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Newest County Board of Ed member forced to resign, result of voting precinct conflict

Angelo Jiordano

Allegheny Mountain Radio

At the May 5 Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, board members accepted the resignation of newest board member Steve Tritapoe.

“I’d just like to say a few words,” Tritapoe said. “Just a quick explanation, I was actually in the wrong district or precinct. I was in precinct 21. It was just an unfortunate mishap. I thank the County Clerk’s office for finding the mistake and correcting it. Yeah, it’s a shame that it happened, because I was really enjoying myself. But they did inform me that I am eligible to run in the fall if I choose, but I really just want to thank the board members and everybody. I really appreciate your all’s help.”

Board President Emery Grimes said it was a shame how the situation turned out, but the board had no other choice.

“The new 911 lines is what showed up and caught it,” Grimes explained. “So, it’s no fault of Steve’s or the Board of Education, and whenever they catch this, they have to change it. Several people have changed voting precincts because of the new 911.”

The remaining board members voted unanimously to appoint Green Bank resident Suzanne Stewart to fill the remainder of Tritapoe’s term.

“I just want to thank you all for the opportunity,” Stewart said. “I hope to bring some new ideas, hopefully not crazy ideas, but new ideas to the board. That’s all.”

Board considers

substitute issue

Board members talked about the critical lack of substitute teachers in the school system. They said they were concerned that potential applicants are unsure of what they need to do to get a contract signed and get started, and the board talked about what they can do to streamline the hiring process.

“Whoever we got out here that has a packet, that we have approved,” Grimes said, “let’s get a hold of these people and see if we can call them and walk them through this the first time and any new ones that we add to the list, let’s walk them through the process so they understand how the process is.”

Bechtel commends MES

Pocahontas County Schools Superintendent Dr. Donald Bechtel told board members he had a chance to sit in on a function at Marlinton Elementary recently.

“I wanted to recognize the Marlinton Elementary faculty,” Bechtel said. “They had a portfolio evening last week where the children reviewed their portfolios with their parents. It was a faculty-combined effort, and it felt like it was well-received.”

The Pocahontas County School Board of Education is scheduled to meet again Tuesday, May 27, at 7 p.m.

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