In an effort to ensure all teaching positions are filled by qualified teachers, the Pocahontas County Board of Education entered into an agreement with Fairmont State University to implement the Teacher-In- Residence Program.
At the board’s meeting Monday night, math coach Joanna Burt-Kinderman, who spearheaded the effort to work with FSU, explained how the program will give the board an opportunity to recruit teachers while they are still in college.
“This program is one of a couple that are going to be coming out of universities to try to place hometown people in hometown jobs,” Burt-Kinderman said. “This partnership allows a senior who is done with all their coursework in college, but has not yet done student teaching – if they take their Praxis test early – they can apply for a posting. The same state rules apply, but if there is no certified candidate, we would be allowed to consider a pre-service candidate who is a senior at Fairmont.”
Burt-Kinderman said she is also working on a partnership agreement with West Virginia University.
In hiring a student, the county and university will receive funding to pay the student, as well as funding to pay a mentor.
“We would pay them a stipend that’s sixty-five percent of what we get from the state,” Burt-Kinderman explained. “The other thirty-five percent would be split between Pocahontas County Schools and Fairmont to have a creative mentoring process. I think we have enough senior level teachers that we can do that really well here. There’s not a lose to this as far as I’m concerned.”
While there is no guarantee a local student will want to come back to the county to teach, the program gives an extra incentive for them to give it a try.
“It gives us a new tool in our toolbox to get good people who want to live here and get them extra support and training,” Burt-Kinderman said.
In special recognition:
• Superintendent Terrence Beam announced that board office secretary Melissa Ervine was named Pocahontas County Service Personnel of the Year and Green Bank Elementary-Middle School fourth grade teacher Marsha Beverage was named Teacher of the Year. All service personnel and teacher of the year candidates, along with Ervine and Beverage, will be recognized at the Super Scholars event Tuesday, May 17, at 6 p.m. at Pocahontas County High School.
Personnel and miscellaneous management will be in next week’s edition of The Pocahontas Times.
The next board meeting will be Monday, May 23, at Marlinton Middle School, beginning with a work session at 3 p.m., followed immediately by the board meeting.
Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org