School Staff Express Concerns to the Pocahontas County Board of Education

The Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting on October first at the Green Bank Elementary-Middle School began with a Local School Improvement Council Meeting, followed by a lengthy meeting with the staff of the school. The board listened to and considered their ideas and concerns. One of the most mentioned and discussed items of concern for the staff involved the elimination of an Itinerate Special Education Aide/Classroom aide position at the school. They explained to the board that the loss of this position puts a lot of extra work and stress on the teachers, and has a negative impact on the students. The Board Members were concerned with this, but explained that this was done because of financial necessity.  Some of the other issues discussed by the staff involved communication; the lack of adequate professional development opportunities for teachers; and they told the board that they are pleased with the school’s new Principal, Julie Shiflet.

During the regular meeting, Superintendent Beam reported that Radford University has provided a grant to offer a free individualized Continuing Education Program for teachers in Appalachia and this opportunity is available for Pocahontas County Teachers on a first-come-first-served basis.

He also mentioned that liability questions have been raised about the Board owned property located near the green boxes in Green Bank. He has been consulting with their attorney, Jason Long about this. Later during the Matters of the Board, Joe Walker mentioned that one of his concerns with that property is they have found deer stands on it in the past, indicating people have possessed firearms on that school-owned property perhaps not realizing it is school property. Some suggestions about the property which were offered included removing the “for sale” sign which is there and placing signage to inform people of the no weapons policy on school property.

Emmit Doolittle, the student representative to the board, talked about the recent home coming events and spirit week at PCHS.

After approving routine financial matters, the board voted to hire the Thrasher Group as architects for the 2020 Major Improvement Project at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School.

Additionally, the board:

  • Placed the Expense Reimbursement Policy on a 30 day comment
  • Approved an agreement with the Success for All Foundation, Inc regarding Power Teaching.
  • Authorized Marty Bloss, a volunteer co-teacher of the HAM Radio Class at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School to mount radio antennas on school grounds.
  • Approved of Paul Marganian as a volunteer Robotics Coach at PCHS, and approved Devin and Dustin Simmons as volunteer Archery Coaches for the middle schools and the high school.
  • And approved of the Parent and community Volunteers for this school year.

The board approved of the Superintendant’s goals for this school year. These involved:

  • Developing a more informative website
  • Collaboration with the Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan Committee
  • Providing the resources necessary for extended teacher collaboration with the focus on improving structural strategies and student learning.
  • Developing the leadership skills of the Principals to enable them to take ownership of problems without direct involvement by the Superintendent.

They approved of personnel actions, a list of which can be found with this story on our website .



(10-1-19 Board of Education Meeting)

Employment of CHASTITY AND DEREK TAYLOR as Girls’ Basketball Coaches at Greenbank Elementary-Middle School- to divide the $750.00 supplement equally.

Employment of MELISSA NELSON as Boys Basketball Coach at Greenbank Elementary-Middle School with a $750.00 supplement.

Resignation of JAMES “BO” CASTEEL as 7th & 8th Grade Football Coach at PCHS retroactive to 9/12/19.

Employment of JUSTIN M. KERR as 7th & 8th Grade Football Coach at PCHS retroactive to 9/12/19 at a $750.00 supplement.

Employment of ANITA G. MILLS as Mentor for Nebraska B. Scotchie at $20.00 per hour, not to exceed 50 hours or $1000.00.

Requested transfer of EVAN E. ROSE, School bus Operator to a different run.

Employment of SCOTT KELLEY as School Bus Operator -Extracurricular -effective 10-3-19 at $50.00 per run.

Employment of M. LOIS McCUTCHEON as Substitute Teacher.

Employment of Sarah Cover; Kimberly Beverage; and Jennifer “Nichole” Brock as Substitute Aides effective 10-3-19.

Employment of Kimberly Beverage and Deanna Gladwell as Substitute Cooks effective 10-3-19.

Employment of Deanna Gladwell as Substitute Custodian effective 10-3-19.

Employment of Kevin Thompson as Substitute Maintenance effective 10-3-19.

Employment of Susan Ray and Teresa Rhea as Substitute Secretaries/Accountants effective 10-3-19.

Creation of Position -Itinerant Special Education/Classroom Aide/Bus Aid -assignment Marlinton Elementary School, effective 10-24-19.

Creation of Position –Itinerant Special Education/Classroom Aide/Bus Aid -assignment Marlinton Elementary School, effective 10-24-19 -NOTE: position may be terminated at end of the current school year.

Creation of Position- -Itinerant Special Education/Classroom Aide/Bus Aid -assignment Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, effective 10-24-19. NOTE: position may be terminated at end of the current school year.

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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