Pocahontas Health Dept Wants To Make Sure All County 7th Graders Are Vaccinated

Marlinton, WV – Pocahontas County School Nurse Jenny Friel says many seventh grade county students aren’t up to date on their immunizations. To rectify this, Friel says the state health dept has come up with a Seventh Grade Health Initiative to offer the immunizations in the schools, similar to the flu vaccination program last year. Friel and County Health Nurse Linda McCoy spoke to the Pocahontas Board of Education about the program Monday night.

Friel says immunizations such as whooping cough, tetanus, and Hepatitis B are recommended at this age. Students can also begin getting a vaccination against meningitis. She says this will also give students the majority of the vaccinations now required by college admissions. A signed permission slip from a parent or guardian will be required.

County Health Nurse Linda McCoy says they want to apply for a state grant called Take Your Best Shot. If successful the Health dept could get anywhere from $2500.00 to $5000.00 to help pay for advertising, flyers and other supplies related to the vaccination program, but not the actual vaccines. McCoy says there’s one stipulation – the county must be able to sustain the program once the grant money is exhausted.

Board President Kenny Vance says he supports the initiative and the grant application.

“I think it’s something probably that I’m going to refer you to Mr. [School Superintendent CC] Lester and if he approves it, we’ll go with it on the grant” says Vance.

The grant is due by November 1st.

McCoy also told the board the Health dept will no longer automatically offer Tuberculosis tests to those who take a food handlers class. She’s now required to do a risk assessment before administering the test. Friel says current school policy requires anyone who handles food in the schools have food handlers card and a valid TB test.

In other business, Pocahontas County HS FFA Advisor Samantha Bartley asked the board for permission to take five agriculture students to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis next month. She explains why this trip is important.

“We have to find a way to motivate the students to see that there is more to FFA than just the Ham-Bacon sale” says Bartley “or selling fruit. And sadly enough that’s what the kids have been involved with right now and I think it’s time to broaden their horizons.”

Bartley says she and fellow teacher Scott Garber will take care of the driving duties using a rental van from Mitchell Chevrolet. She says there is sufficient funding in the FFA’s budget to pay the expenses for all five students. The board not only approved the trip, but also made a commitment to ensure that all five students have FFA jackets to wear.

The board also approved an 8th grade trip to Virginia Beach next spring for Marlinton Middle School students. Board member Jan McNeel asked that sponsors Heather Simmons and Stephanie Burns do their best to tie the trip itinerary into classroom objectives.

Student representative Nathan Hammons says students at the high school are celebrating spirit week leading up to the Homecoming game against Bath County on Oct 1st. He says several seniors also recently traveled to Davis and Elkins College for a day of meeting with college representatives.

Personnel Agenda Approved Monday Night:

Green Bank Elementary-Middle School
Cheryl Jonese – Student Interventionist
Michael Kane – head basketball coach (girls)
Michael Murphy – asst basketball coach (girls)
Shane Jones – head basketball coach (boys)
Allen Taylor – asst basketball coach (boys)
Resignation: Anne Smith as athletic coordinator

Marlinton Elementary School
Resignation of Carol Alderman,teacher, due to retirement
Employed: Jamey Weber-after school program teacher

Hillsboro Elementary School
Employed: Darlene Arbogast, Maria Hall, Kelli Hickson, Rosanne Zeni, Virginia Calhoun, Gina Hardesty and Lois McCutcheon – after school program teachers

Marlinton Middle School
Shirlene Groceclose, Richard McLaughlin, Denise Sharp, Louisa Kiner, Lesli Mensing and Kristi Weese – after school program teachers
Michael G. Burns – student interventionist
Lauren Brooke Dickenson – special education student interventionist

Pocahontas County HS
Linda Beverage, Teresa Rhea, Christopher Sutton, Melvin Linsey, and Leah Shinaberry – after school program teachers
Kathryn Kolonay and Sherman Taylor – alternative education program teachers
Michael G. Burns – student interventionist
Scott Garber -asst basketball coach (boys)

Lauren B Dickenson and Victoria Poundstone – substitute teachers
Maria Hall, Denise McNeel, Kathleen McGee and Sharon Vance – teacher mentors
Gary Cutlip – transfer to a different bus route beginning at Marlinton Middle School

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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