Pocahontas County Board of Education Briefed by Symposium Attendees

“For the first time ever in the Nation’s history, women are making more than women” said Ricky Sharp, Principal at the Green Bank School. “They attribute that to advanced degrees. For every eight college students advancing their careers and their education, only two of those are male. For a large period in history we were focusing on females. And that’s what we’re starting see the progression go because female students statistically they struggled in math and science. So (the) pendulum shifted so far that now our male students are being left behind.”

Was this some politician saying that men are losing the “war on women”?  No, you actually just heard Ricky Sharp, Principal of the Green Bank Elementary/Middle School reporting at the Pocahontas County Board of Education’s July 14th meeting on one of the significant things he learned while attending the “Nuts & Bolts Symposium – Ready to Lead, Teach and Learn Conference” in Destin, Florida on June 23-26, 2015.

Sharp was describing a presentation by Kim Campbell, a Middle school teacher in Hopkins, Minnesota and a National Speaker on the differences in the brains of Middle school aged boys and girls given at the Symposium. Boys’ eyes are drawn to movement rather than to color which girls tend to be drawn to, and boys are naturally more aggressive. Therefore the teaching methods for boys must be more activity-oriented. The tailoring of teaching methods for boy’s brains could help reduce the greater number of disciplinary suspensions among boys and help close the new gender gap in learning. This presentation, entitled “Engaging Boys” by Kim Campbell can be found on the AMR website, “alleghenymountainradio.org”.

Three of Mr. Sharp’s teachers, Marsha Beverage, Julie Brown and Lauren Brooke Dickenson also reported to the Board about other presentations at the Florida Nuts and Bolts Symposium.   All of the attending teachers were very impressed with the Symposium which didn’t just talk about the new research educators are discovering, but provided practical teaching methods to put what that research discovered to practical use in the modern classroom.

Robert Martin, the Attorney for the Pocahontas County Commission made a presentation to the Board Members in which he explained his role as the Commission’s Attorney. In that role he attends all Commission hearings, answers legal questions which may come up during the meeting, drafts ordinances, legal correspondence and contracts as needed by the Commissioners, and researches legal issues as requested by the Commissioners. He explained that he performs these duties as a salaried County Employee which saves the Commission a lot of money they would otherwise pay to a legal firm to do these things. He offered to perform the same duties for the Board of Education which he says will also save the Board a lot of money rather than paying a legal firm’s high hourly rate. The Board members agreed to place this option on a future agenda for discussion and/or action.

In other matters, the Board authorized payments of bills, budget adjustments and approved a grant which will fund equipment for the welding class at the high school.

The Board placed a revision of its “Board of Education Meetings” policy on 30 day comment.  The main change would be to eliminate “hear callers” from the monthly agenda.  The public can still address the board for up to 10 minutes by making a written request to the Board more than 30 minutes prior to the meeting in which they describe their topic. A copy of this proposed policy can be found at the AMR website, “alleghenymountainradio.org”.

The Board approved three policies which have completed the 30 day review.  One is dealing with critically needed substitute teachers, another is the Parent Involvement Policy and the third one is a dual Credit Policy.  These can be found on the Board’s website, https://sites.google.com/site/pocahontasboe/

The Board approved Lisa Dennison to attend a “Team Up for School success Workshop” on August 3-6 in Northern Virginia.

The Board approved Cammy Kesterson to attend a Microsoft IT Academy in Kentucky on July 26-28.

The Board authorized two residents of the school district to enroll their child in Greenbrier county schools as a matter of convenience.

Mr. Beam, Interim Superintendent, advised that there will be a three day training in the new “Positive Behavior Interventions and Support” (PBIS) on July 21-23.  This model will replace the current “Respect and Protect” model used by the Pocahontas County Schools.

The Board approved a number of personnel moves which can be found on our website, alleghenymountainradio.org.

The next regular Board Meeting will be at 7 pm on Monday, 7/27/15 at the Board Conference Room. There will be a work session at 3 pm that same day.


Engaging Boys…Yes…It is Possible!!

