BOE lends support to AirEvac

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

The board of education meeting Monday night was for the birds – metal birds – as AirMedCare Network membership sales manager Mary Rader provided information about the AirEvac Lifeteam.

Rader said AirEvac has provided support to the county for many years and the business is looking for a way to give back to the community.

“Our mission is to save lives but we further that because our second mission is to have a great impact on your life afterwards,” Rader said. “We have done 210 flights out of Pocahontas County alone since 2011. We are eighteen minutes from the call to here from you. What we’re trying to do is save your life after the fact.”

AirEvac established a membership program in 1985 to give users a break in the costs of using the services.

“There was a group of businessmen and one of them didn’t make it,” Rader explained. “[He] had cardiac issues and he died en route. These gentlemen got together and said, ‘what can we do to prevent it.’ Their mission created what we have today. It’s all about community support and giving back to the community. Our annual membership is $65 a year. That includes you and every person who is a resident in your household.

“What does that membership do for you?” Rader continued. “In the event that you are flown by us, you never receive any invoice for the remaining portion of your flight. That is where we try to impact you.”

The remaining portion is what is not covered by your insurance reimbursement. Rader said the average insurance payout is between $8,000 and $12,000. An average flight with AirEvac can cost $28,000.

Rader said she recently visited the Pocahontas County Commission and is working on a municipal plan for the entire county.

“The municipal plan covers every resident of Pocahontas County in the event they are flown out of Pocahontas County to a trauma center,” she said. “So, from that point on, what I’m asking now is for your support. This is something that is very valuable. We invest a lot of time. We invest a lot of education. We’re all about making your community better.”

The board of education gave its verbal support to the AirEvac program and thanked Rader for providing information on what the company does for the county.

In updates:

• Superintendent Dr. Donald Bechtel provided board members with information on the West Virginia OEPA [Office of Education Performance Audits] standards. The OEPA has a set of seven standards with 24 functions that schools are required to follow.

An OEPA team will come to the schools in Pocahontas County September 21 to do an evaluation.

“There’s seven standards for high quality schools in West Virginia – positive climate and cohesive culture; school leadership; standards-focused curriculum, instruction and assessments; student support services and family/community connections; educator growth and development; efficient and effective management; and continuous improvement,” Bechtel said. “As a faculty, they’ve done self rating and then they will meet with the observers from OEPA who will ultimately rate our schools.”

Bechtel said the principals have been doing preparatory work to ensure the faculty and schools are properly following the standards.

Bechtel also reported on the success of the Pocahontas County archery team at the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Marlinton Elementary placed 42 out of 148 teams that competed,” he said. “We’re really proud of their efforts. Number 22 and 23, Kelly Pyne and Chloe Hardesty, were our two middle school students who participated individually. We had 23 students who traveled to Louisville. It was an extremely successful year.”

Bechtel also thanked the parents and volunteers who worked diligently with the students to make the archery program successful. He said because of their efforts, the students had a practice facility and plenty of support at competitions.

In financial management, the board approved the following:

• Payment of vendor listings of claims in the amounts of $10,955.62; $11,996.61 and $54,500.62.

• Budget Adjustments, Extra Duty Pay for April and Grant Awards.

In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:

• Shirlene Groselose to attend the High Schools That Work Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, July 15 through 18. Groseclose will attend the conference in place of Teresa Mullen. All costs will be paid through the Family Resource Network Innovation Zone Dropout Prevention Grant.

• Addendum to the contract between the Pocahontas County Board of Education and the Pocahontas County Commission, as it relates to the ownership of the generator and related equipment situated on the campus of Marlinton Middle School. The original agreement was dated July 28, 2014. Addendum to become effective May 11.

• Anthony Minter as volunteer baseball coach at Pocahontas County High School, retroactive to April 28.

In personnel management, the board approved the following:

• Employment from preferred recall list of Kelli M. Tallman as teacher of multi-subjects at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, effective August 11, for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Resignation of Morton I. Taber, II, as teacher of English/language arts at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, effective at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

• Requested transfer of Angela G. Irvine, from half-time custodian III at Hillsboro Elementary School to 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.

• Employment of Kenneth J. Samples as school bus operator for Pocahontas County Schools, at state basic pay, effective for the 2015-2016 school year. Term of employment is 200 days.

The next board meeting will be Tuesday, May 26, at 7 p.m., at the board of education conference room.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at

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