Pocahontas Board of Ed Reluctantly Approves Chaperone Lists

Marlinton, WV – Almost 360 county residents were approved as school chaperones at the Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting Tuesday night. It was not a decision that board members made lightly.

This was the second time that lists of chaperones for all five county schools appeared on the board’s agenda. The list of chaperones for the schools ranges from a low of 15 at Hillsboro Elementary to a high of 155 at Green Bank Elementary Middle school. The size of the list and unfamiliarity of some of names are the reason the list was rejected by board members the first time. Board member Leslie Cain was distressed to see that the submitted list had not changed.

“This is not what we asked for, this is the same list and I will not vote to approve this list” said Cain. “This is everybody that went to her training; I know very little of these people and I’m not putting my name on there.”

Cain says the list for Hillboro and Marlinton Elementary are reasonable given the size of those schools. She doesn’t like the list for Marlinton Middle School.

“But I have a problem with Marlinton Middle when more [Americorps] Vista workers are on your list than parents, I have a problem with that” she says. “When these Vistas are supposed to be working in all the schools, I don’t think Marlinton Middle should be the one that’s approving them; it should be a whole separate agenda item.”

Board President Kenny Vance points out that not knowing a parent personally is not necessarily a reason to reject the lists.

“You know, if you’re just looking at them and saying I don’t know these people, I could say that for all of them” he says “because I don’t know a lot of the people at Marlinton Elementary, Marlinton Middle school or Hillsboro. [Cain] In years past Kenny, we have looked at you and said Are you okay with these parents; we’ve even looked at, in the past Ruth and Tommy for Hillsboro parents.”

“But when you put your whole school on there, to me that’s not being an effective principal and picking and choosing who needs to be on the list” says Cain.

The board went into an executive session to discuss the matter further. When the open meeting resumed, board members approved the chaperone lists as submitted with the exception of Marlinton Middle School.

At that school, the names of parent chaperones were approved, but the Vista workers were not. Vance asked School Superintendent CC Lester to speak with Marlinton Middle school Principal Joe Riley about which schools the Vista workers will actually serve.

In other business, the board approved the Personnel agenda as presented. Board member Jan McNeel touched on an often discussed and somewhat controversial subject – students at the high school not being able to use the gym at lunchtime.

“I’d like to go back and revisit again the high school gym” says McNeel. “I visited all the schools on Friday and when I went to the gym, it was first lunch period. My observations were that there were groups that were sitting in the hall way, there were groups sitting on the sidewalk outside, and I’m looking at this beautiful gym that’s wide open.”

Personnel Agenda

Marlinton Elementary:

Creation of position – Teacher of multi subjects for first grade
Creation of position – Classroom/Bus Aide – temporary assignment at the school
Employment of Susan Arbogast and Katherine LaFleur for the after school program

Marlinton Middle School:

Employment of Lauren Brook Dickenson as head basketball coach for girls

Pocahontas County HS:

Employment of Patrick Gibson as Senior Mentorship Coordinator

Creation of position – Special education classroom/bus aide – temporary assignment at the school


Employment of Adam Taylor as a bus operator for the run beginning in Dry Branch
Employment of Carol Alderman and Robert Patterson as substitute teachers
Employment of Susan Borror as the Homeless Liaison for county students

The next regular meeting of the PCBOE will be Tuesday, October 26th.

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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