Green Bank 5th through 7th Graders Support Green Bank Observatory through Art

At the January 9th Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Terrence Beam praised a student Art Show which supports the Green Bank Observatory
(GBO) in its efforts to maintain funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The project was conducted by 5th, 6th and 7th grade students
at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School under the direction of Teacher Alison Flegel.

Flegel wrote a letter about the Art Show which she asked Mr. Beam to read to the Board of Education. Here are some excerpts from Alison’s letter, as read by Mr. Beam.

“‘The 5th grade students drew the GBT (Green Bank Telescope) and finished their work using crayons and colored pencils, focusing on atmospheric perspective’” read Beam. “’The 7th graders could choose from any new media such as graphite and print making. Their focus was on line and pattern. My sixth grade students could choose any art medium, choosing 3D sculptures using a variety of media… Their focus was on using elements of art and principles of design…. The sixth grade students wrote letters of support to the NSF for the GBO. Their letters were emailed along with a photo of their artwork. This project was a wonderful opportunity for them to experience having a voice through art…’”

In his report to the Board, Mr. Beam also mentioned that he has begun his yearly visits to the schools to meet with staff and hear their concerns. He started with Marlinton Middle School. He said the staff was very respectful and polite. They were concerned about possible upcoming personnel decisions, and Mr. Beam said he answered what he could about that. They also wanted to know if the Board would begin enforcing attendance zones since students now attend any school their parents want them to attend. Mr. Beam said it would be discussed but warned them that doing this would have “ramifications” too.

Kayla Gibson reports that a team of students from Pocahontas High School won best in West Virginia in the third Verizon National Innovative App challenge.

“There were over 1800 submissions” said Kayla. “But there was a group of 5 boys: Logan Woodruff, Elijah Robertson, Mathias Soliday, Jacob Jones, and Noah Barkley, and they won first place in our state. They get a tablet –each of them- and they get backpacks, tee shirts – a bunch of gear. But they won $5000.00 for our school.”

According to Verizon’s website, “The app challenge – a Verizon Innovative Learning program – gives middle and high school students the chance to create mobile apps that help meet a need in their communities or schools. No coding is required, so any student can participate. Best in State team winners are awarded $5,000 for their STEM program.” Verizon states that the Team from Pocahontas County High School won best in West Virginia for an app titled “Flood Protection.”

In other actions, the Board of Education approved various vender payments; a small WV Department of Education grant of $149.00 to reimburse a teacher’s training costs; Payrolls for December 22nd and January 6th, Extra duty pay for December and a Schedule of Expenses report through November, 2016.

That report indicates that the Schools’ budget has spent over $125,000 more than last year’s budget through November 2015. It was pointed out that there have been higher then usual costs this year, including a $14,000 increase in flood insurance and sharply higher building maintenance costs. Board Member Joe Walker reported that he learned from Senator Mansion’s office that it is highly unlikely that there will be any National Forest money this year, adding another $377,700 hole in the current budget.

The Board dropped the county mileage reimbursement from 54 cents per mile to 53.5 cents per mile to keep it in line with the Federal rate.

After a closed Executive session, the Board passed the proposed personnel agenda which can be found on our website with this story.

During the matters of the Board, it was reported that the source of the water leaking into the PCHS sewer system remains unknown and under investigation. It was also mentioned that there are complaints that the High School heating system is leaving students cold in some parts of the building.


PERSONNEL AGENDAJanuary 9, 2017 Professional and Service Personnel



Green Bank Elementary-Middle School:


ABOLISHMENT OF POSITION: Custodian III at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School/Pocahontas County High School, effective January 11, 2017.
RESIGNATION: RITA KELLY, due to retirement, as Teacher of Preschool Handicapped Combination School Based (Green Bank Elementary-Middle School)/Home Based, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. 
EMPLOYMENT: OLIVIA GRIMES, as Temporary/Substitute Techer of Early Childhood (remainder of 16-17 school year only) at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, effective January 11, 2017 for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year only. Term of employment is 98 day. Position is contingent upon adequate

Marlinton Middle School:


EMPLOYMENT: DAVID W. VANORSDALE, JR., as Teacher of English/Language Arts/Reading at Marlinton Middle School, effective January 11, 2017 for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year, at state basic pay based on degree and experience, term of employment is 98 days. NOTE: Term of employment shall be 200 days each year thereafter. 
UNPAID SUSPENSION: Angela Irvine, Service Employee at Marlinton Middle School, suspension for 2 days, without pay, to be served on January 10 and 11, 2017.

Pocahontas County Schools:

REQUESTED TRANSFER: MICHAEL GALFORD, as School Bus Operator for Pocahontas County Schools, from his current run to:Morning Run:

Beginning at Marlinton Middle School, travel to Route 219 N turning right on Airport Road, travel to top of Airport Hill turning left onto Brownsburg Road to the end of Brownsburg and turn right onto Edray Road. Go to intersection of Edray and Brush Country Road and turn right onto Brush Country Road. Follow Brush Country back to 219 North turning right and travel to Old Campbell Town Road turn right and turn around at Drennen Ridge. Return to 219 and turn left following 219 South to Route 39 to 4th Avenue to 9th Street at Marlinton Elementary School to 5th Avenue to Route 39 West to Route 219 South to Marlinton Middle School.

Afternoon Run: Reverse of Morning Run

SNOW ROUTE: Follow 219 North to Airport Road to Brownsburg to Edray Road to Brush Country Road back to 219 North, turning right and meeting students at the Nazarene Church on Route 219 North. Turn bus onto 219 South and proceed with regular route. Effective January 11, 2016, for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year, at state basic pay.

REQUESTED TRANSFER: GARY T. ROSE, from Custodian III (half time) at Hillsboro Elementary School to School Bus Operator for Pocahontas County Schools, run as follows:

Morning Run:

Leave PCHS travel north on 28. Turn left onto Laurel Run Road. Turn around. Turn left onto Sitlington Road. Turn around. Return to Rt. 28 N. At the Dunmore intersection go straight meeting Allen Taylor at the Dunmore United Methodist Church. Go right onto 92 N to GBEMS. From GBEMS return via 92/28 S to PCHS.

Afternoon Run: Reverse of Morning Run

SNOW ROUTE: Leave PCHS and go North on 28 to Dunmore. Meet Allen Taylor at Dunmore United Methodist Church, transfer students, return to North 92 to Green Bank, will not travel Heavener and Curry Road. Pick up high School students. May pick up students that other busses cannot.

At state basic pay, effective January 11, 2017 for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year, term of employment is 98 days (in addition to days worked as Custodian III). (NOTE: It is anticipated that this run will be abolished at the end of the 2016-2017 school year, subject to approval of the Pocahontas County Board of Education during Personnel Season.)

EMPLOYMENT: Of the following as Substitute Teacher for Pocahontas County Schools, effective January 11, 2017 for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year, as needed, at state basic pay based on degree and experience:
  Shelby L. Snead
                                                                    Laura Solliday (upon certification by the WV D.O.E.)
                                                                     Joseph P. Rose (upon certification by the WV D.O.E.))
EMPLOYMENT: AMANDA HARVEY, as Substitute Teacher for Pocahontas County Schools, retroactive to January 3, 2017 for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year, as needed, at state basic pay based on degree and experience.
EMPLOYMENT: JAMIE C. WALKER, as Substitute School Bus Operator for Pocahontas County Schools, effective January 11, 2017, as needed, for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year, at state basic pay. Emergency Use Only.


Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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