HODGESVILLE — The Upshur County Board of Education conducted a regular meeting Tuesday evening at Hodgesville Elementary School. All members were present, either in person, or through the conference call. The public was permitted to attend, with a recommendation to maintain social distance and wear masks. Members of the public were also able to attend the virtual meeting telephonically.
The board issued 12 new Upshur STAR Awards Tuesday evening. The first set of awards acknowledged Hodgesville Schoology Completers Victoria Ward, Elizabeth Anderson, Janet Phillips, Jason Piacente, Kayla Belt, Lindsay Malenich, Melissa McConnell and Suzanne Bohman. “These teachers and principal have gone above and beyond to complete the school training outside of their classroom time,” said Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis-Stankus.
The board then recognized Buckhannon-Upshur High School sophomore Summer Warner, whose vinyl artwork was displayed at the Board of Education Office.
Finally, the board presented the last set of STAR Awards to Chief Mechanic Rick Wentz, Mechanic Randall McDaniels and Bus Driver Benton Powers for their work in the bus garage this past summer. Student Services/Transportation Director Jodi Akers thanked the men for their help. “With the garage down two mechanics all summer, these men worked endless hours to keep our buses mechanically sound. They kept our buses on the road with our food deliveries, prepared the state inspection, and continually put up with our questions,” Akers said. “These men always greet with a smile and are always willing to help. Your commitment, your self-motivation and attentiveness are a source of inspiration to all of us.”
Belt, Philips and Anderson then presented Hodgesville Elementary’s School Improvement Council Report. They discussed the report in segments, such as community involvement with Operation Hodgesville and Trunk or Treat, discipline plans and their calming room, academics and the climate of the school. Faculty Senate details were also presented, including the budget, interview committee, mentors and mentees, and grants.
Following Governor Jim Justice’s Proclamation for West Virginia School Service Personnel Day, the Upshur County Board of Education made their own proclamation for September 23 to be declared Upshur County School Service Personnel Day. Signed by all board members and Superintendent Dr. Stankus, the proclamation ended with, “Now, Therefore, Be it Resolved that we, the Board of Education for the great County of Upshur do hereby proclaim September 23, 2020 as Upshur County School Service Personnel Day.”
Treasurer Jeff Perkins explained Nelson Johns’ request to do maintenance on the B-UHS fence that borders his property. Perkins explained it will be at no cost to the board and it is common courtesy to ask the other owners for permission.
The board continued their discussion from last week’s meeting regarding B-UHS Homecoming. B-UHS Student Council Advisor Michael Wilson addressed the board, reporting on suggestions made at their Student Council meeting. They suggested splitting up the dance into two different times, with freshmen and sophomores attending the first half of the night, and then juniors and seniors coming for the second half. Masks would be required and there would be no slow dancing. He also explained Homecoming Parade details, including the band being stationed at the State Police barracks, the Homecoming Court being at Tractor Supply and Fall Sports being spread out at the practice fields. He then suggested livestreaming the parade for non-family members to spectate at a distance. The board still did not make a decision and will continue to discuss Homecoming details at the next BOE meeting.
In other business, the board approved their September 15 regular meeting minutes and Treasurer Perkins’ financial report. The board also approved the Psychological Evaluations Service Provider Agreement, the Best Life Therapy, LLC contract for Speech Therapy at Upshur County Schools, and the Integrated Speech Solutions contract.
Technology Support Specialists and Communication Specialists Kayla Yokum and Quinten Oldaker gave their technology updates, discussing Schoology issues and 101 additional Professional Learning Course completers from this past week.
With President Dr. Tammy Samples abstaining from the two votes, the board reviewed and approved the list of 84 Wesleyan Service Scholars, who will be virtually tutoring for the Fall Semester, as well as the addition of Taylor Swartz to West Virginia Wesleyan College Student Placement for Fall 2020: Clinical I, to be added to last week’s list.
Architect Ted Shriver presented the Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP), which explains the 10-year plan of what the county, as well as each individual school, hopes to accomplish.
School Safety and Emergency Preparedness Director Jeff Harvey gave an update, reporting daily communications with the health department and decreasing COVID-19 cases in Upshur County since school resumed. He also explained that residents should keep track of both the state’s COVID-19 data and the county’s COVID-19 data, which has been inconsistent the past two weeks.
The board went into an executive session regarding personnel. After returning to regular session, the board approved the following resignations: Joshua Evans as Bus Operator for Upshur County Schools; Jodee Wilt as B-UHS’s Freshman Class Advisor; Debra Groggs as B-UMS’s Itinerant Special Education Aide and Midday Transportation Aide; Sheryl Short as Substitute Secretary for Upshur County Schools.
The board approved the following hires: Alicia Egress, Melinda Stewart, Kayla Belt, Diane Hill, Krenden Rosencrance and Marlena Reed, all as Mentors for Upshur County Schools; Sheena Pumphrey for Extra-Curricular Transportation Aide, AM and PM Run; Brandon Bailey and Jannie Hoover as Substitute Custodians for Upshur County Schools; and Janis Miller and Jannie Hoover as Substitute Cooks for Upshur County Schools.
The board also approved both William Squires’ transfer from B-UHS English Teacher to Stockert Youth Center’s Homebound Teacher and Norma Jean Cutright’s transfer from B-UMS English Teacher to Social Studies Teacher.
The board went into their second executive session of the night, regarding possible employee discipline but took no action.
The Upshur County Board of Education meets every other Tuesday. The next regular meeting of the academic year will be held October 13 at 6 p.m., currently scheduled to be held in the French Creek Elementary School.