Bath School Board holds September meeting

What’s on air

Part One

When Bath County School Board met on Tuesday evening, Superintendent Sue Hirsh noted early on Millboro Elementary School’s Distinguished Achievement Award for 2016-17 from the Board of Education. Millboro has been awarded this honor more than once as determined by the Virginia Index of Preformance. Hirsh offered congratulations to the school’s students, faculty and staff. Then each principal gave brief reports on how opening days of this year have gone.

Allison Hicklin, principal of MES noted there are one hundred and forty-five student in grades pre-K through 7. She also noted there may be more sooner than later.

“We have several re-school students on the waiting list, which is showing good signs for coming years of high enrollment numbers.” Steve Sizemore of Valley Elementary School reported enrollment of 204 students. He also described the progress of the Solar Project begun at VES first. A big piece of the installation is complete. “They started on the other half today. The kids are intrigued; the parents are intrigued. It has just been very, very positive, and a lot of great discussions.” Affordable Energy has already tested the system successfully, and eventually

the school system expects to generate 56% of its’ electricity consumption.

Dr. Michael Perry of BCHS said 211 students started out the school year there, and commented on the number of students also enrolled at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, the Governor’s School, and Virtual Virginia. Dr. Perry mentioned the school’s commitment to improving quality and increasing enrollment in vocational programs too.

The school board members heard next from Steve Miner, of the Springsted Company. This group will be conducting the school system’s classification and compensation study. The goal of the study is to establish internal equity based on the different groups of contracted employees; Springsted consultants factor in existing compensation for employees as well. Then they work to establish how sustainable the system’s current practices may be, and to identify a competitive pay structure. Mr. Miner told the board members who all the members of the study team are, and encouraged them, and school employees, to contact them at any point throughout the process with questions or observations.

(For broadcast 09/07/17)

One of the final items requiring board action was to vote to request supplemental appropriation from the Board of Supervisors for new fuel tanks to be installed at Bath County High School.   Superintendent Sue Hirsh, and Business Manager       Justin Rider are very familiar with the very rigorous process of installing new fuel tanks. “We have been installing new fuel tanks at Valley replacing a tank that was first installed in 1976.   The installation is underway.”

That had to be replaced because of a leaking incident several months ago. Now the board is faced with asking Supervisors for close to one hundred eight thousand dollars to replace tanks at the high school. Hirsh and Rider noted several reasons this fueling station, which was also installed in 1976, is essential to the school and community. Aside from the “accident waiting to happen” aspect of the tank, they noted it is already attached to a generator, and neither of the other two fuel stations in the county is.   The reason for this is Bath County High School is a designated emergency shelter.   The school board voted unanimously to make the request, and will hope to have a reply soon enough to begin installation before spring.

The School Board also welcomed Student Representative for this year, Mary Dressler.

For other items presented at Tuesday night’s meeting, including some special recognition for MES, pieces of principals’ report, and an introduction to the Smithsted study from consultant, Steve Minor visit Part One of this story on .


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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