Board of Education Discussed Need for Substitute Teachers


At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, Pocahontas County’s West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) President Kathy White said that there’s already a serious need for substitute teachers this school year. “We’re now into the second week,” White said, “and the teachers have already been asked to cover classes twice within the first six days of school.”

White said it hurts the students when teachers have to be pulled out of planning time make up for the lack of substitutes. “Teachers have to have time to plan,” she said. “They have to be creative with what they have, and if they’re covering someone else’s class, they can’t be planning for their own.”

The Board made a decision to advertise the need for substitute teachers in order to address this problem. Information about how to become a substitute teacher will be available in The Pocahontas Times and on the Pocahontas County Board of Education website.

White and fellow high school science teacher Mary Sue Burns mentioned the need for a third science teacher at Pocahontas County High School. They suggested advertizing beyond the state and county website to help fill this position. “At this point in the school year,” Burns said, “it’s going to be difficult to find somebody with science credentials that doesn’t have a job without looking a little bit farther and thinking outside the box.”

Burns suggested advertizing the position in other states, as well as the National Science Teachers Association job site. Board President Emery Grimes said the board will do everything within their power to get an additional science teacher at the high school.

Music teacher Rick McLaughlin said that the students he’s worked with love “Quaver,” the new music curriculum. He also brought up his concern that Hillsboro Elementary School currently lacks a music program.  “I don’t see them having music and I really don’t see them having band when the other two schools have band,” he said.

McLaughlin also said the decision to move 5th grade to Marlinton Middle School has led to issues with classes and planning because students are at different levels.

In other news:

  • Superintendent Donald Bechtel announced that 1,096 students were currently enrolled in Pocahontas County Schools.
  • West Virginia Education Association treasurer Molly Minter presented the Board with a $500 check from the WVEA.
  • Morgan McComb informed the board that he’s been appointed President of the Service Personnel Association.
  • Two contracted positions were approved. Erica Marks will provide gifted services and other evaluation services to students enrolled with Pocahontas County schools. Mary Moore McLaughlin will provide art instruction services, in collaboration with the classroom teacher, to the students of Hillsboro Elementary School.
  • On the Personnel Agenda, 3 resignations were approved. 50 new employments were announced for the 2014-2015 school year. 2 positions were created, one for a Teacher of Science/Biology at Pocahontas County High School, and one for an Itinerant Teacher of Special Education for Pocahontas County Schools.
  • The Board placed Policy GCC-C on 30-day comment. The policy would require substitutes to work more than 50% of the time when contact has been made in order to remain on the substitute calling list.

The next Board of Education meeting will be Monday, September 8 at 7pm at the Pocahontas County Board of Education Conference Room.

Story By

Megan Moriarty

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