Progress Report on Green Bank Elementary/Middle School at Board of Education Meeting

“(various children’s voices) 1….2….3….BUZZ….5…..6….7….8….BUZZ….9….10….11” said the children of Teacher Marsha Beverage’s Elementary Math Class at the Green Bank School.

You just heard members of Teacher Martha Beverage’s  Green Bank School’s 4th grade Math class playing a game in front of the Pocahontas County Board of Education’s October 20th Local School Improvement Council/Faculty Senate meeting. This was held at the Green Bank Elementary/Middle School. As Beverage explains, the game is designed to increase Math scores using increasing student engagement techniques such as this game.  Ms Beverage.

“One of our games that they really enjoy playing is ‘Buzz’” said Beverage. “And it’s teaching them about multiples – so the way the game is played… I’ll just have somebody here. Who can tell them how to play ‘Buzz’? Alright, Trenton, stand up. This is Trenton,  and just tell them how to play ‘Buzz’”

Trenton, one of Beverage’s students stands up and explains the game.

“She picks a number like three and every time it gets to a multiple of that number you say ‘Buzz’” said Trenton. “If you say it (the number which is a multiple of three) without saying ‘Buzz’ you’re out. And then whoever is the last one standing wins.”

Of course this meeting began like most Board meetings with a Superintendent’s report/Special recognition. Mr. Beam wished to recognize the Hillsboro Elementary School’s Lego Team for finishing 2nd in a Greenbrier County Lego competition.

Mr. Ricky Sharp, Principal of Green Bank Elementary/Middle School, made a presentation before the Board about the state of the School.

He talked about how Math scores at the Middle School are on the rise.

“Some of the positives I would like to highlight for this school year- Our math scores are on the rise for the Middle School.” said Sharp. “We’re higher than the State and higher than the county on a lot of those averages. That was a lot better than last year’s scores too.”

Sharp also talked about the recent National School Lunch Week Program at the School.

“Last week at Green Bank Elementary/Middle School we did a bang-up job on the School Lunch Program” said Sharp. “We had over 20 parents every single day come in and have lunch with their children. The students organized their menus on what they liked on the menus throughout the entire month. They did bar graphs, charts etc. on all that. They did the coloring contest for the National school Lunch Week-it’s all posted out here in the Cafeteria. They did an Anti-Bullying Chain.”

Mr. Sharp also discussed some issues at the school. He said they had some bus issues at the beginning of the year, partially due to some local road construction, however this has been solved. He also mentioned that the staff at the school is concerned about potential cuts to the budget. The Board members said they are also concerned with potential State cuts to the schools. He also touched upon the results of the OEPA Audit of the school where the school received 7 “Accomplished” ratings and 15 “Emerging” ratings.

Sharp talked about efforts to decrease discipline issues and using early intervention starting with the first report cards to help reduce the number of students who are retained – not promoted to the next grade.

They also heard from students representing the Student Counsel from the 6th and 7th grades who talked about things they would like, such as a school newspaper, more dances, more tutors and less homework.

Faculty members in attendance expressed some of their concerns about some teachers miss a lot of days causing more work for others and more expenses in hiring Substitute Teachers who are not always available, causing combined classes which are not good for the students. Others talked about rumors about cuts to the number of Basketball games, concerns about how rumors come out of the Central Office at all, concerns about the possible movement of the 7th and 8th grades to the High school – Mr. Beam said that was not an immediate issue and depended on approval of the SBA and even then would be several years away from happening. Other issues were discussed by the Staff but could not be  clearly heard because of the room acoustics.

In a lone Personnel action, the board Approved adding the position of Principal of Hillsboro elementary School to Mr. Ronald Hall’s many other responsibilities as Director of Attendance/Homeless Liaison, and Director of Maintenance and School Safety. Mr. Hall will receive a supplemental pay of $15,000 for the added responsibility. This was effective October 19th for the remainder of the school year.

The meeting ended with an unspecified Executive session.


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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