As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, many of them were recognized for the number of years they have worked with our children. School nurses are also being appreciated this week. Chris Phillips and Jan Lee both completed ten years of service; Lisa Hamilton and Jean Harold twenty years.  Bev Atkins was appreciated for her 20 years in Bath County Public Schools, and Connie Liptrap, as well, for twenty-five years.  Beth Neff, who worked in administration of Technology, Special Education, and most recently in the School Board office, will be retiring after thirty years working for the school system.  Jeanie Rooklin was also appreciated for her thirty years.  Anita McGuire was noted for thirty-five years of teaching at Valley Elementary School.  And finally, Betty Colvin and Leslie Brunner, with whom I had the pleasure of overlapping for a time at Millboro Elementary School were recognized for their forty years in the classroom. 

Students who were recognized for their excellence were valedictorian of the class of 2019 Emma Marshal and Salutatorian, Gabbie Reed.  For the second year in a row, Sadie Alphin had artwork exhibited as part of a student forum during the Virginia School Board Association’s conference in Williamsburg, and at the VSBA offices.  Erika Church, Malia Whittington, Aoife Bradley and Mikayla Cauley were all commended for their participation and excellence at the FCCLA, or Future Community and Civic Leaders of America Conference.  School Superintendent Sue Hirsch also expressed appreciation to the High School Jazz Band and carpentry and culinary arts students who contributed time and talent to a VSBA regional forum which Bath County Hosted at the Inn at Warm Springs.  Board Chair, Rhonda Grimm noted the Prom had been an occasion appreciated by many, and that the after-prom party was a success again this year.

     During Focus on Schools, high school students, Dalton Nicely and Larry Dollyhide demonstrated something unseen by almost everyone at the meeting except technology teachers Mark Hall, Ed Ozuls, and principal Dr. Mike Perry.  Bath County High school now has a pair of goggles, or Hololens, through which the wearer experiences augmented reality.   Augmented reality is made possible by technology that superimposes information — sounds, images and text — on the world we see.  So much digital information can be added to a viewer’s perception they can feel like they’re standing in a distinct environment, such as an ancient city, or Amazonian Jungle.   It also allows them to manipulate their surroundings.  There are numerous ways AR is being applied in medical training, military settings, construction, and public safety.  Dr. Perry expressed excitement and appreciation of students and staff alike, about the opportunity to learn more with this very special gift to the school.  Also, in the same vein of Bath County School’s  opportunities with technology, the school board approved the Kid Wind teams’ overnight field trip to Houston for the National Finals of that competition. 

Later in the meeting, Jane Hall, who had coordinated the first Career Explosion for fifth through 12 grade students back in April, thanked the counseling department, and all other staff who made the event such a success in its first year

There were Forest Reserve funds awarded to the county again this year, and so the school board approved asking for those to be appropriated in the sum of 59, 558.58.  They will be used in the areas of school maintenance and transportation. The board also approved making no changes in the policies or procedures from last year relating to out of county students.

The next Bath County School Board meeting will be held June 4th at 7:00 at Millboro Elementary School.  Parents, Student and community members are all welcomed.

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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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