Pocahontas School Wants To Give Back To Community

Marlinton, WV – During Monday night’s Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, Hillsboro Elementary Middle School teachers Kelly Hickson and Pam Donovan reported on a conference they attended in Beckley, to learn about improving parent and community involvement with the school. Donovan said her group reviewed a website during the conference, parentfurther.com, which she said contained a wealth of helpful information on parenting. Donovan says a school evaluation was conducted during the conference.

“We had to evaluate our school,” she said. “We chose our weakest area was, we thought, with our business partners. So, we decided that, instead of just calling our business partners when we needed something, that maybe we should give something back to them. So, we have arranged a picnic. We are going to provide our business partners with a luncheon and let the kids help – introduce themselves and show our business partners that we’re also there for them, too.”

The business appreciation picnic will be held on May 18 at 1 p.m. to recognize school business partners Boxley Materials Company and First Citizens Bank.

Associate superintendant and Treasurer Alice Irvine reported she had conducted a training session with all school secretary/accountants during the previous week. Irvine praises the work of the secretary/accountants.

“They do a very, very good job, given all the interruptions through the day,” she said. “Most of them can’t put out a sign – ‘I’m counting money, now you can’t bother me.’ That’s not the way it works in the schools. They do a really good job.”

Irvine said the training focused on updating the schools’ financial procedures manuals.

Student representative Chloe Bland reported that several PCHS students won medals in the recent SkillsUSA competition. Samantha Hefner received a gold medal in baking; Dalton Walker won a gold medal in carpentry; and a six-person team of Mackenzie Halterman, Gabriel Walkup, Patrick Martin, Phil Whiteis, Derek Hamons and Morgan Langston won a gold medal in Business Procedures. Cody Hill won a silver medal in plumbing and David Barb brought home a bronze medal in electronics. The gold medal winners are invited to a skills and leadership conference in Kansas City on June 23-27.

Bland further reported that Future Business Leaders members Chantella Lewis, Fredricah Gardner and Ryan Cain were winners in the group’s state competition, and will represent West Virginia at a conference in San Antonio, Texas on June 28 – July 2. Bland said the PCHS athletic banquet was scheduled for May 23; senior awards night, May 24; and graduation, May 26 at 11 a.m.

During the financial update, Irvine informed the board that a final supplement of $281,828 in economic stimulus funds had been added to the budget. The federal job creation money will pay for two technology teachers in the county school system.

The board expected to receive a community participation grant of $15,000 — $10,000 to be used for improvements to Stillwell Park in Marlinton, and $5,000 for a youth soccer team.
Board President Kenneth Vance says he and Superintendant C.C. Lester made a special trip to Charleston, where State Senator Walt Helmick promised them the money.

“We made a special trip down there and caught him, during the session,” he said.
“When we went down to talk to him, Mr. Lester and I talked to him and he said that $15,000 — $10,000 went to Stillwell and $5,000 went to the soccer team,” Vance added.

Irvine says the State Budget Analyst confirmed that the request was never submitted to the state government.

“He didn’t file the paperwork, which obviously, he didn’t,” she said.

Irvine reported that Helmick’s office did submit and provide a separate grant of $15,000 for capital improvements.

In personnel actions, the board:

-approved the hiring of Jennifer Whiteis as science teacher; Delmos Barb as boys track coach; and Joshua Moore as general maintenance/electrician/plumber;

– accepted the resignations of teacher Nancy Martin, due to retirement, and volleyball coordinator Kimberly Rao;

– approved a medical leave of absence for Spanish teacher Mali Minter;

– approved the transfer of Shannon Anderson to Early Childhood teacher at Hillsboro Elementary School;

– and created the position of alternative education teacher at PCHS.

In other business, the board:
– approved participation in the state auditor’s purchasing card program;

– approved participation in the County Roads purchasing program;

– approved an eighth grade class trip to Virginia Beach, Virginia;

– and disapproved a proposed $650 parent/teacher activity at Green Bank 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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