Golden Horseshow Winners Recognized By Pocahontas Board of Education
Marlinton, WV – Four Pocahontas County HS students were recognized for their achievements during the Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting Monday night. Frederika Gardner, who was not in attendance, was recognized as a state spelling bee champion. The three other students are Golden Horseshoe winners – students recognized for their proficiency in West Virginia History. They are Wesley Felton, James Riley and Maria Rose. All three received an award from the board in recognition of their achievement.
In other business, the Americorps Vista volunteers sponsored by the High Rocks Academy gave the board an update on the activities they’re involved with in the county schools. JP Perry and Annie Mountcastle have been working with elementary school kids. Perry describes her activities at Marlinton Elementary School.
“I’ve been working during the school day, a few days a week at Marlinton Elementary and I’ve been providing some art training and gifted enrichment” she says.
Annie Mountcastle is helping students with math at Hillsboro elementary. Both Perry and Mountcastle also head up an afterschool program called Use Your Noodle. Perry says they plan to take the program to the Linwood library and Green Bank Elementary school in the near future.
Adrienne Juergens, a local food Vista is working with middle school kids. Not surprisingly, her focus is on teaching kids about growing and using local foods. She says last week, she taught 12 students how to can apple pie filling. In the coming weeks, her students will learn about making herbal tea, horseradish and plantable seed paper. She also hopes to expand her teaching to the elementary and high schools after the first of the year.
Vistas Vanessa Clay and Lisa Sun-Gresham are working with high school students. Clay explains what they’ve been up to.
“We’ve been helping out two days a week, mostly in the English department” she says. “We’ve been also helping with the Civics class and the drama class, and helping with the school play. And we were tasked with the job of organizing Poetry Out Loud [national poetry contest]. We’ve also been connecting a lot of the high school students with community service opportunities.”
For her part, HRA founder Susan Burt is pleased with the activities of the Vista volunteers.
“I’m so happy with it, I just so happy that we have enough staff to help with the schools and do afterschool stuff” she says. “Call kids at home, take them home if they can’t get home with the activity bus; yeah, I think it’s great.”
She’s also glad to be able to include boys in the fun.
“And I think it’s really nice that they include boys in what they’re doing” she says. “The thing about a lot of these boys I particularly notice in Use Your Noodle, fifth grade boys who are kind of bottled up in school, they have to sit in their seat all day, always get in trouble, get negative attention. I’m having a lot of fun just working with these guys on some stuff that I know about, [like] counseling and classroom management; a chance to experiment with that outside of the classroom.”
School treasurer Alice Irvine says a report from the state Fire Marshals’ office notes the fire alarm system in all county schools must be professionally inspected. She says they have contracted with a Beckley company to do the inspection later this month. The report also calls for upgrades to the sprinkler system at Marlinton Elementary school. Irvine says that could be a very costly project.
On the personnel agenda for Pocahontas County HS, Patrick Gibson is hired as a mentorship facilitator, Darlene Arbogast and Melodi Knisely are employed as co-cheerleader coaches for basketball, and Michael Dipasquale is hired as the baseball coach. Dipasquale is currently employed as a teacher at Tygart Valley HS. Pocahontas Superintendent CC Lester confirmed that no one locally had applied for this coaching position.
Susie Workman McCree is employed as a substitute cook for the county.