Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

Stover-Williams named new BCHS Principal

The Braxton County Board of Education hired Lori Stover-Williams as the new Braxton County High School Principal during the meeting held on November 1. Lori Stover-Williams has served as Assistant Principal/CTE Director for several years at the high school before moving into the principal position.

Dr. Kenna Seal thanked Dr. Tony Minney for his work as principal here in the county and wished him luck on his position as superintendent in Gilmer County. President Evelyn Post also wished Dr. Minney well with his promotion.

The board had a detailed discussion on options for improved safety and security measures. President Evelyn Post wanted to address parents and community members feeling anxious over recent events at the high school.

Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Combs informed the board she has been working with several agencies on planning responses to issues that may arise at the schools. Staff is following protocol set in place for various situations.  She noted the major challenge was the fact they were dealing with minors and had to address confidentiality needs. Dr. Combs noted she does not want to over-react or under-react to situations as they arise.

She noted there has been a lot of discussion about PRO officers or security guards for schools. She has met with a security group that provides services to schools and discussed options with them. Dr. Combs stated she would like to do a community forum for more input and noted there is always room for improvement. Training was ongoing to make staff more comfortable with protocol. She noted that controlling access in and out of school buildings and technology are two items that are essential to security and safety in schools.

Board member Kevin Gregory stated protocols and security plans are in place but need to be followed. He noted the need for security officers and the added benefit of extra eyes on campus watching over students and their surroundings.

President Evelyn Post noted that some of the incidents have come from individuals being “laxed” with external entrances. She stated the schools cannot have security breaches like that and keeping all external doors locked must be enforced 100% of the time.

The board requested Dr. Combs develop a job listing including job description for one or two security officers. They also asked she look into security companies and the options they provide for schools. The board approved the request on a motion by Kevin Gregory with a second by Lisa Ratliff. Dr. Combs will work with OES Director John Hoffman to look at what options are available and have the information for the board members to review at the next meeting.

Dr. Combs updated the board on the WV Balance Scorecard. The data will be presented to the WV Board of Education at the November 9 for approval before being made public.

She also noted the National CIS Certification Team was at Sutton Elementary early in the day for their recognition.

Dr. Combs discussed inviting the fall athletes to the next board meeting for recognition. Also the new Athletic Director Dan Wilson will come to present the new website to board members.

Lisa Ratliff took a moment to recognize Flatwoods Elementary on their fourth and fifth grade students Living Max Museum presentations.

Dr. Kenna Seal noted the school traffic lights at Frametown have been repaired and installed.

Under regular business, on a motion by Dr. Kenna Seal, the board approved the following consent agenda items: minutes of the October 18 meeting; transportation requests; payment of bills; and budget of transfers and supplements.

The board had three motions in order to approve the personnel listings. First was a motion by Kevin Gregory to accept the resignation of Dr. Tony Minney, principal, BCHS. The second motion was also by Gregory for the rescission of employment of Jo Malcom, long term substitute principal (half-time position), Burnsville, and special education teacher (half-time position), Burnsville.

After the board approval of those two motions, Dr. Kenna Seal made the motion to approve the remainder of the personnel recommendations, including the employment of Lori Stover-Williams, Joseph Malachi Cowling, substitute teacher, Ashlee Wayne, substitute teacher, Jo Malcom, principal, Flatwoods, Stephen Smith, behavior modification teacher, BCMS, Lisa Payne, substitute cook, Nicole Jarrell, cook (half-time position), BCHS, Nick Long, assistant boys basketball coach, BCMS, rescission of employment for Randall Brown, computer science teacher, BCMS, and resignation of Lee Given, $1 assistant girls softball coach, BCMS.

The board approved to allow Braxton County Youth Basketball League to continue utilizing the schools for practices and games, fundraisers, and permission to pay utility bills that may be due prior to the December 6 meeting on separate motions.

Also approved on a single motion by Kevin Gregory, were the following parent volunteers: Burnsville-Shadow Dobbins, Megan Kesling, Kay Drake, Karis Drake, Jade Hibbs, and Tina Wolverton; Frametown-Elizabeth Grubb; and Sutton- Miranda Shaver, Darla Shaver, Tiffany Burroughs, Emaleea McKinney, Emma Maynor, Kelly Wilmoth, Mary Seal, Leslie Loggins, and Carrie Liston. Dr. Seal abstained due to his wife being one of the parent volunteers for Sutton.

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.