The Pendleton County Board of Education made a number of hiring decisions, discussed an Internet services fund for families, and heard an update on improvements to facilities during its 5:30 p.m. meeting on April 5.
The following hires were approved: Matthew Barcus as the new social studies teacher at Pendleton County Middle/High School; Traci Rightsell, Trey Cooper, and Luke Cooper as the extended school year providers; Joe Vincell as the middle school softball coach; Katelyn Keckley as a restricted short-term substitute teacher; and Shelby Layton as a short-term substitute aide.
The board also unanimously approved employment decisions for the Summer Success Academy, including Traci Rightsell for the itinerant special education teacher for students with autism; Shawn Stinson and Lindsey Propst for itinerant teachers; Megan Light for itinerant aide for kids with autism mentor; and Shannon Hartman for the itinerant sign language interpreter/aide.
The board voted unanimously to approve chaperones and volunteers, including Kim Lupachino and Walter Lupachino for Franklin Elementary School.
The board unanimously approved contracts for more than 50 people as substitute personnel.
The board voted unanimously to accept the retirement of Vickie Hammer, who was a payroll supervisor and an executive secretary. She also worked in accounts payable.
The board also voted unanimously to accept the resignations of Dan Miller, middle school girls’ basketball coach, Stacy Slaughter, fifth-grade teacher at North Fork Elementary School; Amber Nesselrodt, substitute secretary; and Kitty Sponaugle, a substitute aide. An approval of transfer for Trisha Knicely was voted on unanimously and passed.
J.P. Mowery, CFO/treasurer, spoke of the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund program. Schools and libraries may request equipment and up to 12 months of service for off-campus use by students, staff, and library patrons who have unmet needs for Internet access. A third application filing window will open April 28 and conclude May 13.
Board members unanimously approved a bid for roof replacement on the bus garage. The project is tentatively expected to be completed before the new school year.
Tim Johnson gave a facilities update for the gym floor at PCM/HS. He said the gym floor will be resealed the second week of July. Middle school bathrooms will be updated and the heating in the high school will work better soon, he said.
During the public comment period, Walter Hojka, a music teacher, spoke in opposition to the re-listing of the high school music position with additional teaching requirements of theater and dance, saying teaching those classes well requires teachers knowledgeable in those subjects. Hojka, who also reports for The Pendleton Times, proposed re-listing the position as itinerant, which would allow the teacher to travel to the elementary schools so students could learn instruments at a younger age.
Gatan Waddell was a public speaker as well. He has a daughter that attends NFES, and he spoke of his support for the music program in the county.
The 2023 calendar was voted on unanimously by the board and passed to be sent for state submission. Charles Hedrick, superintendent of schools, said this will be the first full spring break the students have had for years. The graduation date has been set for May 21.
The next board meeting will be on April 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Pendleton County Board of Education Annex Building.