Grand opening for Hillsboro Elementary School Cafeteria and Kitchen
HILLSBORO, WV – A ceremony was held in Hillsboro on Sunday to dedicate the brand new Hillsboro Elementary School cafeteria and kitchen. Delegate Denise Campbell was in attendance, and she said she appreciated the invitation.
“Just being able to be here in this historic area I think is just totally amazing,” says Campbell. “But I do want to say that I think this is a great addition to this school because students need to be around a pleasant environment. Whenever we go somewhere to eat in a restaurant, we don’t try to go find some place that’s a hole-in-the-wall to eat.”
Campbell said students, and their well-being, have always been a top priority for her.
“I really want to always try to do everything I can for every student, no matter what their abilities are,” Campbell told attendees. “I don’t want us to ever look at students as having limitations; I want us to look at what is their potential.”
Campbell said she’s always hearing good things about Hillsboro Elementary. She acknowledged Hillsboro teachers and school staff that were in attendance, and talked about their vital role in the community.
“When you have good teachers, you need to do everything you can, whether you’re a parent or a grandparent or a neighbor, you need to encourage those teachers,” urges Campbell. “Because teachers fill such a gap with many students and I think sometimes we fail to give those teachers the appreciation that they deserve.”
Board of Education President Emery Grimes said a few words.
“Isn’t it great to stand here in this new cafeteria? Parents, grandparents, and community members, by you being here today,” says Grimes. “It shows your support for this school and this community.”
Grimes said the financial future of the school system is uncertain. Pocahontas County could stand to lose its Secure Rural School funding next year. A large portion of the annual school budget comes from SRS funding.
“We’re going to have to be a community that supports ourself,” cautions Grimes. “We hear that this is the last year that we’re going to get the SRS money. So, we’re working for other ways to find revenue. The county is also looking for ways to find it, because if we lose SRS money, the county loses the PILT [payment in lieu of taxes] money and it’s going to be devastating to a small county with a population of about 8,200 people. So, we’re going to have to figure out how we can survive on our own.”
Pocahontas County School Superintendent Dr. Donald Bechtel spoke about patience, persistence, and pride. Three things he said are evident at Hillsboro Elementary.
“We sit here and we marvel at this beautiful space,” says Bechtel. “So, I think it was worth the wait. As I look at this facility. It’s the last piece in a puzzle, that’s a masterpiece. So, thank you to everybody who helped us to put the last piece of the puzzle together for the children, and the teachers, and the community.”