Kim Campbell

Proud Middle School Teacher

Hopkins School District, Hopkins, MN


Follow me on Twitter: @KimCamp4Kids

“5 Whats” Assignment Sheet

(This strategy is great for boys, but girls benefit from it as well.  Helps boys focus in on what needs to be done in a simple, to the point manner.)

  1. What has to be done? (No more than 3 bullet points)
  2. What are examples of successful projects/assignments. (Be able to show examples)
  3. What is the timeline for completion?
  4. What “mastery checks” will be required? Example of a mastery check:
    1. Show outline to teacher by Friday.
    2. Show teacher introductory paragraph before starting body paragraphs.
  5. What happens once assignment is completed?
    1. If successful, you may play video games, board games, etc.
    2. If not successful, you will use time to make corrections.

Copyright:  2013 Edmond J. Dixon

Helping Boys Learn, www.helpingboyslearn.com

The Brain—His and Hers

Researchers have identified more than 100 structural differences between the male and female brain. These differences are both genetic and socialized and include some of the following:

  • Verbal/spatial differences. Boys’ brains generally have more cortical areas dedicated to spatial-mechanical functioning than girls’ brains do, whereas girls’ brains generally have greater cortical emphasis on verbal-emotive processing (Blum, 1997). Girls use more words on average than boys do, and they tend to think more verbally.
  • P cells and M cells. The male visual system (optical and neural) relies more heavily on type M ganglion cells, which detect movement. Girls generally have more type P ganglion cells, which are sensitive to color variety and other fine sensory activity (Sax, 2005). As a result, boys tend to rely more on pictures and moving objects when they write, whereas girls tend to excel in using words that reference color and other fine sensory information.
  • Frontal lobe development. A girl’s prefrontal cortex is generally more active than a boy’s, and her frontal lobe generally develops at an earlier age (Rich, 2000). These are the decision-making areas of the brain (as well as the reading/writing/word production areas). These factors can lead to girls being less impulsive than boys are. Girls are usually better able to sit still and read, able to read and write earlier, and better at literacy in general. When teachers are unaware of these brain differences, they may misdiagnose normal boys as having learning disabilities and conduct disorders.
  • Neural rest states. Boys’ brains go into what neurologists call a rest state many times each day. You’ll notice this when you look at who’s drifting off, zoning out, or sleeping through class. You’ll also notice that some boys will try to avoid these rest states by engaging in such activities as tapping their pencils or hitting a classmate with a spitball. For some boys—especially those with behavioral issues—these self-stimulating and disruptive behaviors are symptomatic of emotional or psychological problems. But for many boys these disruptions simply reflect male brains trying to stay awake in a classroom that is not well suited for their kind of learning. Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) scans have enabled us to better understand the rest states of male and female brains (Gurian & Stevens, 2005). When the male’s brain gets bored, some of his brain functioning shuts down. There is a drift into a brain state that negates learning and performance. When the female brain gets bored, however, more of her brain functioning stays active. Even when she’s bored, a girl is more likely to retain the ability to take notes, write words down, and listen carefully.
  • Cross talk between hemispheres. Structural differences in girls’ brains generate more cross talk between hemispheres, leading to better multitasking. Boys’ brains, on the other hand, tend to lateralize and compartmentalize brain activity (Rich, 2000). Thus, girls tend to pay attention to more information on more subjects at any given time, whereas boys tend to heap a lot of information into a single-task focus. They concentrate best, in general, when they follow steps A to Z without distraction. Boys also take more time than girls to transition between tasks (Havers, 1995). They tend to become more irritable (and to underperform in learning and classroom behavior) when teachers move them continually between tasks. Multitasking is, of course, crucial to life performance, but boys are better served by balancing multitasking with project-driven and depth-driven learning.
  • Natural aggression. For a number of neural and chemical reasons, boys are more naturally aggressive and competitive than girls are (Gurian, 1996). Girls generally gravitate less toward competitive learning and relationships characterized by aggression nurturance (the hitting and playful “dissing” that boys continually engage in to support one another). The bonding chemical oxytocin greatly affects this male/female difference. With less oxytocin in the male neural and physiological system, boys tend toward greater impulsivity, more aggression, and less reliance on bonding malleability (Taylor, 2002). They have less desire than girls to comply to please others, including teachers.

