Bath School Board’s October meeting report

When the Bath County School Board opened its monthly meeting on Tuesday night there was recognition for experiences and achievements all around.

Trevor Plecker, a high school Junior, talked a little about a George Mason University sponsored program in which he had participated. Students spent a week studying National Security.

Trevor Plecker “I went on a college trip, the NYLF, or National Youth Leadership Forum. I went there for a week. I’d like to thank Mrs. Hirsh, and Mrs. Rowe for letting me go to it. It was an extraordinary thing. It changed my life.” Other successes include Caleb Fry being one of six students from the region to qualify for the State Golf Tournament, and the Bath County High School Band winning every award in all the categories of the competition Blast in the Draft.

School Board members themselves were recognized with certificates for their hard work and commitment at Virginia School Board Association trainings. Each school principal described how their students will recognize National Bullying Prevention Month. All agreed the practices and awareness reinforced during October are to be maintained through the whole year.

Sarah Rowe, Bath County High School principal talked about “Shake it up Lunch”: “The students will sit with different students that they wouldn’t normally sit with during lunch time, so they kind of get to know different people. We’re also going to do round table discussions about bullying. Oftentimes students won’t talk to the adults about bullying, so what we want to do is have round table discussions.” Older students will share experiences with younger students, and Guidance will be available for trouble-shooting and plans for preventing bullying.

Millboro Elementary School principal, Allison Hicklin,

“The older grades can really understand what the definition of bullying is, and you can really get into some scenarios. While the younger kids, instead of really talking about bullying we’re talking about making friends and how to be a friend.”

Steve Sizemore, Valley Elementary principal gave two dates to remember.

“We’re going to have Unity Day on October 19th where we wear orange, Bath County colors, and we’re going to have a “United We Stand” against Bullying and Drugs on Monday October 24th.”

Later in the meeting, Jane Hall, Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Education presented the findings of a “Communities that Care” survey. Students in Grades eight and ten were polled confidentially in 2011 and in 2016 about substance use, perceived risks and availability, and perceived peer and parent disapproval. Results in different categories varied over the five years, but conclusions point towards continuing substance abuse prevention and education.

Among a long list of Prevention resources available to students and parents is the Youth Summit held in Lexington, Virginia in April. Mrs. Hall mentioned another some students might want to pursue.

“The other one is in July. That’s called WEDAP the Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program. That’s at Longwood College. Both of these programs can give a lot to our youth to help lead us in a direction of prevention. It’s also a great opportunity, and Rockbridge Area Services is actually willing to help pay for some of the costs to attend these conferences.” For more information, or to participate in any of the prevention programs contact your school’s guidance office, or Jane Hall.




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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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