Newest Pocahontas County Board of Ed member forced to resign, result of voting precinct conflict

At Monday night’s Pocahontas County School Board of Education meeting, board members accepted the resignation of newest board member Steve Tritapoe.

“I’d just like to say a few words. Just a quick explanation, I was actually in the wrong district or precinct. I was in precinct 21. It was just an unfortunate mishap. I thank the County Clerk’s office for finding the mistake and correcting it. Yeah, it’s a shame that it happened, because I was really enjoying myself,” jokes Tritapoe. “But they did inform me that I am eligible to run in the fall if I choose, but I really just want to thank the board members and everybody, I really appreciate your all’s help.”

Board President Emery Grimes said it was a shame how the situation turned out, but the board had no other choice.

“The new 911 lines is what showed up and caught it,” explains Grimes. “So, it’s no fault of Steve’s or the Board of Education, and whenever they catch this, they have to change it. Several people have changed voting precincts because of the new 911.”

The remaining board members voted unanimously to appoint Green Bank resident Suzanne Stewart to fulfill the remainder of Tritapoe’s term.

“I just want to thank you all for the opportunity,” says Stewart. “I hope to bring some new ideas, hopefully not crazy ideas, but new ideas to the board. That’s all.”

Board members talked about the critical lack of substitute teachers in the school system. They said they were concerned that potential applicants are unsure of what they need to do get a contract signed and get started, and the board talked about what they can do to streamline the hiring process.

“Whoever we got out here that has a packet, that we have approved,” Grimes says. “Let’s get a hold of these people and see if we can call them and walk them through this the first time and any new ones that we add to the list, let’s walk them through the process so they understand how the process is.”

Any AMR listeners with a four year college degree that’s willing to work as a substitute teacher is urged to contact the Board office in Marlinton.

Pocahontas County School Superintendent Dr. Donald Bechtel told board members he had a chance to sit in on a function at Marlinton Elementary recently.

“I wanted to recognize the Marlinton Elementary faculty,” says Bechtel. “They had a portfolio evening last week where the children reviewed their portfolios with their parents. It was a faculty combined effort, and it felt like it was well received.”

The Pocahontas County School Board of Education is scheduled to meet next on Tuesday May 27 at 7 p.m. at the board office in Marlinton.

Story By

Angelo Jiordano

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