BOE discuss graduation options

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

At the May 26 Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, superintendent Terrence Beam gave an update on several items, including the upcoming graduation ceremony scheduled for June 20.

Beam said the final decision has yet to be made on the ceremony itself, but the plans are still in motion to have the seniors return to Pocahontas County High School on June 20 for either an indoor or outdoor commencement.

Technically, the seniors have officially graduated and received their diplomas May 21 when Beam, principal Joe Riley and several other school employees delivered graduation packets to each senior in a one-of-a-kind “bus graduation.” The graduation crew traveled the length of the county in 11 hours on a school bus – stopping at homes and work places of the seniors.

“They are really, physically graduated,” Beam told the board at the meeting. “We’re just bringing them back for a ceremony.”

Beam is working with Riley and the PCHS staff to come up with the best option as close to the graduation date as possible.

The board collectively thanked Beam and all those involved in the bus graduation, and said they heard many positive comments from the community about the effort to honor the seniors.

In his report, Beam added that he sent a letter to all the employees with a 200 or more day contract, stating they are asked to return to work June 1 and to work under a social distancing schedule to prepare the school facilities for the 2020-2021 school year. He added that if any of the employees are uncomfortable returning to work at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they must take unpaid leave until they return.

In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:

• Pocahontas County Board of Education Procedures Manual.

• Neola Adoption Resolution for the comprehensive document entitled “Bylaws and Policies of the Pocahontas County Board of Education.”

In personnel management, the board approved the following:

• Employment of Carolyn Pennington as aide for the after-school program at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, at $14 per hour, two hours per day, four days per week, not to exceed 32 weeks, effective August 24, 2020 through May 13, 2021, contingent upon filling the after-school program teacher position.

• Employment Nicole Dilley, Maria Hall and Gina Hardesty as after-school tutors at Hillsboro Elementary School, at $22 per hour, one hour per day, four days per week, not to exceed 32 weeks, effective August 24, 2020 through May 14, 2021. Position to be divided by the three individuals.

• Employment of Louisa Kiner, Teresa Rhea and Jeanette Wagner as after-school tutors at Marlinton Middle School, at $22 per hour, two hours per day, three days per week, not to exceed 32 weeks, effective August 24, 2020 through May 14, 2021. Position to be divided by the three individuals.

• Employment of Chloe Bland as assistant girls basketball coach at Pocahontas County High School, for the 2020-2021 season, at a supplement of $750, pending sufficient number of players to make a team.

• Employment of Jean Baum as assistant band director at Pocahontas County High School, for the 2020-2021 season, at a supplement of $750, pending sufficient number of members to form a band.

• Employment of Sherri Howe as cafeteria manager for the summer feeding program at Marlinton Elementary School, at hourly rate of pay based on state minimum, effective May 28, for three days a week – Monday, Thursday and Friday – six hours per day, for up to 11 weeks.

• Employment of Lora Sue Miller as cook III for the summer feeding program at Marlinton Elementary School, at an hourly rate of pay based on state minimum, beginning May 28, at three days a week – Monday, Thursday and Friday – six hours per day, for up to 11 weeks.

• Permission for the superintendent to post and fill positions prior to board approval, effective May 27 through August 11.
NOTE: All positions are contingent upon the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

The next board meeting will be Monday, June 8, at 6 p.m. at the board of education conference room.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com

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