Bath School Board welcomes Solar and Weight Room input

In an ideal world it wouldn’t take until a right is threatened, or lost, for people to decide to participate in government. But participate some young men did last Tuesday night! In January when the Bath school board voted to approve a contract that would firm up the schools’ relationship with the Bath Community Wellness Center, they also mulled over how to be more efficient with the old gym space currently used as a weight room and for a variety of other in school activities.   For the first time in quite a few years the high school football team is coming together regularly, strength building, learning safety routines, and developing as a team. Even though no action had been taken to specifically remove the weights from the school, it was clear any plan to bus teams to the Wellness Center was not popular or practical.

So around twenty-five football players, supportive parents, and friends of Bath County athletes showed up to make sure the school board know how they felt.

When they learned the high school weight room was not as threatened as they had thought, there was a suggestion for how confusion and misinformation could be avoided in the future. Amber Yohe, parent and BCHS Science Department Head spoke to board members and administration,

“We don’t know because we haven’t asked them. I request that students be polled about decisions involving their programs

Then she turned to the students,

“because your voices are important, and they are meaningful, and they are deserving of being heard.


Cole Plott, a sophomore at Bath County High School talked about what working out on weights means to him.

“I think they need to keep it in place, and give us a chance to show ‘em what we can do after we get a little bit stronger.

It helps me get stronger; it’s just like having fifteen other brothers like your family members, you can rely on, and you can talk to them about anything you want, and they motivate you, they help you, and I just can’t wait for this football season to come up.”

The school board members were very appreciative so many students had shown up, and encouraged them to continue to pay attention and to speak up when they have concerns. They also want to make sure all students know the Wellness Center and transportation there is available four days a week. Just inquire about how to use it.

Sherriff Robert Plecker described how several years back, there had been an interest in building a field house, and volunteers and donations were coming together to make it possible. Those plans were dropped, but at least one parent on that evening spoke in favor of reviving them.   Several other board members, and some high school staff mentioned getting the parking lot paved and the baseball field repaired are higher priorities at the moment, and how even finding the funds for those continues to be a struggle.

Of special note, the School Board approved after a few months of discussion, a solar project to be constructed at Valley Elementary School to generate electricity supply for the whole school system. Mike Keyser, of BARC electric had explained how a special loan arrangement through the Rural Utility Service makes the project cost effective for the schools, and how BARC will be responsible for operations and maintenance for at least fifteen years. They voted to move forward with the project pending review of the contract. Other notable items and the names of coaches for Spring Sports are included with this story on Allegheny Mountain


Acknowledged resignation of Kirk Smith, MES Custodian
Appointed Sandra McGlothlin as MES Cafeteria Worker
Appointed Justin Hall as MES Lab Manager, .80 FTE and .20 FTE contracted services
Approved 2017 Spring Coaching appointments pending application completion and reference checks:
JV Baseball​- Danny Sifford​

Varsity Softball Assistant- DeeDee Broce

Softball Volunteer​- Kevin Williams

Girls Soccer Volunteer​- Kayala Jordan​

Boys Soccer Volunteer- Steve Gardener


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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