BOE faced financial loss, students excelled in academics and athletics
The board of education faced the possibility of losing an estimated $500,000 in federal funding in 2011.
The Safe and Secure Rural Schools Act expired at the end of the year and Congress has yet to vote on a reauthorization of the funding. The money, locally known as ﾓthe forestry money,ﾔ is funded to counties that consist of more than 50 percent federally-owned land. Of the seven counties in West Virginia to receive the funding, Pocahontas County receives the most.
The board and the Partnership for Rural America focused on contacting Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, III to plead the case of reauthorizing the funding. Congress will vote on the issue in early 2012.
A hot-button subject that has garnered national attention breached the gates and found its way into Pocahontas County High School and Marlinton Middle School ﾖ bullying and cyberbullying.
Several high school students, accompanied by their parents, brought the issue to the board and asked for assistance in ending the harassment.
To raise awareness on bullying, especially cyberbullying, Superintendent C.C. Lester asked Sergeant M.K. Summers of the West Virginia State Police to talk to the students at Pocahontas County High School and Marlinton Middle School about Internet safety and the consequences of cyberbullying.
Although students said the issue was not resolved completely, the information Summers shared helped open their eyes.
The Pocahontas County multi-purpose community center, a project that paired the board with parks and recreation, was put out to bid this summer, but all bids came in too high. Dale Withrow with Chapman Technical Group said the project was trimmed down, with changed building materials and reduction in the size of the entire building. He added that the project, with its revisions, will go out to bid in 2012.
Due to the negative connotation of the BIF (Behavioral Identification Form) that is used as part of the Respect and Protect program, each school revised the form and gave it a positive spin. With the new forms, each principal reported the students have bought into the new program.
The new Director of Food Services, Cheri Hall, and the students in ProStart teacher Treasea Mullen�s class, introduced new food items to the students as part of the Fresh Foods Initiative and the state-wide fight to bring healthier food into schools. Students at Marlinton Elementary School sampled a variety of vegetables provided by the Fresh Fruits and Veggies grant through the state department of education. Students at PCHS sampled entre�s created by the ProStart class and selected their favorites to add to the school menu.
The year saw the schools and students racking up many achievements in academics and sports.
Glenville State College selected 23 students for the Hidden Promise Consortium, a mentoring program the college offers to middle and high school students. Along with being matched with a mentor, the students will also receive a $1,000 a year scholarship if they choose to attend GSC.
MMS band director Rick McLaughlin was awarded the VH1 Save the Music grant, which purchased 36 instruments and a set of music books for the schoolﾒs two bands.
The PCHS Forestry team placed first at the state competition and succeeded in placing seventh at nationals. The team consisted of Drew Coloccia, Spencer Carr, Jed Sheets and Steven Casto. Casto placed first individually and Coloccia placed third.
Members of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) received accolades at the state competition in Charleston. Silver winners were Karen Wilfong and Brittany Phillips. The pair went on to compete on the national level. Bronze winners were: Rachel Cain, Nathan Hamons, Shonda Carr, Jamie Booth, Lorena Rose and Kristen Beverage.
The Skills USA team also had success on the state level. Gold winners were: Alex Cutlip, Alex Griffith, Derek Hamman, Pat Martin, Gabriel Walkup, Phil Whiteis and Mac Halterman. Bronze winners were Justin Oscar and Noah Pugh.
The Lady Warriors basketball team, football team and golf team all competed on the state level.