Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

Gregory appointed BoE Vice-president

The Board of Education for Braxton County held their most recent regular meeting on December 6. First on the agenda was for the board to take action and appoint a vice-president. Larry Hardway nominated Kevin Gregory for the position. The board approved the nomination unanimously.

Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Combs reviewed information she had recently received from the state department including post-secondary educational options for high school students. Those three options are college, trade school, and enlistment. She discussed aligning programs and resources with these options to positively impact students.

Dr. Combs discussed the challenges of retaining and recruiting staff not just being a local issue but also across the state and nation. On the state level, the WVDE will be overhauling their online job bank and job descriptions for a variety positions so they will align with services needed in each county. Vice President Kevin Gregory asked about what other plans the state had for fill vacancies including salary issues. Dr. Kenna Seal asked about possibly completing a teacher survey to see how they feel about retaining and recruiting issues. Dr. Combs stated she had been considering doing a student/parent/staff survey.

She also discussed math and reading scores in the county. The math scores do cause a lot of concern, but it is not unique to our county. She talked about needing to look at instruction and engagement as well as non-instructional issues with learning like chronic absenteeism, discipline referrals and parent engagement. President Evelyn Post noted the county needed to look into the adoption of the math program when it comes up for the 2023-24 school year.

Larry Hardway asked about the high number of students listed as homeless. Dr. Combs noted the number was a little bit deceptive. The homeless numbers includes those living in multi-generational homes, i.e. student, parent and grandparents.

Dr. Leatha Williams, Technology Director, presented the board with the five bids received for new camera systems for Burnsville, Davis, Frametown, Little Birch, and Sutton Elementary schools. On a motion by Kevin Gregory, the board approved the bid received from Advantage Technologies, Charleston, WV in the amount of $236,329.17 with stairwell coverage.

Under regular business, the board approved the following consent agenda items on a motion by Dr. Seal: November 15 meeting minutes; transportation requests; treasurer’s report; payment of bills; and budget transfers and supplements.

Personnel matters were approved on two separate motions. The first was for the resignation of Carolyn Lewis, executive secretary/coordinator of certification and was approved on a motion by Lisa Ratliff.

The second motion by Kevin Gregory was for the remainder of the personnel matters. The board approved the employment of Kristen Hoover, substitute teacher; PLC Facilitators-Janice Bane, Tashauna Chapman, Jaime Currence, Sharon Desper, Jami Hefner, and Kelsie Tonkin; Cody Dobbins, physical education/health, BCHS; Sharon Desper, assistant athletic director, BCHS; Marinda Lock, assistant athletic director, BCMS; Christopher Wriston, substitute bus operator; Lisa Brown, from executive secretary-receptionist/transportation/facilities, to executive secretary/coordinator of certification; Carolyn Lewis, substitute secretary; and Lynn Frederick, $1 assistant boys basketball coach, BCHS. Also approved on that motion were the following resignations: Marlo Hornsby, revise effective date of resignation as November 5 and Jeff Shamblin, revise effective date of resignation as November 30.

On separate motions, fundraisers, parent volunteer Doreen Carpenter for Sutton, and two open enrollment requests from Clay County to attend Frametown were approved.

The first reading of Braxton County Board of Education Policy 5410: Volunteer Policy was tabled until the next meeting on Dr. Combs request. Christina Bailey, Headstart Director was unable to attend the meeting to discuss it with board members.

At 7:13 pm, the board went into executive session to discuss personnel and student matters on a motion by Kevin Gregory. The reconvened at 9:15 pm and adjourned the meeting.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for December 20 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.