Cheryl Jonese, Rebecca Spencer and Anita Workman attended the January 30 Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting to talk about Pocahontas County High School’s Purple Star Shoe Box Project This project, which is spearheaded by the school’s Purple Star Club, involved sending Christmas packages to PCHS alumni who are currently serving in the U.S. Military. These packages contained items donated by the local students, members of the community and businesses in the county. Some of the items included in the packages were copies of The Pocahontas Times, student-made items and letters, para cord bracelets made by PCHS students, and a collection of postcards written by students and collected by Allegheny Mountain Radio, as well as practical items such as water bottles, pens, notebooks, glass cleaning cloths and candy.
They explained that the items will remind the alumni that the Pocahontas County community has not forgotten them and their service, and each package included the message, “Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday from your hometown community. Pocahontas County.”
They sent out 63 packages this past holiday season and spent more than $1000 on postage in doing so. Their biggest challenge is maintaining a current list of names and addresses of alumni who are serving in the military, especially since some joined the military a long time after graduating and moving out of the area. If the readers know of someone serving in the military that did not receive a package, contact PCHS so they can be added to the list.
During her Superintendent’s Report, Lynne Bostic recognized Cash Beers, a ninth grade student at PCHS, for being awarded the West Virginia Department of Education’s Proximity Academic Excellence Award, an award Bostic described as being “very special.”
Student Representative Riley Pollack said the school’s carpentry students will build enclosed stalls in the boys’ restrooms at PCHS.
In addition, Pollack recognized the winners of the “Poetry Out Loud’ contest. They are: Sabrina Leyzorek, first place; Haley Fitzgerald, second place; Dillon Dunz and Cortney Waugh. tied for third place.
Joanna Bert Kinderman talked about improvements county students are experiencing in Math proficiency as evidenced by state test scores. She explained that while those scores declined a bit during the COVID years, they are again on the upswing. She also talked about successful new techniques for teaching Math, which challenge students to approach math differently than simple finger counting or memorization of tables. She said students, and their parents, should be open to these new models, since over half of adults, who were taught the old way, say they are bad at math, but the new way makes it fun to learn.
Julie Shifflet provided an update on the schools’ “Grow Your Own” teaching pathway. She said there are currently five student from Glenville State College serving as student teachers. Three of these, Taylor Arnold, Alex Harrah and Miranda Gum, came to the meeting and spoke about how the program provides free tuition and free text books and also allows them to earn their first 24 credit hours at Glenville while still attending high school.
Marlinton Elementary School LSIC President Luci Mosesso reported that, once the old BOE Office building next to the school is torn down this summer, there will be a safe recreation and fenced-in playground area, as well as staff parking and a safe bus drop-off and pick-up area there.
Principal Phillip Anderson talked about the services provided by the Communities in Schools Program, the Third Grade Success Act, as well as new disciplinary and attendance programs at the school, which are based on positive incentives, and recent academic improvements achieved by the students in state testing.