Pocahontas Board of Ed Meets at Pocahontas County High School
On Monday, December 7, at 1:00 p.m., the Pocahontas County Board of Education held a regular-Local School Improvement Council/Faculty Senate Meeting at PCHS.
Following regular opening procedures, the Pocahontas County High School Principal, Michael Adkins, made a presentation on the CTE (Career and Technical Education) program at the school. He talked about being inspired about new CTE ideas on a recent visit to Mingo Central High School, and showed slides of large banners created by students at that school. He talked about the simulated workplace CTE programs he would like to see at PCHS. At Central Mingo, the students designed their own uniforms which they wore to the class. They punched real time clocks in CTE classes which operate like a business.
Mr. Adkins also liked the Electronic Key Card entry systems at Mingo central and would like to acquire a similar system for all the exterior doors at PCHS, which he sees as providing the necessary security in today’s world.
Noting that Pocahontas County’s is diminishing in size, especially among young people –an estimated 10% decline by 2030- Mr. Adkins emphasized how important the choice of CTE programs being offered will be. He suggested these choices should be determined by Student Needs Assessment surveys and by workforce market analysis. He pointed out that the website WorkforceWV.org lists the top ten professions for future WV High school Graduates. Nine of these are in Health Care Services.
Mr. Adkins concluded by saying he would like to see the development of Adult CTE programs at the school to prepare young adults who have already graduated from high school to enter into those health care careers.
Students from both the school’s SADD Program– that’s the Students Against Dangerous Decisions, and the FFA Program –that’s the Future Farmers of America made impressive presentations to the board.
In other actions, the Board approved three budget adjustments and voted to authorize the Board’s Attorney to pursue options in an effort to recover all or a portion of the 1.3 million dollars in underfunding from the WW Department of Education. Board member Hefner voted against this because she fears reprisal by the Department of Education if this is attempted.
The Board approved one Service Personnel action, the hiring of Larry D. Sharp as a School Bus Operator effective December 8th at state basic pay for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year, and for 200 days each year thereafter.
Following the formal meeting, Principal Adkins arranged for student “School Ambassadors” to serve as tour guides to show the Board and the press around the school and some of the ongoing classes.
Five seniors, Austin Hubberd, Kaylin Murry, Michaela Everett, Kaleigh Arbogast and Kenny Queen were our tour guides. During the tour, we visited the following classrooms:
• The Band Room where Mr. Robert Mann was teaching guitar lessons
• The Art 2 class being taught by Ms. Diana Nelson. Student drawings and pottery projects were displayed.
• The Culinary classroom –kitchen (no classes being taught at the time)
• A History classroom (no classes being taught at the time)
• Spanish Class being taught by Shirlene Groseclose, who talked to us about her philosophy of teaching Spanish. She believes in no lectures, but rather one-on one self paced learning. She says her goal is that 90% of what is spoken during the class is Spanish. She believes students should have “ownership of their education.”
• A business and accounting classroom where Cammy Kesterson teaches.
• The Welding classroom and lab where Mr. Justin Kerr was teaching. The impressive lab seemed well equipped and well ventilated.
• An environmental Science Classroom where Teacher Amy Coleman teaches. There was an impressive pile of recyclables collected by the students in the classroom.
• An Earth/Science @ chemistry class taught by Mary Burns with assistance from Mr. Pugh. There were student projects of topographic models of various locations in the County.
• Finally, there was a visit to Miss Kathryn White’s Anatomy class where a couple of our tour guide students were doing independent study on dissection.