Pocahontas County Free Libraries Ask For Increase In Funding From Board Of Education

Marlinton, WV – Allen Johnson, Director of Pocahontas County Free Libraries and several library board members made an impassioned plea for additional funding at the Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting Monday night. They are asking the board to increase their contribution to the libraries this year to $40,000.00. The amount of the yearly contribution has steadily declined from a high of $59,000.00 beginning in 2003 to just $24,000.00 last year.

Johnson says the cost of staffing and supplies for the last two years has run around $36,000. That doesn’t include administrative costs or other services that the libraries provide. He says the extra board money along with other sources of revenue would allow the libraries to do more than just exist.

Johnson also had support Monday night from the Pocahontas County Commission. Commissioner David Fleming was unable to attend, but wrote a letter of support for the libraries’ request. Commissioner Reta Griffith appeared in person and had this to say.

“But I would like you to consider this, the library system that is sponsored by the county as of right now is providing for you two school libraries, Hillsboro and Marlinton Elementary [schools]” says Griffith. “If they weren’t in place right now, you would have to provide that through your budget. So when you’re looking for that $40,000.00, remember they are providing that service to you. So it’s not like you’re just making a contribution, you’re also providing for yourselves as a school library.”

While she supports the libraries fully, Board member Margaret Worth points out that the Board is not mandated to provide the library services to the elementary schools. However, the plea appeared to fall on the sympathetic ears of the Board members. Board President Kenny Vance asked Superintendent CC Lester to discuss the issue further with Johnson.

In other business, Pocahontas County Coordinator Jay Miller gave the Board a presentation about the One Room University pilot project, scheduled to launch in the fall of 2011. The project is an innovative idea to provide a classroom instructional setting to multiple users simultaneously via a Interactive Video Networking link or IVN. Miller says IVN technology has already been used at Pocahontas County HS for several years, but only with one course at a time. The One Room University as envisioned would allow up to twelve different classes offered at the same time.

Miller is working with New River Community and Technical College. He says there are still some hurdles to overcome such as securing funding for the program and unique technical challenges. He says the initial offerings next year will focus on core curriculum college classes.

Results of an online survey earlier this year showed a fair amount of interest in the program. Miller says another survey currently online is gathering other related information for the program. You can check out that survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/oneroomu3.

Board of Education student representative Nathan Hammons says incoming freshman had a mostly successful first day of school. He also told the board that he’s applying to be a student rep on the state board of education, a very high honor. Board members wished him luck as he pursues that goal.

The Board also took the following actions Monday night:

Approved a contract with School Days Child Care for preschool services for three and four year olds
Approved a contract with Katherine Snyder to assist and provide feedback to teachers
Approved retroactively a contract with Leah Shinaberry to attend a two day math workshop
And approved an out of county request for Kevin Stitzinger for his child to attend Pocahontas County schools

Personnel Agenda Approved Monday, August 23rd

Hillsboro Elementary:

Transfer request for Shannon Alderman -from teacher of multi subjects at Green Bank Elementary to Hillsboro Third grade

Employment of Mary Dawson and Samantha McClure as academic interventionists

Marlinton Elementary:

Employment of Teresa Barb and LyAnn Zelinsky as academic interventionists

Pocahontas County HS:

Purchase of a planning period for Christopher Sutton for 90 days only when school is in session

Creation of Position – Golf Coach for the 2010-2011 season at a supplement of $1200.00


Employment of Brook Leyzorek as a substitute teacher

Employment of the following as substitute aides for County schools – Valerie Lambert, Susan Morrison and Juli Williams

Employment of Susan Morrison as a substitute cook

Employment of Lois Ann Beverage as a substitute Custodian

Employment of Kenneth Varner as a substitute school bus operator

Abolishment of the Teacher of Academically and Behaviorally Challenged Students position for the 2010-2011 school year

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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