New Board of Ed member takes seat

The Board of Education for Braxton County opened their most recent meeting on December 21 with the swearing in of new board member Martha Dean. The Honorable Richard A. Facemire, Circuit Court Judge, swore in Dean and the other board members welcomed her to her new position.

The first to speak to the board was Chris Campbell, ZMM Architects. He discussed the bids for the walk-in freezer/cooler at the high school. The bids came in higher than the initial estimate that was provided to the board in May. The board approved the bid of $340,000 for the unit.

Campbell went on to update the board on the HVAC replacement also at the high school. He discussed his company doing an assessment and developing a plan to have ready for advertising at the end of 2022. Delaying the replacement of the HVAC units will allow time for the county to reapply for SBA funds for the roof replacement so hopefully both projects can be completed at one time.

Superintendent Kathy Hypes updated the board on the COVID numbers from the previous week. The numbers did not increase after the Thanksgiving holiday as expected. Ten students and one staff tested positive and 56 students and no staff were on quarantine.

She discussed the recent document released by the WVDE concerning the summer learning program. She noted the numbers in the document were a little misleading. The county used grants other than the one listed in the document to cover the expenses for summer school. The grants used were going to expire and the county would have lost that money. Those funds listed in the document are still available to the county and will be used for the upcoming summer learning programs.

Superintendent Hypes requested Director of Transportation Brenda Wells speak to the board with a transportation update. Director Wells provided the board with a checklist for bus operator certification. She discussed the costs involved for the various testing can be over $300. Evelyn Post suggested asking local businesses to “adopt” a driver to help cover the costs of testing so individuals can be certified. She also noted the state was trying to streamline some of the process.

The board approved the following consent agenda items: approval of December 7 regular meeting minutes and December 14 special meeting minutes; payment of bills; budget transfers and supplements; and treasurer’s report.

The following professional and service personnel recommendations were approved: employment for Donna Lambert, instructional interventionist, Frametown, Cynthia Sprouse, instructional interventionist, Burnsville, Mark Rose, custodian, BCMS/central office, Juanita Michelle Jackson, from preschool/supervisory/instructional/transportation/transition/ECCAT aide, Flatwoods to kindergarten/first grade supervisory/instructional/transportation/ECCAT aide, Little Birch, and Sherryl Wayne, substitute aide; leave request for Patrick Facemire, unpaid medical leave of absence; and resignation for Addi Facemire, preschool supervisory/instructional/transportation/ECCAT aide, Burnsville.

Board members approved to add Frank Blake and Amanda J. Gum to the Ad Hoc Committee for Athletic Facilities, Policy 3210: Substitute Professionals in Areas of Critical Need and Shortage, fundraisers, and Heather Frame, Amanda Gum, Andrea McCourt, Libby McQuain, and Casey Nay as parent volunteers for Flatwoods on separate motions.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:16 pm. The next regular board meeting will be January 4 at 6:00 pm. The board will conduct three expulsion hearings before the meeting starting at 4:30 pm. As always, members of the Braxton County community are encouraged to attend regular board meetings. Any parent or concerned community member wishing to speak as a delegate or with public concerns may do so by signing in up to 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.