PART 2: – 2-20-17 Pocahontas Board of Education Meeting

In Part 1 of our story about the February 20th Pocahontas Board of Education’s meeting, we reported on the major maintenance threats that could shut down some of the schools. If you missed it, you can catch it on our website,  Other important things also happened at the meeting.

The meeting began with a work session with sports coaches and Athletic Directors. This came about because Vice Principal Kristy Tritapoe of PCHS had earlier informed the Board that the General Athletic Fund may not have enough money to start up the fall sports next school year, since many of the smaller sports do not generate enough money at the admission gate or at the concessions to break even.  Mrs. Tritapoe presented a suggestion at this work session.

“I came to you all because I was concerned about the General (Athletic) Fund” said Tritapoe. “The only things the General fund does is pay their officials and some of the supplies. I’m not opposed to not even having this General fund, and letting them (the various sports teams) keep their own individual accounts. They will receive the gate money at their events. They will receive the concession money. They then become self-supporting. They want to continue their program, those parents and teams will go out and fund raise their own money. They have to pay for their own busses already, so the only thing that would tack onto their funds would be their uniforms and things like that.”

Given the known financial crisis at the schools, this idea appeared to be acceptable to the athletic staff in attendance. This would be effective next school year. There were some questions raised about the bus charges the teams have to pay. The Board pledged that next school year’s bus rate that is charged to the teams would remain at $1.00 per mile; the driver fees would remain a flat $50.00 per team event, and the activity buses would continue.  Several people questioned the bus charge because the Schools are eventually –usually a year later- refunded 95% of these bus expenses by the State.

In his Superintendent’s Report, Mr. Beam said that the one snow day used so far will be made up on March 13th, but there will be a 2 hour early dismissal due to a scheduled faculty meeting.  The next make-up date, if needed, would be May 22nd, followed by using the spring break days in April. Beam also advised that the schools are opting out of the Energy Express Program this year because of the expense, and that Dominion Power has offered to help the schools with a grant, but the details are not yet known. Superintendent Beam also offered special recognition to the PCHS Pro-Start Team for winning the Grand championship at the 2017 Cast Iron Skillet Cook-off in Morgantown. The Students on the team are Brandal Carr, Brittney Sharp, and Amber Pritt and they were supported by Kim McComb, a Cook at the school, and Vocational Education Teacher Teresa Mullen.

The Board also heard from Ruth Bland who played a video about the Computer Science Program at PCHS. This video was featured at the 2017 Technology Showcase. She also complimented the bus drivers who voluntarily changed their routes. These new routes are working well except some high school students on Locust Creek Rd. have to be picked up a lot earlier then normal.

In other actions, the Board approved the routine financial reports and payments; approved Samara Mann and three other adult chaperones to transport 14 students by personal vehicle to Blackfrier’s Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia on April 6th; approved Leah Shinaberry to travel to a Better Math Teaching seminar in Boston, Massachusetts on March 10th, with that network picking up all the expenses.

The Board approved the construction of the donated High Tunnel Greenhouse at Marlinton Middle school, with no expense being incurred by the Board of Education; approved Jessie Sharp and Ronnie Gordon as volunteer basketball coaches at Marlinton Elementary School; and approved the transport of Marlinton Middle School students to the Denmar Correctional Center to participate in the

“Violent Offenders Counseling and Learning Program”, provided that parents consent to this.

They placed the Energy Plan Policy on 30 day comment.

The Board authorized the submission on a Major Improvement Project to replace the sewer and repair the Vocational Building at PCHS.

They also approved the personnel agenda which is linked to this story on our website.

Click on the link below to see the meeting agenda and the personnel agenda that was approved at this meeting.


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.

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