Pocahontas County Board of Education Approves 13 Million Dollar Budget For 2010-2011 School Year

Marlinton, WV – The Pocahontas County Board of Education approved a $13.1 million dollar budget for the 2010-2011 school year Monday night. Not included in the budget is about $200,000.00 in lost tax revenue due to a drop in the economy and lowered property assessments.

Also left out is money for Other Post Employment Benefits or OPEB. These are benefits promised to current and retired public employees. The West Virginia Legislature adopted a measure in 2006 that essentially puts the financial burden of OPEB on counties rather than the state government. 50 of the 55 West Virginia Boards of Education, including Pocahontas, filed a lawsuit in February 2010 challenging the constitutionality of the measure. School Treasurer Alice Irvine says they will set aside money for OPEB if required to.

In other business, the board approved a list of math textbooks for kindergarten through 12th grade. The textbooks are recommended by a Textbook Adoption committee headed by Hillsboro Principal Terrence Beam. The board will also apply for a grant to purchase optional software as an accompaniment to the textbooks.

A list of chaperones for an upcoming Marlinton Middle School field trip was given conditional approval, after Board members questioned whether some on the list are actually parents. School Superintendent Patrick Law agreed to contact Principal Joe Riley and ask him to remove those from the list who don’t fit that qualification prior to the field trip.

Incoming Superintendent C.C.Lester asked why back ground checks are not done on all potential chaperones. Law says the cost of a background check at $25.00 per person could be prohibitive in view of sometimes large lists of chaperones. However, he admits it’s something the board should consider.

Student representative Nathan Hamons reports that the recent Foreign Language Festival at Pocahontas County High School was a great success. He says over 100 students participated in various activities such as recitation, original poetry translated into Spanish and lots of great cooking.

On the personnel agenda, the board extended the contract of Michael Hudson as a Math Interventionist at Hillsboro Elementary School from 3 hours per day to six hours per day through May 28th. They accepted the resignation of Lisa King as a teacher at Marlinton Elementary School, effective June 9th, and hired Lois Ann Beverage as a cafeteria manager for the Summer feeding program at Marlinton Elementary.

Alfred Dilley will retire from his position as a county bus driver at the end of this school year. The board also approved the creation of two new positions – Credit Recovery Teacher and Third Grade Support Teacher. Green Bank Elementary Middle and Marlinton Middle school will each have one Credit Recovery Teacher. GBEMS and Hillsboro Elementary School will each have one Third Grade Support Teacher. All positions will be effective June 28th through July 30th, 2010.

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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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