Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

Board discusses future of BCHS’s girls soccer program

The Braxton County Board of Education conducted their most recent meeting on August 2.

Board member Larry Hardway discussed recent phone calls he had been receiving pertaining to the hiring of a girls soccer coach. Dr. Tony Minney, BCHS Principal, informed the board that only 11 girls had came out for practice. With only 11 on a team, there would be no substitutes if someone were to be injured or become ill. He stated they were still actively trying to recruit more girls and the goal was to still have a Lady Eagles Soccer team.

Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Combs gave a brief update to board members. She discussed working on professional development plans for the upcoming school year. She stated once the schedule was complete it would be forwarded to staff. Dr. Combs is also working a strategic plan for the school system. She hopes to have it completed by the end of August.

On August 15, staff will be participating in a TEAMS presentation by Bowles Rice for mandatory reporting, code of conduct, and social media bullying prevention. Following the presentation, new employee orientation will take place in the afternoon.

Dr. Combs noted work was being completed to get facilities and buildings ready to go for the new school year. She stated also work was being completed to update the website including changes to graphic design.

She then reported on the flooding at Flatwoods Elementary. Dr. Kenna Seal asked the status of having the camera run through the drain system to see where the issues are. Dr. Brenda Wells stated it was still slated to be completed but the company had been very busy. Board President Evelyn Post discussed setting up a meeting with local legislative representatives, the governor’s office, Flatwoods town government, and the Department of Highways to work on plans to get the issues corrected.

Dr. Combs stated she was looking into options for the PRO officer. She had been in contact with state officials to see if that program will be beneficial or whether it would be better for the school system to do something on its own.

Dr. Tony Minney spoke to the board concerning the need for an athletic director at the high school. He informed the board that there was no way to move forward with the current position. He requested the board look into other options. He stated the county needs an individual to build programs at the high school and not just athletics. Extra-curricular and co-curricular activities benefit students on many different levels including academics. Dr. Minney requested an increase in salary and hiring someone at a full time position. Dr. Kenna Seal questioned the sustainability of the position in the future especially in reference to budget and salary costs. Superintendent Combs will work with Dr. Minney on getting a job description and salary, with funding options, together to be presented to the board at the next meeting.

Under regular business, the board approved the following consent agenda items on a motion by Larry Hardway with a second by Dr. Kenna Seal: approval of June 28, July 5, and July 19 meeting minutes; and the payment of bills.

The following professional, service, and extra-curricular personnel recommendations were approved on a motion by Lisa Ratliff with a second by Larry Hardway: employment for Patty Montgomery, third grade, Burnsville, Sheran Helmick, from first grade, Frametown, to Assistant Principal, BCMS, Patricia Gillespie, from alternative education, BCHS, to English as a second language instructional support specialist (part-time position), itinerant, Kathryn Singleton, from special education (LD/BD/MI/AU), Flatwoods, to second grade, Burnsville, Emily Oates, from special education supervisory/instructional/transportation aide (itinerant), Sutton to preschool supervisory/instructional/transportation aide/ECCAT, Flatwoods, Shaina Shaver, from secretary II, Davis to instructional aide (first/second grade), Burnsville, and Jerry Frame, golf coach, BCHS; and the resignation for Amanda Gum, softball coach, BCHS.

The board approved the fundraisers as presented, Health Special Risk, Inc. to provide voluntary student accident insurance for the new school year and permission to purchase two 2023 Blue Bird 77-passenger “Vision” conventional school buses at a total cost of $113, 467 each on three separate motions.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:12 pm. The next regular meeting is set for August 16 at 6:00 pm. As always, members of the Braxton County community are encouraged to attend regular board meetings. Anyone 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.