Public forums scheduled at all Pocahontas schools

Marlinton, W.Va. – During Monday evening’s Pocahontas Board of Education meeting, Superintendant C.C. Lester talks about the recent public forum at Hillsboro School.

“I feel the forum we had at Hillsboro was very, very informative,” he said. “I got a lot of positive comments about it. One of the things I said that night- it’s about equity. And I came back the next morning and I immediately contacted the elementary school about their art offerings and things like that. The grade school here does not have art offered, so to speak. It is offered at the church and Mr. Hall said once a month.”

Hillsboro parents told the Board they wanted equitable art and music instruction at their school. Lester says he’s working on a plan to share Marlinton Middle School teachers with Hillsboro.

“So, I’m in the process now,” he said. “I’ve talked to Mr. McLaughlin last week. Today and tomorrow, we’re going to meet to look at the possibility of going to Hillsboro in the afternoon to work with the starting, the beginning of the band. I contacted Ms. Baker about the possibility of offering art through a certified art teacher at both schools. She would like to do it, however, she’s obligated herself to some plays, through some grants. So, she’ll be doing the plays. That’s one of the good things that came out of the meeting.”

Board member Janet McNeel praises Lester’s effort and urges community help in obtaining band instruments.

“Mr. Lester has already moved on getting a music position and band down at Hillsboro, which is just really incredible,” she said. “And Mr. McLaughlin talked to me this afternoon about we need to get out there and beat the bushes and try to get some band instruments. I mean, he’s ready to go. He’s got a plan and he’s ready to go with it. So, I said, ‘well, I have a clarinet and a saxophone sitting on my couch. So, to try and get this going, we need to get the word out into the community. And that’s a direct result of the community forum.”

Board president Emery Grimes agrees with Lester’s assessment.

“The meeting in Hillsboro went really well, I thought,” he said. “Very, very good – we got a lot of information out of it. I enjoyed going into that community and I thought it was very informative.”

“The people was really nice.”

Grimes recommended having two more forums for county schools. Lester recommends public forums for all schools.

“I thought it went along very well,” he said. “It was informative. I kind of like the idea of one for each one of the schools. Each school is different. You know, we have two schools close, but they’re all different. Each school has different needs. Each school has different traditions. Each school’s a different configuration.”

The board accepted Lester’s recommendation and scheduled forums as follows: October 1, Green Bank School; October 15, Pocahontas High School; November 5, Marlinton Elementary School and December 3, Marlinton Middle School. All public forums will begin at 6 p.m.

The board reviewed four bids for a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 250HD four-wheel-drive truck and accepted the lowest bid of $24,850 from Mitchell Chevrolet.

The board abolished a number of policies and placed nine policy revisions on a 30-day public comment period. The policy revisions are available for review at the board office in Marlinton. The board also approved a parent involvement policy.

The board tabled action on its annual financial statement and approved payment of vendor claims totaling $9849.68.

In personnel matters, the board hired the following as after-school teachers: Julie Brown, Anne Smith and Shirlene Groseclose at Green Bank School; Shannon Alderman, Virginia Calhoun, Gina Hardesty, Laura Pritt, Shannon Anderson, Mary Dawson and Samantha McClure at Hillsboro Elementary School, and; Diane Delfino and Elisa Jamey Weber at Marlinton Elementary School.

The board hired Cammie J. Wade and Lesa Allen as itinerant special education classroom aide/bus aide; Sharla Sherman as half-time librarian/media specialist at Marlinton Middle School; Patricia Juergens as half-time Spanish teacher and Timothy VanReenen as substitute teacher.

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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