Pocahontas County High School seniors Taylor Tegtmeyer, left, and Jordan Nutter, give a presentation on a project they did in the new engineering and robotics class at the high school. The students were asked to create a plan to best utilize the lower parking lot at the football field. Tegtmeyer’s plan was selected the winner in the class’s friendly competition. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

With just a month of school under their belts, several Pocahontas County High School students had new ideas and projects to share with the Pocahontas County Board of Education at its meeting Monday evening at the Linwood Community Library.

Seniors Taylor Tegtmeyer and Jordan Nutter gave a presentation on a recent project they worked on in the new engineering and robotics class taught by Laurel Dilley.

The students were given a scenario – measure the lower parking lot at the school and estimate the layout of the lot to best utilize the space.

The students were divided into teams, and the project quickly became a competition, with Tegtmeyer’s solution coming out on top.

The board recently entered an agreement with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to use the parking lot with the understanding that ACP will restore the lot or improve its conditions.

“The pipeline has offered to level it, re-gravel and grade it for us since they are renting it out,” Tegtmeyer said. “We put potential costs of materials on here. With gravel and bumpers, it’s probably going to be around $126,000.”

Tegtmeyer’s solution has 240 parking spaces with aisles for getting to and from parking spots, as well as space for the Driver’s Education class and tailgating for home football games. The bumpers would mark the spaces to ensure visitors park properly and only take up one space.

“We just wanted to show you our engineering/robotics class and show you what we’re doing – how we’re tackling real-world problems that affect our school,” Tegtmeyer said.

“We wanted to come to you with a potential solution just to keep you informed of what can be done and maybe inform the pipeline [company] of what can be done with our parking lot.”

Tegtmeyer and Nutter shared printouts of the project and maps with board members.

Also giving a presentation were students in Erwin Berry’s meats production class at PCHS.

Christopher “Bub” Murray and Bryson Cassell, with the help of Berry, explained what they are doing in the class and their plans for future products.

The Pocahontas Proud Meat Products currently produces meat products for personal use, but they are now applying for a commercial license to sell jerky and sausage.

“We thought about our own brand of sausage – whole hog sausage,” Murray said. “We would make regular breakfast sausage with sage, hot Italian sausage and maple sausage.”

Murray and Cassell provided samples of the breakfast sausage and hot Italian sausage, but they have yet to perfect the maple sausage recipe.

Cassell added that the class is participating in the Hunters Helping the Hungry program in which hunters can donate deer and turn them in to the DNR. The DNR will bring the deer to the meats class to process the deer, and it will be donated to a local food bank.

“They are paying us to do it, but it is kind of charity,” Cassell explained. “We get paid two dollars a deer for processing.”

The board thanked both groups for their presentations and congratulated them on a job well done.

In updates:

• Beth Henry-Vance introduced herself as the new District 3 coordinator for the Youth Environment Program, a branch of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Henry-Vance’s district covers 19 counties, including Pocahontas.

“Part of my job is reaching out to schools,” she said. “My goals include increasing environmental awareness among our state’s residents and energizing them to take steps in becoming responsible stewards of our environment. I reach out to schools, youth groups, libraries and community organizations to let them know what resources the DEP offers.”

See next week’s edition for an extended article on the Youth Environment Program.

• Student representative Taylor Tegtmeyer reported that the National Honor Society is applying to be a water station for the upcoming Greenbrier River Trail Marathon and the STEM club is organizing a pumpkin drop. He added that the Green Bank Observatory recently made a $1,000 donation to the engineering and robotics class. He also recognized Ray Creager and Paul Marganian, GBO engineers, who assist the computer science and engineering and robotics classes.

In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:

• To offer General Psychology 201 and Intro to Criminal Justice classes at Pocahontas County High School through Marshall University, retroactive to August 14.

• The following travel requests:

– Green Bank Elementary-Middle School seventh grade students to The Mountain Institute on Spruce Knob, by school bus, departing October 30 and returning October 31.

– Green Bank Elementary-Middle School eighth grade students to Virginia Beach, Virginia, by chartered bus, departing May 21 and returning May 24. Trip to be paid for through fundraising.

– Green Bank Elementary-Middle School fourth grade students to Washington, D.C., by chartered bus, departing May 28 and returning May 31. Trip to be paid for through fundraising.

– To transport eight Pocahontas County High School students to FFA forestry competition in Morgantown, by rental van, departing September 12 and returning September 13. Trip to be paid for through vocational and FFA funds.

– To transport four Pocahontas County High School students to FFA forestry competition in Morgantown, by forestry van, departing September 12 and returning September 14. Trip to be paid for through vocational and FFA funds.

• Memorandum of Understanding and agreement between Community Care of West Virginia, Inc. and Pocahontas County Board of Education, effective for the 2018-2019 school year, wherein CCWV, Inc. will provide school based health centers in Pocahontas County Schools, per the terms of the agreement.

• Policy IKJ – Pocahontas County Schools athletic policy.

In personnel management, the board approved the following:

• Employment of Lucy M. Rittenhouse as academic interventionist at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, effective September 11, 2018 through May 25, 2019, at $20 per hour, three hours per day, as needed, not to exceed $7,000.

• Employment of M. Susan Arbogast as parent involvement coordinator at Marlinton Elementary School, retroactive to August 20, 2018 through May 15, 2019, at $20 per hour, 125 hours, not to exceed $2,500. Schedule to be determined by director of federal programs, but cannot be extended beyond May 15, 2019.

• Resignation of Timothy L. McClung as head boys basketball coach at Pocahontas County High School, retroactive to August 27.

• Resignation of Joy M. Boothe as teacher of English/language arts at Pocahontas County High School, retroactive to August 27.

• Requested transfer of Thomas Madison as school bus operator from current route to a new route, at state basic pay, for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year.

• Resignation of Andrew C. Myers as substitute aide and substitute cook for Pocahontas County Schools, effective September 10.

• Unpaid suspension of Charles McQuain school bus operator for Pocahontas County Schools, suspension for four days, without pay, to be served September 11 through 14.

• Employment of Haley Hensler, Sommer Hickman, Amanda McCarty and Kristine Sharp as substitute aides for Pocahontas County Schools, effective September 12, as needed, for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year, at state basic pay.

• Employment of Loretta Irvine, Amanda McCarty and Kristine Sharp as substitute cooks for Pocahontas County Schools, effective September 12, as needed, for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year, at state basic pay.

• Employment of Loretta Irvine as substitute custodian for Pocahontas County Schools, effective September 12, as needed, for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year, at state basic pay.

• Employment of Joseph P. Rose as substitute maintenance for Pocahontas County Schools, effective September 12, as needed, for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year, at state basic pay.

• Permission for the superintendent to post/fill positions prior to October 1, for funding purposes.

The next board meeting will be a Local School Improvement Council meeting at Marlinton Elementary School, on Monday, September 24 at 3 p.m.