County math program draws attention statewide

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

At the Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting Monday evening, superintendent Terrence Beam shared information about the county math program, which was provided by math coach Joanna Burt-Kinderman.

Beam said Burt-Kinderman noted several newsworthy upcoming events.

“We have two counties that are sending math teams to Pocahontas County High School to visit our math program to see – and maybe steal some ideas about our success,” Beam said. “Nicholas County will be here on January 5 and Grant County will be here on January 9.”

Other schools in the state are not the only entities taking notice of the success of Pocahontas County’s math department. West Virginia University Magazine’s new podcast, Sparked, is visiting to do an episode on the math program.

“It’s about people changing West Virginia’s future for the better,” Beam said of the podcast. “Their production team will be coming to our school system January 9 to make an episode about our math program. It will feature Mrs. Burt-Kinderman, who got her master’s from WVU, [PCHS math teacher] Laurel Dilley and [Marlinton Elementary School teacher] Brian Smith, who both received undergraduate and master degrees from WVU. So, they’re coming to do a little piece on our math programs at all levels.”

The final piece of good news is the Appalachian Regional Comprehensive Center will be doing a webinar on January 30 about the math program’s success. Beam said he, Burt-Kinderman and PCHS math teacher Jennifer Nail will be joined by ARCC director Dr. Caitlin Howley in discussing the program on the webinar.

During the hear callers portion of the meeting, Hillsboro resident Jay Miller addressed the board with his concerns over a voting item on the agenda which is correlated with the board’s decision to move the board office to the former Moose Lodge in Buckeye.

“I’m here to talk about item number thirteen on the agenda, which is the approval of a contract for Taylor Construction to do the renovations at the old Moose Lodge so that you can move this office there, and related issues,” Miller said.

Among his concerns, Miller informed the board that the board, as a county government entity has to follow certain laws and he wanted to make sure the board was aware of that.

“I want to remind the board that county government is required to follow state contracting rules,” he said. “Also, the state must comply with federal labor laws.”

Miller continued to list concerns he had about the proposed contract and stated there are many missing elements in the proposal.

During his update to the board, Beam responded to Miller’s statements, and clarified what the board was voting on.

“I just want to point out one thing about item number thirteen,” he said. “Item number thirteen is approval of the bid proposal. It is not a contract. It’s just approving the bid proposal.”

In updates:

• Student representative Hunter Tankersley addressed the board, stating it is his last meeting as representative. Tankersley was selected to serve as representative for the first semester and he said the second semester representative, Hunter Wilfong, is ready to take his post.

“I am really appreciative of the opportunity to be here,” Tankersley said. “I’ve learned a lot about public speaking and how to express my opinions and other people’s opinions. I’ve learned how to listen to things before actually saying anything, and I’m really appreciative.”

The board thanked Tankersley for his service and wished him well in his future endeavors.

In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:

• Bid proposal from Taylor Construction and Trucking, LLC for the renovations of the new central office location, as follows: Phase #1 not to exceed $29,860 and Phase #2 not to exceed $17,750.

• Lonnie Armstrong as volunteer assistant basketball coach at Marlinton Middle School, effective for the 2017-2018 season.

• The board pulled approval of the locally approved CTE concentrations from its agenda due to incorrect material. The matter will be taken up at the next meeting.

In personnel management, the board approved the following:

• Employment of Karrie Jack as itinerant special education classroom aide/bus aid at Marlinton Elementary School – long-term substitute position – effective January 2, 2018 through April 23, 2018, at state basic pay. Term of employment is 74 days.

• Employment of Charles Young as principal mentor for Pocahontas County Schools, as needed at $20 per hour, retroactive to the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. Paid for by Title II funds.

The next board meeting is Monday, January 8, 2018, at 6 p.m., in the board of education conference room.

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