PCHS Students Make Presentations to the Board of Education
The September 10th Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting was held at the Linwood Library and was proceeded by a work session in which the Board Members talked with parents from the Snowshoe area. A lot of these parent’s home school their children. Among the issues discussed was that there is an existing Day Care Center that the schools were unaware of. The Schools will open discussions to see if that Day Care Center might be added to the Pre-School Program.
PCHS Students Taylor Tegmeyer and Jordan Nutter took on a project to redesign and upgrade the lower parking lot at PCHS to increase parking and stabilize the surface of the lot from the current dirt to either paving of gravel. They presented their design to the Board as part of Laurel Dilley’s new Engineering and Robotics class. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has agreed to do some improvements on that parking lot in exchange for letting their employees use the lot during their work days.
Later in the meeting, Erwin Berry brought two students from his PCHS meat production class -Christopher “Bub” Murray and Bryson Cassell. The students made a presentation to the Board on their efforts to commercialize the school’s meat production, marketing under the brand name “Pocahontas Proud Meats.” They have already established a meat processing lab at the school and have been producing sausage products for “personal use.” Now they are working with the USDA Meat Inspectors to qualify to sell their products, which will include their own brand of sausage- “Whole Hog Sausage” as well as a breakfast sausage, a sage sausage and a maple sausage. They even brought samples of these and handed them out to Board Members, the audience and yes, even the press. All were impressed with the sausages.
Superintendent Beam reported that interviews for architects for the Green Bank Elementary-Middle School’s Major Improvement Project are being conducted and the selection will be announced at the September 24th Board Meeting. He said they will also discuss revisions to the Substitute Service Personnel Policy at that meeting.
Beth Henry-Vance, the new District 3 Coordinator for the West Virginia Youth Environmental Program introduced herself to the Board and talked about the program which is designed to empower youth to become environmentally involved with their communities. She said the program can provide scholarships and awards for students, but the schools need to register as members of the program for the students to qualify for these. Student projects include things like planting trees, establishing and maintaining nature trails and recycling programs.
In addition, the Board approved their usual financial expenditures and reports and approved the purchase of 25 computers for Marlinton Middle School using the Special Education Julia Price funds.
They approved the 2018 Faculty Senate funding for each of the schools and approved the addition two new dual credit courses to PCHS under the auspices of Marshall University -a General Psychology course and an Introduction to Criminal Justice.
The Board approved 5 field trips and a new Athletic Policy before going into a 20 minute Executive Session to talk about a personnel issue.
The Board approved a personnel agenda then conducted a matters of the Board session.
They offered Terri Bradshaw, a new resident of the Hillsboro area, an opportunity to address the Board since she missed the delegation portion of the meeting. Bradshaw expressed her frustration and anger that when she visited Hillsboro Elementary School recently, where her 7-year-old attends, the temperature inside the school was 85 degrees because of a lack of central air conditioning. She was also upset to learn that the only school in the county to have central air is the High school. She said she has researched this issue and finds it appalling that the BOE has not obtained a grant to fix this. She later told this reporter that she was not happy with the Superintendent’s responses nor with his attitude to her complaints when she telephoned him about this. She also said she is willing to work with the communities to see if money can be raised to install the needed air conditioning in all the schools.