—Kelley King and Michael Gurian

Strategies to Engage Boys 

  1. Competition (Against time, against peers, against authority)
    1. Vocabulary games (Quizlet)…time
    2. Add Rock, Paper, Scissors as part of review….peers
    3. Stump the Chump… authority
  2. Gamification: Have boys make game to learn information…game created must include: Movement, Time, Score, Some Type of Challenge, Include Information Learned in Class.
  3. Slo-Mo: Take concept learned in class and act it out with a partner in slow motion.
  4. Board Games: Make board games and add movement, such as jumping jacks/sit ups.
  5. Storyboards: Make storyboard retelling story THEN write about it.
  6. 5/30: When giving instructions teacher talks for 5 minutes, students work for 30 minutes. Do not even allow for questions within the 5 minutes, instead walk around and answer individual questions.
  7. Silent Sequencing: Students draw picture of one aspect of instruction or topic…then students must put in order without talking.

Recommended Reading:

If You Can’t Manage Them, You Can’t Teach Them!, by Kim Campbell with Dr. Kay Wahl, Worldbook

Why Gender Matters, by Dr. Leonard Sax

Boys Adrift, by Dr. Leonard Sax

Teaching to Gender Differences; Boys Will Be Boys and Girls Will Be Girls, by Dr. Bill McBride

Helping Boys Learn (Teachers Edition), Edmond J. Dixon

Masterminds and Wingmen, Rosalind Wiseman, 2014


Proposed new Policy


  1. Scope. The Pocahontas County Board of Education is composed of the duly elected representatives of the citizens of the county charged with the responsibility of fulfilling the citizens’ education expectations. Consequently, official business of the Board shall be conducted only in legally called open sessions. Appropriate efforts shall be made to keep the public informed about its schools.
  1. Public Notification of Board of Education Meetings.

2.1  All board meetings are open, public meetings, except as noted in section 5 of this policy.

2.2  Written notice will be provided to the public of all regularly scheduled board meetings.

2.3  Written public notice may include, but is not limited to posting in/on local newspapers, local media, e-mail, Pocahontas County Schools web site, public buildings, including school buildings. Notice will ALWAYS be posted on the front public entranceway to the Board of Education offices.

2.4  Public notice will be given at least three (3) calendar days, inclusive of the meeting date, before a regularly scheduled meeting.

2.5  In the event of an emergency/crisis, the requirement for written notice may be waived.

2.5.1  The superintendent will promptly notify the board president of the need for a meeting.

2.5.2  If the president concurs, a meeting of the board will be called on a one-hour verbal notice to discuss and act upon the emergency/crisis.

2.5.3  In the event the president cannot be reached, the superintendent will contact, in the following order, the vice president, then members based upon their seniority, to obtain consensus regarding the need for an emergency meeting.

  1. Meetings of the Board of Education.

3.1  Annual Meetings.

3.1.1  First Monday in July:  The board shall meet following each biennial election.  The purpose of this meeting is to organize and elect a president for a two-year term.  The board shall, at this meeting, also set the time for the regular monthly meetings.

3.1.2  Between March 7-28:  The board shall meet to fix the estimated levy rates and report the same to the State Tax Commissioner.  This meeting adjourns to the third Tuesday in April.

3.1.3  Third Tuesday in April:  The board will meet to complete the setting of the levy rates.

3.2  Regular Meetings:  The regular meetings of the Pocahontas County Board of Education shall be held on the second and fourth Monday of each month in the office of the Pocahontas County Board of Education at 926 Fifth Avenue in Marlinton, West Virginia, unless otherwise directed by the board.


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3.3  Special Meetings.

