BOE struggles to fill teaching positions

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

At the board of education meeting Monday night, Interim Superintendent Terrence Beam reported that he is having difficulty filling vacant teaching positions at several schools in the county.

Green Bank Elementary-Middle School and Pocahontas County High School do not have a full staff and have only three weeks before students return.

“We are really struggling to fill teaching positions in our schools right now,” he said. “I spoke with [GBEMS principal Ricky Sharp] today three or four different times. We posted for an English/language arts position, grades sixth through eighth on three or four occasions, and we’re positing it one more time, hopefully to find someone who will have a teaching certificate and will apply.”

Beam is also reposting a GBEMS position for a sixth through eighth grade social studies and multi-subject teacher.

At the last board of education meeting, the board voted to allow Beam to fill positions prior to board approval in order to get teachers in the classrooms. The alternative is to start the school year with substitute teachers holding the positions.

“I received a resignation today that I will be reposting – a job at Marlinton Middle School – a teacher accepted employment somewhere else,” Beam said. “That will be on the agenda for the tenth, but we’re going to go ahead and repost the job tomorrow because we’re running out of time before school starts.”

Beam also reported that the health science education therapeutic instructor who was to helm the new nursing program at PCHS resigned. He said if he cannot find a replacement, he and PCHS principal Michael Adkins are looking for a new program to offer this year in place of the nursing program.

“Mr. Adkins is at the Career and Technical Conference, and he’s trying to find out all he can about another possible course we could offer,” Beam said. “This late in the summer, it’s going to be hard to have one ready to go for this year or even second semester, but we’re wanting to look for something that would be beneficial to our students, and also one that we can fill with a qualified person.”

PCHS teacher suspended, placed on improvement plan

After an executive session lasting more than an hour, the board of education unanimously approved to suspend PCHS welding teacher Dervin Lambert, for 10 days. The agenda called for Lambert to be suspended for five days, but the board made the decision to change the extent of the suspension.

“I make a motion to propose that Mr. Lambert be suspended without pay for ten days, to accept a mentor by the superintendent, at his digression, to observe vo-ag classes and to attend classroom management classes as directed by the superintendent,” board member Steve Tritapoe said.

Interim Superintendent Beam will choose when the suspension will take place and will also set up the classes for Lambert.

Because this was an executive session issue, the board could not discuss what led to the suspension.

In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:

• Memorandum of Understanding between the Pocahontas County Board of Education and Education Alliance, wherein the BOE agrees to sponsor two half-time AmeriCorps members at $1,750 each for a total of $3,500 for the 2015-2016 program year.

In personnel management, the board approved the following:

• Resignation of Anne M. Puckett as health science education therapeutic instructor at Pocahontas County High School, at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.

• Employment of Gary T. Rose as substitute school bus driver for Pocahontas County Schools, at state basic pay, as needed, effective for the 2015-2016 school year.

• Employment of John W. Evans as general maintenance/heating and air conditioning mechanic II/electri-cian/plumber I/painter for Pocahontas County Schools, at state basic pay, effective July 28, for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year. Term of employment is 242 days. Term of employment shall be 261 days each year thereafter.

At the July 14 meeting, the board of education approved the following:

• Placement of Policy BCBM – Board of Education Meetings, on 30-day comment period.

• Policies GBQC – Critical Need/Shortage – Substitute Teachers; KCB/LEBA – Pocahontas County Parent Involvement Policy; and IKM – Dual Credit Policy.

• Lisa Dennison to travel to Team Up for School Success Workshop in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia, August 3 through 6. All expenses paid for by a grant.

• Cammy Kesterson to travel to Microsoft IT Academy in Pikeville, Kentucky July 26 through 28.

• Valery Hurley, a resident of Pocahontas County, to enroll her child in Greenbrier County Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 school year.

• Dina Buly, a resident of Pocahontas County, to enroll her children in Greenbrier County Schools, effective for the 2015-2015 school year.

• Requested transfer of Kristi L. Tankersly from teacher of multi-subjects at Hillsboro Elementary School to teacher of Title I at Marlinton Elementary School, at state basic pay based on degree and experience, effective August 11, for the 2015-2016 school year. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Employment of Samantha J. Feather as teacher of multi-subjects at Marlinton Elementary School, at state basic pay based on degree and experience, effective August 11, for the 2015-2016 school year. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Employment of Jessica Hays as teacher of physical education/health at Marlinton Middle School, at state basic salary based on degree and experience, effective August 11, for the 2015-2016 school year. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Requested transfer of Richard Michael Adkins from assistant principal at Pocahontas County High School, to principal, coordinator of School-to-Work program, vocational education director, distance learning facilitator and alternative education coordinator at Pocahontas County High School, pursuant to WV Code 18A-4-2, in accordance with Pocahontas County administrative salary schedule, commensurate with experience and educational level, plus equity and $6,000 annual supplement, effective July 15. Term of employment is 240 days with six uncompensated days, for the 2015-2016 school year. Term of employment shall be 240 days each year there after with 21 uncompensated days.

• Employment of Ollie C. Barkley as custodian III at Pocahontas County High School and Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, at state basic pay, effective for the 2015-2016 school year. Term of employment is 220 days. Shift: 2 to 10 p.m.

• Abolishment of position assistant principal at Pocahontas County High School, retroactive to the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

• Creation of position assistant principal/athletic director at Pocahontas County High School, at a salary pursuant to WV Code 18A-4-2, in accordance with Pocahontas County administrative salary schedule, commensurate with experience and educational level, plus a supplement of $4,000, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, with a term of employment of 220 days.

• Abolishment of position athletic director at Pocahontas County High School, effective at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

• Employment of the following as mentors, effective or the 2015-2016 school year, at a supplement of $1,000 for each person mentored: Richard F. McLaughlin for Timothy Joshua Corder; Cathy A. Mitchell for Jessica Hays and Jared Bennett; Virginia Shaw for Kaitlyn Goins and Samantha Feather; and Susan Chappell for Michelle Wilfong.

• Employment of Jessica Shinaberry as athletic trainer at Pocahontas County High School, effective for the 2015-2016 season, at a supplement of $2,500.

• Permission for the interim superintendent to fill jobs prior to the opening of school without prior board approval.

• Employment of Kimberly McComb as cook for band camp at 4-H Camp at Thornwood, at a daily rate of pay. Shift as follows: Sunday, July 26, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, July 27 through 29, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, July 30, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Rescind reduction in force of Rebecca Davis as itinerant special education classroom aide/bus aide at Pocahontas County High School, at state basic pay, effective for the 2015-2016 school year. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Change in assignment location Rebecca Davis as itinerant special education classroom aide/bus aide from PCHS to Marlinton Elementary School, effective for the 2015-2016.

• Employment of Larry D. Sharp and Gary M. Cutlip, as school bus operators for Pocahontas County Schools, at state basic pay, effective August 11, fort he 2015-2016 school year. Term of employment is 200 days.

The next board meeting is Monday, August 10, at 7 p.m. at the board of education conference room.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com

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