Marlinton Elementary Students Surprise the Board of Education

Four members of the Marlinton Elementary School’s 4-H Lego Robotics Team surprise the Pocahontas County Board of Education and the School Superintendent with a money saving idea never thought about before by school authorities.

The Idea? We’ll let the kids themselves explain it.

First up is Rachael Burns – who talks about how the idea got started as a challenge to reduce trash. Rachael.

“As part of this year’s Lego Robotics Competition, we had to think of a way to reduce trash in our community” said Rachael. “One of the things we noticed was the amount of milk cartons thrown away each day. So we came up with a different plan.”

Scout Tankersley, another member of the team defined the problem caused by throwing away all these milk cartons. Scout.

“Each year Pocahontas County (schools) uses 29,338 eight ounce milk bottles that are thrown into the landfill” said Scout. “This is the equivalent of 6,000 cubic feet of trash each year. That is enough to fill one and one half tractor trailers full of just milk jugs each school year.”

Haley Spencer describes the amazing solution the Lego Robotics Team came up with on their own. Haley.

“We would like the schools to switch to milk dispensers and washable cups” said Haley. “Each dispenser will hold fifteen gallons of milk. Each dispenser costs $2,265 dollars. Dishwasher safe cups will cost $600 for each school.”

The fourth member of the team, Conner Spencer, provided the surprise of the night – the savings that this switch would make for the schools. Conner.

“Savings! Using the milk dispenser is cheaper than using bottles” said Conner. “It would save the County $3,454 every month in milk expenses. The reduction in trash would save our environment and our community.”

As the School Board and School authorities seemed momentarily stunned, Conner added some more savings figures.

“We found out that we would save One hundred and fifteen dollars and thirteen cents every day” said Conner. “We also found out that we would save $34,540 each year.”

Well, School Board President Emery Grimes responded by turning to Interim Superintendent Beam and said “Mr. Beam, take a look at this. It makes an awful lot of sense to me.”

Three members of the Marlinton Elementary Student Council spoke to the Board about their upcoming projects. Cameryn Boggs talked about the skit they created promoting student attendance and that Allegheny Mountain Radio recorded it and aired it. Kya Bard talked about “Operation Christmas” where students will collect items for needy children and items for our military. Haley Spencer talked about how the student council will wrap gifts at the Greenbrier Hotel later this month and the presents will go to the Family Resource Network’s Angel Tree.

Teacher Samantha Feather delivered a presentation about things happening at the school and Teacher Brian Smith talked about the schools top three priorities: 1. Early Literacy, 2. Improved use of Technology and 3. Facility Improvements. He pointed out however that #3 – facility improvement is on hold until they learn if the SBA will approve the proposal to move the school.

Smith also reported that reading levels at the school need to be improved, with 55% of the students at the school reading below grade level, while 20% are at grade level and 25% are above grade level.

That is the average for all grade levels at the school.

Below are the percentages for each grade, 2nd through 5th

2nd Grade – 56% reading below grade, 29% at grade and 15% above grade level

3rd Grade – 40% reading below grade, 30% at grade and 30% above grade level

4th Grade– 65% reading below grade, 6% at grade and 29% above grade level

5th Grade– 71% reading below grade, 4% at grade and 25% above grade level


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.

Current Weather