Board of Ed receives first Technology Committee report

At this week’s Pocahontas County School Board of Education meeting, board members received a report from the recently formed Technology Committee. The volunteer committee is comprised of some talented IT folks in the area who are working hard to improve computer and Internet access in Pocahontas County schools.

NRAO business manager Mike Holstine serves on the committee and told the board that developing the committee was a result of complaints ranging from Internet access to the aging PC’s in some of the schools.

“Basically we came up with about ten recommendations,” Holstine says. “We felt it was good to also throw in the estimated costs to implement each one of these recommendations.”

Holstine said there have already been some changes that will have an impact.

“In the software,” explains Holstine. “There have already been some changes in your connectivity.”

Board member Dr. Hannah Sizemore also volunteers on the Technology Committee.

“One of the recommendations that’s in here is that there be an IT committee for consultations like this on a regular basis. And I guess my question is will you and others at NRAO continue to help us when these opportunities arise?” Sizemore asks Holstine.

“As much as possible, we certainly will,” Holstine says.

Board president Emery Grimes thanked everyone for their help with the report.

“We really appreciate you all being on this committee to try to make it better for Pocahontas County,” he says. “A lot of work, by a lot people, that put a lot of time in, we certainly thank you.”

Board members heard from Becky Spencer, representing the Pocahontas County Youth Archery Team. Spencer said the archery team is a new program and the coaches have run into a situation, and they needed help from the board.

“We had 48 students that competed in our archery program, which is third through twelfth, and we had students from every school that have competed with us. And due to the success of the archery team, we need a larger facility,” Spencer tells board members.

Spencer said they’ve found one, and it won’t cost them anything to use it.

“The county commissioners have voted to allow us to use the old Hanover shoe factory,” she says.

The team approached a contractor about what renovations would be needed to provide a safe venue for the team. They estimate they’ll need about $10,000, but Spencer wasn’t requesting financial help, she said they planned on fundraising. Spencer said what they really needed was technical assistance with a contract.

“We need an agreement between the archery team and the county that we can use this facility,” Spencer says. “So that we don’t find all this funding, put money into it, and then not really have something in place.”

Board members agreed to add the issue to the next meeting agenda.

Green Bank Elementary/Middle School Principal Ricky Sharp said he is a supporter of the sport and congratulated the team on its success.

“I’d like to jump in,” says Sharp. “I think both Jody, and Mrs. Spencer, need some recognition because they took the elementary team to the state level, and placed first place at the state level. And the honor to go on to nationals is pretty high. I shot at Tucker County and I worked at Tucker County on the archery team. I love it. It’s an excellent program. Shooting at Tucker County, we placed once for nationals, it was third place. To place first in the entire state, I tip my hat to you. Congratulations.”

The Pocahontas County School Board of Education is scheduled to meet next on Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m. at the board office in Marlinton.

Story By

Angelo Jiordano

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