Highland County School Board January 2109 Meeting

Several Highland High School students were on hand during the Highland School Board’s initial meeting for 2019 as part of an assignment to watch governmental bodies in action. The first action they were able to view was the Board’s re-organization for the year, as John Moyers Jr. was elected Board chair, and Chris Amirault vice-chair.

The principals gave their respective reports, with elementary principal Teresa Blum giving credit to staff and admin for the extra effort they gave while she was out with pneumonia, and high school principal Tim Good gave praise to the National Honor Society and Student Council for organizing pre-holiday activities and events.

Superintendent Dr. Thomas Schott reported that he had been in contact with state delegate Dickie Bell in regards to the re-authorization of the “yoking bill”, which allows Highland schools to receive additional state funding through the use of Augusta County’s composite index. It would be in effect for 15 years if passed, and he urged people to contact their representatives in support of House Bill  1807. He also noted that in conversation with legislators that they felt education would receive extra funding in this year’s budget, but the amount was not known at this time.

Dr. Schott reported that he had received several inquiries on potential effects of the Federal government shutdown. Reading portions of an e-mail from Dr. James Lane, state school superintendent, which relayed that U.S. Department of Education funding had already been approved through fiscal year 2019, which runs to September 30th. However, U.S. Department of Agriculture funding is affected by the shutdown, and it provides support for various child nutrition programs. Support for school breakfast and lunch programs will be available only through the end of March.

During action items, the Board approved personnel as discussed in closed session, set the meeting dates for the year, and approved a bus payment and the VSBA services agreement.

During payment of the consent agenda, several expenses were questioned and explained, which is normal procedure as the Board reviews them. Following these clarifications, two of the three Board members voted to approve the consent agenda.

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Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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