3.3.1  The board president and any three members of the board may call a special meeting.

3.3.2  The only business that can be transacted at the special meeting is that designated in the call.

3.3.3  A three-day notice shall be given each board member of any and all special meetings, except when such meeting is called as an emergency measure in which circumstance this provision for advance notice shall be waived.

3.4  Adjourned Meetings.

3.4.1  Any meeting adjourned for the purpose of continuing that meeting in a subsequent session is known as an adjourned meeting.

3.4.2  A subsequent session of an adjourned meeting is not a separate meeting.  Therefore, a board member may not receive compensation for both the original and the adjourned meeting.

  1. School Board Meeting Procedures.

4.1  Superintendent Duties:

4.1.1  The superintendent is both the Executive Officer and the Secretary of the Board.  As Executive Officer, the superintendent prepares and provides the board a carefully organized written agenda and the minutes of the preceding meeting.

4.1.2  The written agenda must be provided to each board member (via hand delivery, U.S. mail, or electronic correspondence) at least three (3) calendar days, inclusive of the meeting date, before a regularly scheduled meeting.

4.1.3  Copies of reference items needed for clarification or examination shall be in readiness prior to the scheduled meeting.

4.2  Items of business may be suggested by board members, the superintendent, staff members, or citizens of the school district.

4.2.1  Business items shall be submitted in writing to the superintendent at least one week prior to the scheduled meeting in order to ensure inclusion on the written agenda.

4.2.2  Items may not be suggested from the floor during a meeting for discussion or action except at the discretion of the president.  If any board member or superintendent disagrees with adding the item from the floor to the agenda, a board vote shall be taken to determine if the item should be added to the agenda.

4.3  A majority of the board members constitutes a quorum required for transaction of official business.  In conducting its business, the board shall observe Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, except that the president may introduce, discuss and have a vote on all matters before the board, or except as otherwise agreed upon by the members.

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4.4  All votes on motions and resolutions shall be “ayes” or “nays,” or via raising the hand.

4.5  The vote shall be recorded if not unanimous.

4.6  The order of business for a regular meeting of the Board of Education shall be:

4.6.1  Call to order;

4.6.2  Approval of minutes from previous meeting;

4.6.3  Approval of agenda;

4.6.4  Special recognitions;

4.6.5  Delegations/Hear Callers;

4.6.6  Hearings;

4.6.7  Informational reports;

4.6.8  Financial approvals;

4.6.9  Items for information, consideration and possible action;

4.6.10  Personnel considerations;

4.6.11  Superintendent’s report;

4.6.12  Matters from the Board

4.6.13  Announcement of next Board of Education meeting;

4.6.14  Adjournment;

4.6.15  Executive Sessions may be held within the regular meeting, as needed.

  1. Executive Sessions.

5.1  The board may hold an executive session for consideration of the following:

5.1.1  The appointment, employment, retirement, promotion, demotion, disciplining, resignation, discharge, dismissal or compensation of any public officer or employee, or  other personnel matters;

5.1.2  For the purpose of conducting a hearing on a complaint against a public officer or employee, unless such public officer or employee requests an open hearing;

5.1.3  The disciplining, suspension or expulsion of any student in any public school, unless such student requests an open meeting;


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5.1.4  The physical or mental health of any person, unless such person requests an open meeting;

5.1.5  Matters which, if discussed in public, would likely to adversely affect the reputation of any person;

5.1.6  Any official investigation or matters relating to crime prevention or law enforcement;

5.1.7  Matters involving or affecting the purchase, sale or lease of property, advance construction planning, the investment of public funds or other matters involving competition, which, if made public, might adversely affect the financial or other interest of the State or school district.

5.2  The president or presiding officer shall identify the authorization and reasons from WV Code 6-9A-4 for the holding of an executive session to the board members and to the general public.  An executive session may only then be held following majority affirmative vote of the members present.

5.3  No decision shall be made in an executive session.  Following reconvening into open session a decision may be made relative to the business under consideration in the executive session.

5.4  Minutes shall be kept of executive sessions.  The minutes shall be limited to material, the disclosure of which is not inconsistent with items 5.1.1 – 5.1.7 above.

