Pocahontas County Schools’ central office gained a new staff member – Frankford resident Lynne Bostic, who will serve as director of curriculum, instruction and federal programs.
Bostic has been an educator since the days when she played teacher with her neighbors.
“As a young child, I always played school,” she said. “The neighbors, whose children were younger than me, were cleaning out some boxes from years ago, and they told me they found the report cards and library books. I always had a love for education and teaching.”
Bostic began her teaching career as a first grade educator in Frederick County, Maryland. She soon returned to West Virginia and became an adult education teacher in Greenbrier County.
“The adult education experience taught me how important it is for us to reach individual students at the situation they are in,” she said. “Listening to the adult learners talk about their situations and why they were there to get their high school equivalency really opens your eyes to how, maybe, we could have helped them before they dropped out of school.”
After several years teaching adults, Bostic moved on to teach at Hillsboro Elementary School for two years before returning to Greenbrier County, where she left the education field to become the director of public relations for The Greenbrier.
“I did that for about three years,” she said. “Got out of education totally. I even told my mom, ‘give my stuff away, I’m not going back.’ About three years later, I went back to education.”
Bostic returned to the Greenbrier County School system, moving through the ranks from teacher to instructional coach to Title I coordinator and more.
Once she felt she reached her peak in that system, she found the job posting in Pocahontas County and decided to apply.
“I like a change,” she said. “I was starting to feel stagnant, and I needed some new life – a new challenge. When the opportunity came up to come to Pocahontas County, I was just thrilled to throw my hat in the ring, and here I am.”
It’s hard to feel stagnant in a job when you enter it during a global pandemic, and Bostic is up for the challenge of not only learning a new school system, but learning how to best serve the students and teachers during what may be a long-term hindrance.
“My first priority is the starting of school for next year and what it’s going to look like in our classrooms,” she said. “We know it’s going to be different. If we do get into our brick and mortar buildings, our classrooms are going to look different because of the social distancing factors and all the COVID-19 restrictions that we’re going to be facing.”
Bostic is the head of the instructional portion of the school re-entry committee, which is currently working on a plan for the 2020-2021 school year.
“We have to prepare in case we get that phone call or that announcement that we are going to remote learning,” she said. “That will be something that we will be focusing on from now until school starts – trying to get our remote learning ready for at least the first grading period, in case we are dismissed, we are prepared.”
Bostic added that she hopes the students will be able to return to the classrooms, but it is always better to have a plan in case the positive cases of COVID-19 continue to climb.
“I met with the instructional team, and we discussed some options and we said our priorities have to be remote learning as well as what it’s going to look like when they come back in,” she said. “Of course, we’ve also discussed the virtual learning aspects, as well, because we know there are families out there that are concerned about sending their child to school, and so we have to have that option.”
In addition to preparing to educate during the pandemic, Bostic said she has several other items she hopes to focus on in the future – particularly assisting the county’s educators in providing the best curriculum and instruction possible.
“I want to look at professional development,” she said. “That’s really been my love – learning and growing as a person, as well as a professional. I think it’s so important for us to continue to be lifelong learners. We’re educators, and we must all be lifelong learners.
“We can’t keep teaching the way we did twenty years ago,” she continued. “Our students are changing. Research is showing that even the brains are rewired in our students that we have now versus when we were in school. So, professional development is a huge one of my loves. It’s also something I want to bring to the county and work on with the teachers.”
Although she left the classroom some time ago, Bostic said she still feels like a teacher, helping educators pass on a proper education to their students.
“I just really enjoy teaching, even at the adult level,” she said. “I still feel like we’re working as a team on facilitating learning with the adults now. Then it trickles down to the students.”
One of the best experiences Bostic had as a director was when the West Virginia Department of Education required all directors with education degrees to substitute in the schools at least three days a year in order to experience what the teachers experience on a regular basis.
“Last year, I spent a couple days in PreK,” she laughed. “I was exhausted by the end of the day. I needed a nap when they napped. There have been times I have gone in – especially those early grades – and you’re exhausted. The teacher is on. They’re like an actor or actress. They are on that entire time to keep that engagement going. Even at the middle and high school level – it keeps us grounded as to why we’re here.”
It may be one of the most unusual years for the education department, but Bostic is still optimistic about the upcoming school year and the plans she has to help the teachers and students succeed.
“I’m excited,” she said. “I can’t tell you what a breath of fresh air it has been and the people have been wonderful in Pocahontas County Schools. In the community and in the school system, it’s just breathing a new life in me and I hope I can do that for the teachers and the students, too.”