Highland School Board Gets Down To Business At First Meeting

Monterey, VA – The Highland County School Board starts out the year with two new members, Bobbie Hefner of Monterey and Joe Neil who lives north of McDowell. Last week, at the Board’s first meeting of this year, returning Board Member, John Moyers was elected chairman. Bobbie Hefner was elected vice-chair. The next order of business was to set the future meeting days and the Board decided to meet on the second Monday of each month. Next, High School Principal April Goff gave the Board her report.

“We had our holiday assembly and all the events that went along with that just before Thanksgiving,” she says, “I unfortunately was not able to be here that day but I heard lots of good reports.”

Mrs. Goff goes on to talk about the basketball teams.

“We do still have a JV team, but because of varsity eligibility issues, those boys are playing varsity right now, but we do hope that after the end of the semester and grades get posted, we can field that JV team,” she says. “Our varsity boys are having a winning season and our middle school girls are having a winning season as of right now.”

Elementary School principal Teresa Blum then made her report to the Board.

“For the first time since Highland has been participating in the Lego league we had a team advance to the state final and they are waiting for you to mosey down to the computer labs to show you their skit and performance on the board.

Next, the Board adjourned to the Elementary School computer lab to see the Lego League Team performance. When the meeting resumed, Superintendent Crawford described his recent meeting with the Board of Supervisors.

“I met with our new representatives from the Board of Supervisors; they shared some of their concerns and their thoughts about the challenges of the school system,” he says. “We had a very good meeting, it’s obvious to me that they are aware of the challenges and I think they are committed to Highland County schools and to doing the best that they can for the school system.”

Superintendent Crawford goes on to describe his recent efforts to gather information on the alternative education methods that the school is considering.

“Today I talked with Dave Smits from Connections Academy; that’s a virtual school,” says Crawford. “He talked with us about the possibility of Highland County becoming a virtual school. I’ll have a full report for you at the next board meeting. I’m also going to be meeting with JMU, possibly some community colleges for some of the recommendations to see if we can do some partnering with them for virtual courses; going to invite charter schools in to a presentation or to conference with us by phone. And also as per the recommendation of the Secretary of Education, we’re going to be looking at educational management companies.”

Superintendent Crawford plans to make all this information available to the Board by April, so they can deliberate and decide on a plan for the future of the highland School system.

The next meeting of the Highland County School Board will be Monday, February 11 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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