5.5  All executive sessions shall be attended by the superintendent, except those in which his/her tenure, salary or administration of duties is under consideration.

5.6  The board shall determine which other individuals, as appropriate, shall be included in executive session.  The president shall invite said individuals into the session as needed, and shall dismiss them from the executive session when appropriate.

  1. Minutes of School Board Meetings.

6.1  The Board of Education shall provide for the preparation of written minutes of all of its meetings.

6.2  All such minutes shall be kept in a safe place by the Secretary to the board, and shall be available for public review during regular business hours within ten days of the board meeting.

6.3  The minutes shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

6.3.1  The date, time and place of the meeting;

6.3.2  The names of each member present and absent;

6.3.3  All motions, proposals, resolutions, orders, ordinances, and measures proposed, the name of the person proposing the same and their disposition; and




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6.3.4  The results of all votes and, upon request of a member, the vote of each member by name.

6.3.5  A copy of the minutes shall be provided for public review. This may include, but is not limited to posting in/on:  local newspapers; local media; e-mail; Pocahontas County Schools web site; public buildings, including school buildings.


  1. Public Participation.

7.1  All residents of Pocahontas County and other interested parties shall be welcomed at any or all regular, special or annual meeting of the Board of Education.

7.2  Individuals or groups who wish to speak or make some other presentation before the board must submit a written request to the superintendent.

7.2.1  The written request shall state the purpose and topics to be presented.

7.2.2  The written request must be provided no later than thirty minutes prior to a scheduled board meeting to commence in order for the delegation to be heard.

7.2.3  Time allotted each delegation (individual or group) will be 10 minutes.

7.2.4  The board president may use his discretion in allowing more time for the delegation.

  1. Media Participation. The media, including, but not limited to radio and television, shall be welcomed at any or all regular, special, or annual meeting of the Board of Education.  Video and audio recording is permitted, so long as it is conducted in a manner that is not disruptive or distractive to the conduct of the meeting.

8.1  Equipment used may not produce distracting light or sound emission.

8.2  Any video or audio recording devises shall be placed in a manner in order that they will not obstruct the public’s view of the Board members.

8.3  Video or audio recording devises shall not be placed on the board members’ table.  All devices must be placed at least three (3) feet from the table.

  1. Board/Staff Communications.

9.1  The board recognizes professional and service educational associations affiliated with the West Virginia Education Association, the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and other professional agencies through which the personnel of Pocahontas County Schools represent their considered opinion in matters of concern to them.






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9.2  The board shall give due consideration to proposals and representation made on behalf of professional and service educational associations.


Adopted:  April 11, 2011



Reference:  W. Va. Code §§ 6-9A-1.6, 6-9A-3, 6-9A-5, 11-8-9, 11-8-12a, 18-4-10, 18-5-1c, 18-5-4, 11-8-

12a, 18A-2-8A




July 14, 2015

Professional and Service Personnel


Marlinton Elementary School:

REQUESTED TRANSFER:  KRISTI L. TANKERSLY, from Teacher of Multi-Subjects at Hillsboro Elementary School to Teacher of Title I at Marlinton Elementary School, at state basic pay based on degree and experience, effective August 11, 2015 for the 2015-2016 school year, term of employment is 200 days

EMPLOYMENT:    SAMANTHA J. FEATHER, as Teacher of Multi-Subjects at Marlinton Elementary School, at state basic pay based on degree and experience, effective August 11, 2015 for the 2015-2016 school year, term of employment is 200 days

Marlinton Middle School:

EMPLOYMENT:  JESSICA HAYS, as Teacher of Physical Education/Health at Marlinton Middle School, at state basic salary based on degree and experience, effective August 11, 2015 for the 2015-2016 school year, term of employment is 200 days.

