Pocahontas BOE Members Express Reservations on Granting Easement Through PCHS Campus

At the January 7th Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, WV Division of Forestry Ranger, Z. Collins, requested that the Board grant the Division a permanent 700-foot-long deeded right-of-way through the Pocahontas County High School campus. In a letter to the Board, Travis Miller, the Division’s State Lands Manager, requested this so that the Forestry Division could upgrade an existing road and use it for Division personnel to have better access to the remote Mitchell Mountain area of Seneca State Forest.  Board Member Justin Dilley said he talked with the school’s Forestry Teacher, Scott Garber, and relayed some of Garber’s, as well as his own concerns about the Board granting this easement. Dilley questioned Ranger Collins about whether once the easement was deeded, would the Board retain the authority to post a right-of-way that now belonged to the State? Collins said he did not know the answer to that, however the easement would be gated and locked both on where it entered the school property from the State Road by the school and where it entered the State Forest Boundary. Dilley said that while this may keep unauthorized vehicles off the right-of-way, it would not prevent armed hunters or other unauthorized persons from parking near the school and walking through the campus on the right-of-way. Dilley also said that Mr. Garber was also worried about the effect this would have on wooded lots along the right-of-way and even into the State Forest that his Forestry classes have been using as teaching areas for forest management and timber cruising. Garber had also expressed concerns that upgrading the road would change the remote nature of the training he was providing his students, and that it might also involve removal of unique trees he uses in his classes. Board President Walker said he understood that there was even one extremely rare American Chestnut tree in that area. Ranger Collins said the Division of Forestry would be willing to modify the route and width, possibly even agree to not remove any trees, and would be willing to walk the area with Mr. Garber to work around and satisfy Garber’s concerns.

Since the project would not be done for a couple of years anyway, The Board tabled any action on approving this right-of-way until after Mr. Garber is able to meet with the Division of Forestry and possibly workout these issues. Since Garber is coaching the PCHS Basketball Team, it was suggested by Board President Walker that this meeting occur after the basketball season, and the Board would reconsider it after that meeting.

The new Student Representative to the Board, Jarod Liptrap, introduced himself and delivered his report in which he said the PCHS Student Body section at the recent Basketball tournament in Raleigh County won a $500 prize for displaying the most school spirit.

In his Superintendent’s Special Recognition, Terrence Beam said that the PCHS Forestry Team would be recognized at the WV State Board of Education in Charleston for winning the National Forestry competition and he would be in attendance there. He said he understood that this was the 7th National championship won by the Forestry Team. Also, in his report, Beam said they were looking into building a shelter at Marlinton Middle School so that students would be out of the weather while waiting to board school buses and this became necessary since the Post Office was now locking their lobby due to vandalism, so students can no longer go there to escape the weather.

The Board approved the usual financial reports and authorized paying the WV State Auditor’s Office $20,070.00 to conduct the required audit of the Board’s financials.

They approved Megan Luikart to be a Volunteer Cheerleading Coach at Hillsboro Elementary School

They approved a short Personnel Agenda which can be found with this story on our website, alleghenymountainradio.org.

During the Maters of the Board portion of the meeting, Member Justine Dilley asked the status of the wheel chair lift installation at PCHS. Mr. Beam said delivery had been delayed, but it should be received and installed by Thursday, January 10th. Joe Walker said that the new septic system has been installed and it would go into use at PCHS on Tuesday, January 8th.

The Board ended the meeting with an executive session to discuss a personnel matter.




January 7, 2019

Professional and Service Personnel



Hillsboro Elementary School

UNPAID MEDICAL LEAVE:         SARAH C. BROWN as Teacher of Title I at Hillsboro Elementary School, effective upon exhaustion of Personal Leave for up to six weeks.


Pocahontas County High School

UNPAID MEDICAL LEAVE:         SARAH C. BROWN as Teacher of Title I at Hillsboro Elementary School, effective upon exhaustion of Personal Leave for up to six weeks.

REQUESTED TRANSFER:                 PAM BENNETT from Custodian IV / Sanitation Operator at PCHS to Custodian III at PCHS, effective January 9, 2019 for the remainder of the school year. Term of Employment is 110 days (in addition to the days already worked during the 2018-2019 school year.) (NOTE:         Term of employment shall be 220 days each year thereafter.) SHIFT: 2:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m.

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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