By Rebecca Arcure
The Pendleton County Board of Education discussed new hires, an HVAC system and the budget, among other topics at its regular meeting on March 15.
The meeting began at 5:30 p.m. President J.D. Wilkins called those who were present to order at 5:33 p.m.
Superintendent Charles Hedrick called to recognize the Pendleton County Middle/High School boys basketball team for all of their hard work, and former coach of Pendleton County, Ryan Lambert, for earning the 2021 Coach of the Year Award. Hedrick also recognized Coach Greg Smith for his dedication as a coach to Pendleton County.
The Board voted unanimously to accept two resignations, that of Crystal Huffman-Warner, who was a teacher for extended school services for the elementary schools in the area, and Rose Plaugher, a homebound teacher of Pendleton County.
Hedrick recommended the board employ Thomas Craig for middle school head softball coach, Luke Cooper for itinerant multi-category special education preschool special needs teacher at North Fork Elementary School, Ciera Nine-Miller for the preschool/preschool special needs teacher at NFES, Tim Johnson as the principal at PCMHS, Stephanie Adkins as substitute aide, Ammie Ruddle as a substitute aide and substitute secretary, and Shelby Layton as a substitute secretary. The board accepted Hedrick’s recommendation and voted unanimously to certify the employment of the new hires in the county.
Moving on to the chaperones and volunteers, the board voted unanimously to approve Anna Rexrode, Debra Jackson, Regina Hedrick, Patricia Sites, Lowell Hedrick, and Carol Vandevander to be volunteers at Franklin Elementary School. Lucy Wimer was approved as a volunteer for NFES.
Approval of contracts was discussed next. For professional probationary contracts: Mahala Alt with an alternate certification, Gwendolyn Cauley, Hayley Craig, Madison Gargus with an alternate certification, Elizabeth Harper, Rachel Mitchell, Kimberlie Richardson with an alternate certification, LeeAnn Shreve with an alternate certification, Kellee Waddell, Taylor Yokum with an alternate certification, Steven Barnett, Phillip Combs, Diane Davis, Eric Hartman, Darren Kimble with an alternate certification, Rose Plaugher with an alternate certification, Mahala Ruddle, Shawn Stinson with an alternate certification, Liz Warner, Kelsey Cardwell, Lesley Cook, Savannah Flannigan, Melissa Hartman, Wendy Kisamore, Victoria Rhodes, Lloyd Sherman with an alternate certification, Manda Teter, and Christopher Wilburn with an alternate certification. The board voted unanimously, and the motion was passed for the approval of all the members.
The superintendent recommended the approval of the professional continuing contracts of Aiden Bailey, Traci Rightsell, Crystal Huffman-Warner, Stacy Slaughter, and Jaqueline Propst. The motion was voted on by the board unanimously and was passed.
The service probationary contracts were discussed for Kathy Eye, Renee Hedrick, Amanda Morgan, Ruth Vanmeter, Amy Gardiner, Ashley Holloway, Denise Neil, Shannon Hartman, Trisha Knicely, and Robin Simmons. The motion was passed after a unanimous vote from the board members.
Next the service of continuing contracts was discussed. Nicole Hevener recommended the approval of Connie Bowers, David Traub, Connie Hedrick, and Andy Moyers. The board voted unanimously, and the motion was passed with one exception.
Next on the agenda at the board meeting was finances for the school system of Pendleton County. J.P. Mowery, business manager, stated the school system is in a very stable condition to be in at the current time in the treasurer’s report. The disbursements for the month of February came to a total of $1,067,611.76. A summary of 1.4 million was the current term balance.
Levy rates will be discussed more on the third Tuesday of April. The levy rates are set by the state and help the school systems funding every year. At this current time the tax levy rates have added an increase of $0,000 in funds this year. That is more than 15% profit than the previous year. In the last 20 years, the tax values have been trending upwards on a gradual trend. Tax revenues have tripled in the last 20 years and have a great impact on the school system. Hedrick recommended approving tax levy rights for the school systems and after a unanimous vote the motion was passed.
Mowery stated that the $ 2.5 million budget will exceed $3.1 million by the end of the year and that budget helped purchase the Lovegrove Building on main street. Transportation and fuel prices vary and affect budget prices for the school system. The school board hopes to hit $14.1 million by the end of the year to cover all projects. No budget revisions were needed.
Mowery gave the financial update. The DSO will be paid 7.4 million for the HVAC systems that were installed in NFES and PCMHS. NFES had a cost of $2.69 million for its new HVAC system, and PCMHS had a cost of $5.87 million for its new HVAC system. Over $8.4 million during the last year was spent for updates to the schools in the county have been completed.
The 2022 calendar update was discussed next. Hedrick recommended changing a professional learning day to May 31. The board voted and the motion was passed. The 2023 calendar was voted on and approved by all board members and is ready for state submission.
Travis Hevener spoke of school improvements next by starting with Math Field Day which was back again for the first time since the coronavirus had shut many school activities down. Math Field Day was held Feb. 22. Two of Pendleton County’s students placed well; Albert Ramos Rivera of Brandywine Elementary School and Gage Sites-Woods of PCMHS placed in the top 20 alternates in regionals that were held at Potomac State College.
Hevener attended pre-school registration at NFES and BES. Parents and children got to see the classroom and meet their new teachers. He will be at FES doing pre-school registration on March 18.
Pendleton County student Ruby Mclanahan placed third in the regional science fair in Beckley and a few other students got honorable mentions.
Hedrick said House Bill 4380 was passed, allowing two vans that hold up to 18 students to be used for field trips and sport activities.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, at 5:30 p.m. at the Pendleton County Board of Education Annex Building.