At the March 9 Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, WVU Extension Service extension agent Luci Mosesso gave a report on the services provided in the past year to county students.
The Extension Service oversees 4-H clubs and organizations in the county and has had a busy year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In 2019 to 2020, we had one hundred forty-eight young people voluntarily enrolled in our program and that’s about ten percent of the youth in Pocahontas County,” Mosesso said. “I’m very thankful for that percentage.”
Two of the largest events 4-H clubs participate in each year are the Livestock Show and Sale and the Ham, Bacon and Egg Sale. Mosesso said the two events in 2020 raised a total of $60,000.
“That [money] went back to the children to reinvest in projects and was also put toward college funds.”
During 2020, the Extension Service provided more than 4,000 STEM kits to students. The kits were handed out at the schools and students were able to do experiments and projects in the STEM field – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
The three middle school science teachers and retired science teacher Mary Sue Burns worked together to create the Kitchen Chemistry book, which includes experiments that can be done at home with easy to find household materials.
“We’ve done garden-based education programs and built a garden at Marlinton Elementary School, and we’re working at Marlinton Middle School’s high tunnel,” Mosesso added. “We’re going to have an open house this spring, which I hope you all can attend.”
Mosesso also reported that 80 third through fifth grade students participated in the Know Your State Book program and learned more about their state.
As for the future, Mosesso said the Energy Express program has been approved for this summer and it will serve 32 elementary age children. Marlinton Elementary School will be the site for the program, which helps students catch up on their reading skills in a fun, activity-filled environment.
The board thanked Mosesso for her report and continued support of the students of Pocahontas County.
• Superintendent Terrence Beam reported that the Pocahontas County High School FASFA rate is incredibly high this year, with an average of 54.3 percent of students signing up for the federal student aid program. He commended PCHS guidance counselor Linda Beverage and graduation coach Michelle Wilfong for their diligence in getting students signed up.
• Director of curriculum, instruction and federal programs Lynne Bostic shared the winners of the Young Writers Contest. The three first place students will go on to represent Pocahontas County at the state level. First grader Aliza Cedarleaf, of Hillsboro Elementary School; fourth grader Trey Sattler, of Green Bank Elementary-Middle School; and fifth grader Madalynn Landis, of Marlinton Elementary School, were first place winners in their age groups for their stories.
In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:
• 2021-2022 Pocahontas County Schools calendar.
• Annual Memorandum of Agreement, West Virginia University Cooperative Extension Service and the County Extension Service Committee with the Pocahontas County Board of Education, for the 2021-2022 school year.
In personnel management, the board approved the following:
• Employment of Barbara L. Siers as academic interventionist at Hillsboro Elementary School, at $22 per hour, three hours per day, as needed, not to exceed 195 hours or $4,290, effective March 11, for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.
• Employment of Cynthia L. Solak as teacher of science/biology at Pocahontas County High School, at state minimum salary based on degree and experience plus equity, effective first day of the 2021-2022 school year. Term of employment is 200 days.
• Resignation of Randall W. Irvine as baseball coach for Pocahontas County High School, effective February 26.
• Employment of Ernest Ray Hendrick as baseball coach for Pocahontas County High School for the 2020-2021 season, at a supplement of $1,125. Pending sufficient number of players to make a team.
• Volunteer coach Randall W. Irvine as volunteer assistant baseball coach for Pocahontas County High School for the 2020-2021 season, as needed.
• Volunteer coach Laurel B. Dilley as a part-time volunteer assistant coach for the Pocahontas County High School boys and girls track and field teams for the 2020-2021 season, as needed.
• Volunteer coach Justin M. Dilley as a part-time volunteer assistant coach for the Pocahontas County High School boys and girls track and field teams for the 2020-2021 season, as needed.
• Unpaid medical leave of Cailey D. Moore as itinerant teacher of special education – multi-categorical – autism at Marlinton Elementary School, effective March 17 or upon exhaustion of personal leave, for a period of up to 12 weeks, as needed.
• Requested transfer of Sarah A. Cover as itinerant special education classroom aide/bus aide at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School to itinerant special education classroom aide/bus aide at Pocahontas County High School, at state basic pay, effective first day of the 2021-2022 school year. Term of employment is 200 days.
• Requested transfer of Stephen D. Mick, Jr., as school bus operator for Pocahontas County Schools from his current route to a new route, effective March 11, for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, at state basic pay. Term of employment is 61 days. Term of employment shall be 200 days each year thereafter.
• Employment of Angela N. Williamson as substitute teacher for Pocahontas County Schools, at state basic pay, effective March 11, for the 2020-2021 school year, as needed.
• Employment of Janessa K. Bell as substitute cook for Pocahontas County Schools, at state basic pay, effective March 11, for the 2020-2021 school year, as needed.
The next board meeting will be Tuesday, March 30, beginning with the Local School Improvement Council meeting at 3 p.m. at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School.