Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

At the Pocahontas County Board of Education Local School Improvement Council meeting Monday afternoon at Hillsboro Elemen- tary School, the students were the center of attention as they shared projects from their classes and clubs.

The Legonators team shared their presentation concerning ground water in Pocahontas County, focusing specifically on the town of Hillsboro. The project was part of the team’s entry in the robotics competition which was held in Lewisburg.

“They had to do a presentation and they were judged on their core values,” teacher and coach Laura Pritt said. “Then they got judged on the robot design, and they also ran a robotic game. In the robotic game, they came in eighth place.”

Next, Pritt introduced second grade student Willa Hardy, who shared two poems she wrote for a class project about different kinds of storms.

Shannon Alderman’s kindergarten class shared their literature fair project on the book, “The Gruffalo.” Not only did the students study the book and make a project, but they also turned the presentation into a class play, which they performed for the board.

Finally, the fifth grade math students showed the board members a couple of card games they use to hone their math skills, and they impressed everyone with their quick thinking and sharp mathematics abilities.

Principal Rebecca Spencer gave a short report on the school’s literature fair, stating that there were 36 projects at the school fair. Twelve projects moved on to the county fair and one competed at the regional fair held at The Greenbrier.

Spencer also reported that she received a grant to replace the school’s caution lights on the highway with solar powered lights. She said the Department of Highways will install the lights as soon as possible.

In updates and reports:

• Superintendent Terrence Beam shared information from the Green Bank Elementary-Middle School robotics team, stating that the team placed fifth at the competition and has been invited to compete at the state tournament December 2.

Beam also shared news that the Community Care of West Virginia clinics in Green Bank, Marlinton and Hillsboro, which all serve the schools, received Level 2 accreditation which is the highest possible score.

• Student representative Hunter Tankersley reported that the Pocahontas County High School cheerleaders placed fifth at a recent competition and represented the school well. He added that the Academic Club competed in the Geography Bowl at Concord University and placed third.

• West Virginia Delegate Bill Hartman visited the meeting and asked the board if there were any concerns he could take to the upcoming Legislative Session. Although he is not on the education committee, Hartman said he is always looking for ways to serve the school system.

The board shared concerns about the changes in the home schooling bill and asked if Hartman foresaw any budget cuts to the education department.

Hartman said he was unsure about the budget at this time, but knows there is always a concern about cuts. He said he will try his best to represent the schools.

The board thanked Hartman for his attendance and his continued support of Pocahontas County Schools.

• Maintenance director Ron Hall gave an update on the Major Improvement Plan [MIP] project to replace the sewer system at PCHS. He said the architects are working on getting permits, and they are preparing to begin construction.

Hall also stated he is working on a new MIP grant proposal for GBEMS to replace the roof. He hopes to also include the school’s pipes in the project, as well, although the West Virginia School Building Authority puts a cap on MIP grants at $1 million.

In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:

• To purchase a tract or parcel of real estate containing 10.71 acres, more or less, on Secondary Route 219/5, better known as Old Buckeye Road in the Edray District of Pocahontas County, from Mark A. Cook as Executor of the Estate of Gail F. Cook, in the amount of $100,000. Purchase to be funded by insurance monies received for damages to the current central office.

• Chasity Taylor and Derek Taylor as volunteer basketball coaches at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School.

• Locally designed Career Technical Education concentration in art.

• Pocahontas County Wellness Policy – EE-A.

In personnel management, the board approved the following:

• Employment of Nikki Alikakos as substitute ELA tutor/enrichment instructor for Project SPLASH at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, at $20 per hour, as needed, up to seven hours per week, for up to 25 weeks.

• Employment of Nikki Alikakos as substitute math tutor/STEM instructor for Project SPLASH at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, at $20 per hour, as needed, up to seven hours per week, for up to 25 weeks.

• Employment of Shonda Carr as head boys basketball coach at Marlinton Middle Schools, effective for the 2017-2018 school year, at a supplement of $750.

• Employment of Morgan G. McComb as Clerk of the Works for the School Building Authority of West Virginia Major Improvement Project at Pocahontas County High School, known as 69-501-2018, effective for the duration of the project, but not to extend beyond June 30, 2019, at $20 per hour, as needed, not to exceed $25,000 for the entire project. Position to be funded by SBA of WV Grant Award for MIP project.

The next board meeting is a Local School Improvement Council meeting Monday, December 4, at 3 p.m. at Marlinton Middle School.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com