Pocahontas Board Of Ed Considers New Purchase Card

Marlinton, WV – The Pocahontas County Board of Education could begin a new purchasing system as early as next month. The board discussed the issue during its meeting Monday evening.

Jack Berry, with the West Virginia Auditors Office, gave a presentation on the benefits of a purchasing card system, which the Auditor’s Office made available to local governments three years ago. Berry said the new system offers several advantages, including customized purchasing permissions, electronic tracking, daily reports, and a one-percent rebate for every $1 million spent. The representative says the purchasing card system has saved the state billions of dollars.

“It used to take the state somewhere in the neighborhood of $47 to $50 to process a payment of any amount,” he said. So, we found, in using the electronic method with the purchasing card, we’ve lowered costs to under $10 a transaction. So, we put over a billion charges on these cards the last 16 years, so, you can see what type of savings that is.”

Berry requested a vote by the board to participate in the new purchasing card program and the board agreed to put the item on next month’s agenda.

Math coach Joanna Burt-Kinderman briefed the board on a math teacher seminar to be conducted starting this spring. The purpose of the summer math institute is to prepare teachers to instruct Math 1, which will replace Algebra 1 at the high school level. The Math 1 course will include statistics, triangle and transformational geometry and exponential functions – topics that are not taught in Algebra 1. Burt-Kinderman said teachers will work together during the institute to develop a new math curriculum.

“We’re not going to be able to use the textbooks that we have right now,” she said. “We are going to be handed, from the state department, some lessons that are already packaged and built. But, as you can well imagine, something that’s created collaboratively, by our teachers, will work a lot better.”

The math coach said the teacher seminar will begin at the conclusion of the current school term.

The board heard an update from maintenance manager Darin McKenney, who showed pictures of damage in a locker room at the high school. McKenney says vandalism makes it difficult to keep up with other projects. PCHS principal Tom Sanders said on Tuesday that the damage was limited to a single sheet of drywall.
Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Cara Rose briefed the board on the recently-formed tourism club. Rose describes the purpose of the club.

“The reason why the Convention and Visitors Bureau wanted to start the club was to introduce the high school students to the tourism industry,” she said. “It’s the largest employment industry in Pocahontas County and these are our future employees. This is a way for us to begin educating our future workforce.”

Rose says the club held two events: an international food-tasting and job application event at the Pretty Penny Restaurant; and a visit to Snowshoe Resort, where managers taught students how the resort runs. Snowshoe provided a bus to transport students to and from the resort for the activity. Rose said the next club activity is planned for May 2, when the group will visit new River Gorge and have the opportunity to do white water rafting or ride a zip line.

The board accepted the resignation of PCHS dean of students and football coach Michael Knisley. Board superintendant C.C. Lester said the resignation was due to personal matters.

In other personnel actions, the board:
– abolished the position of dean of students at PCHS
– created the position of assistant principal at PCHS
– accepted the resignations, due to retirement, of teacher and coach Robert Sheets; kindergarten teacher Mary McCutcheon; and school bus operator Leffort Kidd
– rescinded action on employment of Allen Bell as Green Bank Middle School substitute Principal
– abolished an Electrician I position
– and created a general maintenance, Electrician II – Plumber II position for the remainder of the school year.

In financial matters, the board:
– authorized payment of bills totaling $105,651.91
– approved the monthly financial summary
– and approved the schedule of levy rates for fiscal year ending June 30,201.

The board approved a calendar for the 2012-2013 school year. Teachers will go back to work on August 15 and students return to school on August 20. The board also abolished 48 outdated policies and retained 25 as procedures, to be included in a student handbook.

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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