Federal Secure Rural Schools Funding Program Has Expired
At the December 3 Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, Pocahontas County High School science teacher Justin Dilley gave a report on his recent visit to Washington, D.C., where he had been invited to testify before the Congressional Energy and Natural Resources Committee about the funding of the Secure Rural Schools or SRS program, and about the Payment in Liew of Taxes, or PELT program.
Dilley said that most of the Senators on that panel represent western states whose rural Boards of Education are very dependent on those programs to fund their schools. He said that the SRS program has expired and right now it doesn’t look like the U.S. senate will renew it anytime soon, if at all, but Dilley said he will keep the Board posted on any updates he may receive about this.
This Board meeting was held at the Marlinton Elementary School and during the Local School Improvement Council meeting prior to the regular Board meeting, Marlinton Elementary School kindergarten teacher Barbara Beard gave a presentation on the new Character Education program teachers are implementing this year. Beard said several teachers attended the Explore Academy in Huntington over the summer and they learned about the Six Habits of Success, which are respect, integrity, compassion, curiosity, cooperation and craftsmanship. These six habits are used in lessons to help students develop good character. She said that those habits are developed in the classroom by reading high quality books aloud then discussing the major themes and ideas in the books and poetry. Beard said they also use role-playing and games. The purpose of those habits of success is to enable students to become better people and to show respect for everyone in their lives.
Marlinton Elementary School Principal Phillip Anderson also addressed the Board and said that the school has been selected as a pilot school for the Marshall University Autism Training Center program which will help the school staff with autism education.
Former Pocahontas County Sheriff David Jonese addressed the Board about the Greenbrier County Youth Reporting Center (YRC), which will be expanding to service the youth of Pocahontas County.
Jonese. who is the Program Director for the YRC, explained that it is designed to help kids who are between 12 and 18 years of age with a history of delinquent behavior to get back into school and to avoid additional delinquent behaviors. He said YRC provides an alternative to juvenile detention and employs counseling and life skills training in cooperation with Texas Christian University. Jonese said kids in the program have strict rules to follow, but they are treated with respect as students, not as prisoners.
Jonese said that to provide these services in Pocahontas County, the YRC needs a facility close to, or at a school. He asked the Board to consider letting them use the PCHS auditorium, and the Board agreed to put that request on a future meeting agenda.
School Nurse Jenny Friel also addressed the Board about her being the only nurse to service all five county schools, requesting that the Board hire two additional Licensed Practical Nurses to share her responsibilities.
Additionally, the Board approved the following:
- The Expense Reimbursement policy.
- Crystal Kerr as volunteer assistant softball coach at Pocahontas County High School, effective for the 2019-2020 season.
- Kenneth Beezley as assistant volunteer basketball coach at Marlinton Middle School, effective for the 2019-2020 season.
- A personnel list which can be found below.
I would like to thank Suzanne Stewart and the Pocahontas Times for their assistance in producing this report.
Personnel Actions Approved at the December 3rd BOE Meeting
- Employment of Nebraska N. Scotchie as athletic director at Marlinton Middle School, effective for the 2019-2020 season, at a supplement of $750. Position pending on sufficient number of players to make a team.
- Employment of Ernest “Ray” Hendrick as assistant 7th and 8th grade football coach, at Pocahontas County High School, retroactive to September 12, at a prorated supplement of $200.
- Employment of Kathy L. Mason as assistant boys basketball coach at Pocahontas County High School, effective for the 2019-2020 school year, at a supplement of $500. Position pending on a sufficient number of players to make a team.
- Employment of Kimberly Beverage as itinerant special education aide/classroom aside/bus aide at Marlinton Elementary School, at state basic pay, effective December 5, for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, term of employment is 121 days. Note: term of employment shall be 200 days each year thereafter.
- Employment of Daniel Ahern as substitute teacher for Pocahontas County Schools, effective December 5, for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, as needed, at state basic pay.
- Creation of position substitute truck driver for Pocahontas County Schools, effective January 2, 2020, as needed, for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, at state basic pay.
- Creation of position substitute custodian/sanitation plant operator for Pocahontas County Schools, effective January 2, 2020, as needed, for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, at state basic pay.