The Braxton County Board of Education held their most recent meeting on September 20. The meeting opened with Board President Evelyn Post reading the proclamation by Governor Jim Justice recognizing September 23 as West Virginia School Service Personnel Day. The proclamation is to honor and appreciate the hard work and dedication of school service personnel throughout the state. President Post noted the county has “great service personnel” that are an “integral part” of the school system.
Two community members had signed up to speak to board members. First to speak was Quincy Potasnik. She is a parent of a middle school soccer player. She questioned the board on the “outdated” absentee policy concerning athletes. Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Combs and President Post both agreed with Potasnik and stated work was being done to change the current policy. With the hiring of a new athletic director, this policy as well as others will be addressed.
Next was Sarah Rexroad on behalf of the Braxton County Health Department. As chairman of the Health Board she requested the board consider mandatory Narcan training for staff and get Narcan in the hands of staff. Since the beginning of the school year, seven teenagers have overdosed on Fentanyl in the county. The board will follow-up on the situation and look into the possibility of the training.
Dr. Combs provided an overview to board members on the WVDE website and where to find the information on the Balance Scorecard for the county and individual schools. She also informed board members that the new employment application process will be posted on the website.
She updated the board on the issue with the playground in Gassaway that was discussed at the last meeting. Dr. Combs stated the bottom line was the train does not meet safety standards and could be a liability. The train needs some repairs, was not anchored and is not surrounded by a fall surface. The board reviewed a Memorandum of Understanding that had been previously put together by the former superintendent that was not signed by the board or by the mayor of Gassaway. Davis Principal Kyre-Anna Minney spoke on the importance of having the mutual agreement signed so the school use of the playground could continue safely. Gassaway citizen Lois Cole asked about getting the train up to standards so it could remain on the playground. Dr. Brenda Wells stated she would work with Cole to see what could be accomplished.
The board discussed compensation for Dr. Tony Minney, BCHS principal for his time serving as athletic director. Dr. Combs brought the possibility to board members. Dr. Kenna Seal questioned the legality of going back into a previous fiscal year and the precedent it might set. Dr. Combs said she would check with the attorney for the next board meeting.
Dr. Kenna Seal asked about the progress with the school zone sign with lights at Frametown. Dr. Brenda Wells stated the wiring was shorted out in the old one and it would need to be repaired or replaced. She was working on getting costs for the replacement. A basic school zone sign has been placed in the meantime.
President Post asked for an update on the gym at the middle school. The floor was currently being worked on, then the bleachers would be installed. Dr. Wells noted it was on schedule and should be completed in October.
Under regular business, the following consent agenda items were approved on a motion by Larry Hardway: approval of September 6 meeting minutes; transportation requests; treasurer’s report; payment of bills; and budget transfers and supplements.
On a motion by Lisa Ratliff, the following professional, service, and extra-curricular recommendations were approved: employment for Randall Brown, computer science teacher, BCMS, Beth Snodgrass, substitute teacher, Aleta Jarrell, substitute teacher, Daniel Wilson, assistant principal, BCHS/athletic director, county-wide, Clifton Long, science teacher, BCHS, Lori Dittman, mentor, BCMS, Patricia Gillespie, instructional interventionist, Little Birch, Steven Brown, substitute bus operator, substitute aides-Lisa Rader, Zendria Butcher, Nicole Brooks, Andrea McCourt, Robert Woodling, and April Thayer, G. Scott Mosley, from bus operator #37A to #36A, C. Dawn Cutlip, cook-1/2 time position, BCHS, Nathaniel Putnam, mechanic/bus operator, bus garage, and April Lloyd, $1 assistant cross country coach, BCMS; contract agreements between principals and supervising aides for Burnsville-Samantha Davis, April Garrett, Shaina Shaver, Davis-Dianna Hoffman, Rebecca Oates, Flatwoods-Emily Oates, Linda Utt, Michelle Shreve, Jaclyn Whitney, Frametown-Victoria Allen, Michele Johnson, Little Birch-Valerie Jarvis, Sherry Moats, Sutton-James Huffman, Sheffie Jagielski, Melissa Jones, Vanessa Vaughan, BCHS-Marie Armentrout, Michele Campbell, Sandra Fisher; contracts for extra assignment of school lunch for school secretaries for Burnsville-Cindy Wyne, Flatwoods-Amy Taylor, Frametown-Samantha Kniceley, Little Birch-Staci Lynch, Sutton-Heather Dobbins, BCMS-Kelly Pritt, and BCHS-Ginger Crow; and resignations for Margaret Moore, substitute teacher, Billy Rose, bus operator, after school activity run, BCHS/BCMS to Sutton to Little Birch, George Dennison, bus operator, after school activity run, BCHS/BCMS to Airport Road to Flatwoods to Burnsville, Forrest Taylor, head boys & girls track, BCMS, and Tyler Morlan, head wrestling coach, BCMS.
Dr. Kenna Seal asked about the resignation of the two after school bus operators. Dr. Combs stated it was an issue with the pay rate. The positions would be reposted with the correct language about pay.
The fundraisers were approved as presented on a motion by Larry Hardway.
On motions by Dr. Kenna Seal, the board approved the following parent volunteers for Davis, Sabrina McDivitt, Ramey Fugate, and Andrea Brady and permission to add specials sessions as requested by Ginger Altizer. Dr. Combs will look into scheduling the locations and dates for the LSIC presentations and have those for the board to approve at the next meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:43 pm. The board will be having a special meeting on September 27 at 6:00 pm for approval of financials for 2021-2022. The next regular meeting is set for October 4 at 6:00 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.