The Pocahontas County Board of Education held a special meeting last Tuesday to accept the resignation of Superintendent Terrence Beam and consider a replacement.
After a discussion in executive session, the board chose to hire Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Federal Programs Lynne Bostic and offer her a four-year contract as superintendent.
Bostic has been a director at the central office for three years and was a teacher at Hillsboro Elementary School earlier in her education career. She was recruited by former board member Joe Walker and Beam to return to Pocahontas County when the director position was open.
“Joe Walker and Mr. Beam both talked to me for years about coming to Pocahontas,” she said. “I taught at Hillsboro years ago under Sue Hollandsworth, and I said, ‘it just feels right,’ [to be here] and she said, ‘it’s because you’ve come home.’”
Bostic worked in Greenbrier County in education and public relations, before returning to Pocahontas County in 2020.
A welcoming and enthusiastic person, Bostic said she is excited to be taking the helm and has plans to ensure the school system continues to thrive and serve the children of Pocahontas County.
“I’m very excited about it,” she said. “I have some plans I shared with the board and I shared with others. You’ll notice that some of my background is in public relations. One of the things I would like to do is, see that we need to go out and sell our story to the community. We need to do that as a team as well, not just me. It’s all of our staff. I’d like to get some connections with different community organizations, church groups, whoever will let us come in and just tell our story.”
Bostic wants to ensure that the county is aware of the programs offered in the school system, as well as the plans for the future. She has consulted with several superintendents in the state and has plans on how she can keep the county informed and remind everyone that she is available to answer any questions they may have.
“I was just speaking with the superintendent in Grant County; he said he does a monthly talk with the local radio station and I thought that’s a good idea to just have some time with the community,” she said. “They have them send in their questions beforehand, so he comes prepared for their answers. That’s a good idea to get our news out, to get our story out.”
Bostic also wants to form an insight group made up of school staff, people from the business community and parents to develop a mission statement the school system can build on.
“We just need to move forward,” she said. “We have a great team. I’m excited about the team we’ve built here at the central office. Out in the schools, we have good leadership. We all support each other.”
As a director, Bostic has helped develop the professional learning community for the teachers and she now hopes to build something for the service personnel, as well.
“We have five schools, so from the food service people, our custodial staff – they all have ideas that they want to share with each other to make their jobs easier – so we need to do that,” she said. “We need to provide time for everybody to learn together.”
Bostic said she has several goals for her first year as superintendent and is focusing on working closely with the school administrators, as well as strengthening the relationship with homeschool families.
“My focus this year is going to be on the administrators,” she said. “I plan to have meetings where I actually go in, sit down one-on-one with the principal and just talk. I have several questions I want to ask them and just see where they are and what they need support with. I’m all about professional growth and being a lifelong learning. I don’t think anyone in the education field cannot be a lifelong learner. We have to keep growing. It just keeps changing.
“We have several homeschool families and private school families, as well,” she added. “I’d like to reach out to them and see if we can bring them back into the brick and mortar building. We do offer virtual school to our middle and high school students. So I think it’s time that maybe we can reach out and say, ‘what can we do to bring you back into the fold?’”
Bostic has worked with homeschool families in her role as a director and said she is supportive of families who choose to homeschool, but she also wants to make sure they are aware the children can return to the schools if they wish to do so.
“In some of the families, it’s working beautifully for their situation to be homeschooling or the virtual school program,” she said. “I know during COVID we had a lot of families that went that route. I just want to make sure that if it’s doable for them to come back with us, that we work with them to do that.”
Working side-by-side with Beam for the past three years, Bostic said she has learned a lot and hopes she can be a good successor.
“He’s been wonderful to work with,” she said. “He is a good person, as well as a good leader. I have always admired that, every year, he was in every classroom in the county. I’ve been into every classroom, but not to sit and really watch a lesson like he did.”
Bostic said she is grateful to the board of education for taking a chance on her and offering her a four-year contract, considering this is her first time as a superintendent.
“I was very honored, very thrilled when they said we want to offer you a four-year contract, as a brand new superintendent” she said. “I hope I can live up to what they feel I can do. I’m very excited. I have been taking notes for years about what do to and my ideas for restructuring and different policies I’d like to see us try to implement.”
This is not the first time Bostic has been offered a superintendent job and while she has wanted to be one for some time, she knew there was only one place where she wanted to accept that position – Pocahontas County.
“It’s a dream,” she said. “This county – it just feels right. There are so many counties open for superintendents right now, and I’ve had people ask me and I said, ‘no, I have no interest.’ This is where I want to be. We have a good team, a good staff and good communities.”