Pocahontas County High School:

REQUESTED TRANSFER:   RICHARD MICHAEL ADKI NS, from Assistant Principal at Pocahontas County High School, to Principal, Coordinator of School-to-Work Program, Vocational Education Director, Distance Learning Facilitation and Alternative Education Coordinator at Pocahontas County High School, Pursuant to WV Code §18A-4-2, in accordance with Pocahontas County Administrative Salary Schedule, commensurate with experience and educational level, plus equity and $6,000 annual supplement., effective July 15, 2015, term of employment is  240 days (with 6 uncompensated days) for the 2015-2016 school year.  (NOTE: Term of employment shall be 240 days each year thereafter with 21 uncompensated days.)

EMPLOYMENT:   OLLIE C. BARKLEY, as Custodian III at Pocahontas County High School/Green Bank Elementary – Middle School, at state basic pay, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, term of employment is 220 days. Shift:  2:00 PM – 10:00 PM.

ABOLISHMENT OF POSITION:   Assistant Principal at Pocahontas County High School, at a salary pursuant to WV Code 18A-4-2, in accordance with Pocahontas County Administrative Salary Schedule, commensurate with experience and educational level, term of employment of 210 days, retroactive to the end of the 2014-2015 school year. (Contingent upon approval of the Requested Transfer of Richard Michael Adkins.)

CREATION OF POSITION:  Assistant Principal/Athletic Director at Pocahontas County High School, at a salary pursuant to WV Code 18A-4-2, in accordance with Pocahontas County Administrative Salary Schedule, commensurate with experience and educational level, plus a supplement of $4,000, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, with a term of employment of 220 days.  (Contingent upon approval of the Requested Transfer of Richard Michael Adkins.)

ABOLISHMENTOF POSITION:   Athletic Director at Pocahontas County High School, effective at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.  (Contingent upon approval of creation of “Assistant Principal/Athletic Director” position at Pocahontas County High School.)


Of the following as Mentors, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at a supplement of $1,000 for each person mentored:
RICHARD F. McLAUGHLIN, as mentor for Timothy Joshua Corder, at Marlinton Middle School/Marlinton Elementary School.

CATHY A. MITCHELL, as mentor for Jessica Hays, at Marlinton Middle School.

CATHY A. MITCHELL, as mentor for Jared Bennett, at Marlinton Middle School.

VIRGINIA SHAW, as mentor for Kaitlyn Goins, at Marlinton Elementary School.

VIRGINIA SHAW, as mentor for Samantha Feather, at Marlinton Elementary School.

SUSAN CHAPPELL, as mentor for Michelle Wilfong, at Pocahontas County High School.

EMPLOYMENT:  JESSICA SHINABERRY, as Athletic Trainer at Pocahontas County High School, effective for the 2015-2016 season, at a supplement of $2,500. (NOTE: Position pending on sufficient number of players to make a team.)

Pocahontas County Schools: 

PERMISSION:  For the Interim Superintendent to fill jobs prior to the opening of school without prior Board approval.

EMPLOYMENT:  KIMBERLY McCOMB, as Cook for Band Camp at 4-H Camp located in Thornwood, West Virginia, at daily rate of pay, shift as follows:

Sunday, July  26, 2015 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Monday – Wednesday, July 27-29, 2015 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Thursday, July 30, 2015 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM

RESCIND REDUCTION IN FORCE:  REBECCA DAVIS, as Itinerant Special Education Classroom Aide/Bus Aide for Pocahontas County Schools (assignment: Pocahontas County High School), at state basic pay, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, term of employment is 200 days.

CHANGE IN ASSIGNMENT LOCATION:  REBECCA DAVIS, as Itinerant Special Education Classroom Aide/Bus Aide for Pocahontas County School, from an assignment location of Pocahontas County High School, to an assignment location of Marlinton Elementary School, effective for the 2015-2016 school year.

EMPLOYMENT:  Larry D. Sharp, as School Bus Operator for Pocahontas County Schools, at state basic pay, effective August 11, 2015 for the 2015-2016 school year, term of employment is 200 days:

EMPLOYMENT:   Gary M. Cutlip, as School Bus Operator for Pocahontas County Schools, at state basic pay, effective August 11, 2015 for the 2015-2016 school year, term of employment is 200 days:

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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