Pocahontas County Schools Have the first Teacher Apprentice In WV

At the April 25th Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, Devan Gum and Lynne Bostic briefed the members about the County Schools’ Grow Your Own teaching pathway program.

Bostic pointed out that West Virginia is only one of two states that have implemented a Grow Your Own program, and as such has gained national attention. She said that PCHS senior, Jazzlyn Teter, is the first Teacher Apprentice in the state under that program. When she graduates from PCHS in a few weeks, Teter will have also completed 33 college credit hours because of the dual-credit classes she took as part of the program. This means she will already be a sophomore when she starts taking courses on the Glenville State University campus next fall.

Her senior year of college will be spent back here as a resident teacher in the Pocahontas County Schools, where she will be earning 65% of a full teacher’s salary. When she completes that year as a Resident Teacher, she will graduate from Glenville State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education; will be a certified teacher; will be credited with one year of teaching experience and benefits; and will be given preference to be hired as a full teacher for the Pocahontas County Schools.

There are two other students at PCHS also enrolled in the program who are Juniors this year, and all three, including Teter, have 4.0 grade point averages in the program.

Devan Gun also talked about the county Schools’ Virtual Instruction program, which currently has 7 full-time students and one part-time home-schooled student who takes some courses in the virtual school. She said the virtual school is run under a contract with the Southern Education Cooperative. She said the state only allows the virtual school to be offered to middle and high school students.

In-school students also have opportunities to take virtual courses such as foreign languages or sign language through the WV Department of Education, and several students are doing that.

In his report, Superintendent Beam said they are applying to the School Building Authority (SBA) for a Major Improvement Project at the high school for a new gym floor and some electrical upgrades.

Beam also recognized The Pocahontas County Schools’ winners of the Regional Social Studies Fair and the State Social Studies Fair, as well as the winners of the county Battle of the Books. You can see these along with the list of personnel actions approved at this meeting by clicking on the link to the official meeting agenda –4-25-23 Official BOE Agenda PDF

Additionally at this board meeting, the members approved the continuation of the retainer agreement for next school year with their current law firm -Dinsmore & Shohl LLP at the same rate as they paid this year -$3,500.00 per month.

They also approved the creation of dress codes for both students and staff. A committee will be appointed to determine what those dress codes will be. That committee will begin work on that and next school year will bring their recommendations for board approval.

The members also approved the Superintendent’s Goals for the 2023-2024 school year, which are:

  1. Continue the development leadership skills with our principals to make them more effective leaders with the ability to handle school-related issues with limited involvement from the superintendent.
  2. Work one-on-one with struggling principals to give them the dedicated support that they need.
  3. Work with directors to ensure a smooth transition.
  4. Continue direct communication with employees and the community.
  5. Keep the board appraised of student academic achievements and issues that may come to the attention of the board.

The board approved the Board of Education’s meeting schedule for next fiscal year, beginning with their first meeting on July 18th.

During the Matters of the Board discussion, member Sam Gibson said “the Grow your Own could be a game-changer for us for future staffing.”

4-25-23 Official BOE Agenda PDF

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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