Pocahontas Co. B.O.E. Discusses Possible Addition of a Commercial Drivers License CTE Curriculum

It wasn’t on the January 8th meeting agenda, but when the Pocahontas County Board of Education discussed and approved the addition of 3 new Career and Technical Education (CTE) Arts Curriculum Concentrations, Board Member Joe Walker brought up the need for such a CTE concentration to help students obtain Commercial Drivers Licenses (or CDLs.)  He said he spoke with Denise Campbell who is now a Community Liaison with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and he feels that the ACP might also be interested in helping financially developing a CDL concentration at PCHS.  He also said that he had discussed this with Doug Burns of the Burns Motor Freight Company and they would be interested in helping PCHS develop a CDL program. But, he said he is uncertain of what to do now.

“We don’t know what is the next step” said Joe. “We got the class part covered, but what is the real side? Do we have to have a truck? I don’t know what to tell them at this point. What is their role?  Financial? Giving them a place to come do it? I mean they’re willing to talk to us.”

Walker explained that Burns would not be allowed by their insurance carrier to actually lend the program a truck for students to drive on the road, but suggested they could allow students to come to their lot to learn how to do truck inspections using their parked trucks.  Walker explained that the problem is that nobody seems to know what the guidelines are for developing such a program, or even if there are existing guidelines for this.

Joe Riley, Principal of Pocahontas County High School volunteered that he has spoken to William Brown, the Driver Education Teacher who also supports the idea. Riley said that Brown will be testing for his own CDL very soon and once he obtains it, school busses can be used to provide some limited training, but large truck/Trailers will also be needed. Riley also spoke to Jacob Meck who said he would offer any support he could since his company needs local CDL drivers. After Riley, Joe Walker and other Board Members discussed this for a while, they agreed that there is nothing stopping Pocahontas County Schools from developing a CDL training program on its own and setting it’s own guidelines. They all agreed to “get the ball rolling” on this, although a lot of logistical problems, such as getting a truck to train on, still remain to be solved.

Also at this Board of Education meeting, the Board heard from Brendan Nottingham who inquired about whether the Board of Education intended to sell the timber on the 69 acres it owns in Green Bank. Board President Emery Grimes said the idea was a possibility that they had not thought about, but will consider. If it is done, the timber sale must be placed out on bid.

Superintendent Beam announced that as of January 8th, the meeting night, they have had six weather related closings of the schools (although the schools were also closed on January 9th, the day following the meeting). He explained that the first five days will not have to be made up because of the extra 30 minutes each school day, and the next few days will be made up by using OS, or Out of School) days, the first of these to be cancelled is on March 9th. Beam said that Spring Break days will not be used to make up missed school days because parents responding to a survey last summer said they did not want spring Break days used.

The Board approved financial transactions including vender bills; government purchasing card charges; budget adjustments; grant awards; the December 22nd payroll; and the bank reconciliation for December, which showed a balance of one million, seven hundred seventy one thousand, five hundred twenty nine dollars and ninety eight cents ($1,771,529.98).

In addition, the Board voted to raise the travel reimbursement rate from 53.5 cents per mile to 54.5 cents per mile. This is required because it has to reflect the increase in the Federal mileage reimbursement rate.

They also placed a revised “Entrance Age” policy on 30 day comment. The changes in this reflect changes in the law.

The Board approved the below Professional and Service Personnel Agenda.



January 8, 2018

Professional and Service Personnel


Marlinton Elementary School:

EMPLOYMENT: VIRGINIA SHAW, as Reading Interventionist at Marlinton Elementary School, effective January 10, 2018 through the end of the 2017-2018 school year, at $20

per hour, three hours per day, four days per week, up to 18 weeks – not to

exceed $5,000. (Position to be paid for by Marlinton Elementary Title I funds.)

Marlinton Middle School: 

UNPAID MEDICAL LEAVE: JESSICA HAYS McNABB, effective January 18, 2018 (or upon exhaustion of personal leave) for a period of six weeks.

Pocahontas County High School: 

RESIGNATION: KIMBERLY McCOMB, as Cook II at Pocahontas County High School, effective at the end of the day on January 5, 2018.

Pocahontas County Schools: 

EMPLOYMENT: Of the following as Substitute Teacher for Pocahontas County Schools,

effective January 10, 2018, as needed, for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year, at state basic pay:

Michele Fehrer

Earl D. Friel

Brittney Harris

Esther M. Kinnison

John David Moore, II

EMPLOYMENT: KAREN MURPHY, as Teacher of Homebound Instruction for Pocahontas

County Schools, effective January 10, 2018 for the remainder of the 2017-2018

school year, as needed, at $20 per hour.

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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