Highland HS Principal Kelly Wilmore Wants To See Changes In School Handbook

Monterey, VA – The Highland County School Board is working on a presentation for the Virginia Department of Education. The Board plans to make the case to Department of Education officials that the small school system in Highland County needs help from the state to cope with declining enrollments and a shrinking budget.

Virginia House of Delegates member Dickie Bell was at the meeting on Monday to lend his support to the efforts of the School Board members. Mr. Bell has a long history in Virginia education and his insights have already been gratefully received by the Highland Board of Supervisors and School Board.

Highland High School Principal, Mr. Wilmore made a request to the Board to make 2 additions to the School Handbook. The first deals with actions to be taken if students come to school intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. The second is a policy that would ask that teachers not have contact with students using personal Facebook, MySpace or Twitter accounts. These issues have not been a problem yet in Highland County, but Mr. Wilmore feels that the handbook should address them. School Board members requested that he put his policy changes in writing for them to consider at the next board meeting.

In her report to the board, elementary school Principal Teresa Blum described this year’s theme.

“Our theme this year is soaring into learning, we’re going to do hot air balloons on our hall of fame around the building” says Blum. “We are offering math class for all classroom teachers at the elementary and for the math teachers at the middle and high school. We’ve also invited Bath teachers to come up.”

In other business, the coaches for fall athletic programs were approved – Donnie Ferrell for golf, Mike Warf for cross country, Margie Swanger for girls volleyball and Lois Terry for assistant volleyball and cheerleading. The bid from Murphy fencing for 500 feet of 5 foot chain link fencing was accepted pending confirmation that their bid meets all the specifications.

Project REACH members Betty Mitchell and Anne Adams asked the Board to make a request to the Board of Supervisors for $5,148 to support Sara Harman’s Vista position for the coming year. Sara has been working on several projects for the school and Mr. Wilmore, Mr. Nowlin, and Mr. Billingsley all spoke in support of the request, which was approved by the Board. Sara Chaney was approved for the Gifted and Talented Committee. Mr. Nowlin reported to the board on a request from the National Forest Counties Coalition.

“We got asked by the National Forest Counties and School Coalition to join their coalition” says Nowlin. “It’s for Secure Rural Schools – in [20]’09 we 93 thousand [dollars], last year we got 87 [thousand]. Basically their asking for a nominal fee [of] $93.50.”

“What they will do is try to get Congress to pass forest money and it’s well worth the amount of money that we’ll put in it.”

Mr. Nowlin also recommended that the Board look at purchase of a new van or small bus to replace the old van currently used by the school.

The next meeting of the Highland county school board will be Tuesday, September 7 at 7 PM in the High School Library.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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