Braxton Citizens' News, Sports

Board begins search for new Superintendent

During the May 2 meeting, the Braxton County Board of Education voted to immediately post for the position of superintendent with the post-closing at 4:00 pm on May 9 on a motion by Kevin Gregory. Board members were in executive session for 40 minutes discussing options since current Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Combs’ announcement that she would not be seeking a contract renewal. Her final day will be June 30, 2023. Once out of the session they made the announcement of the posting and the need to fill the position quickly.

Two individuals presented requested to board members, Dale Thayer and Sarah Rexroad at the beginning of the meeting. Thayer spoke on behalf of the Sutton High School Alumni Association. Currently the SHS Alumni are using the old one room school building located at the airport for meetings and it is housing all of the old class photos as well as other memorabilia. The building is owned by the board of education and he was asking for them to consider turned the ownership over to the alumni association. Board President Evelyn Post stated she would have Dr. Combs look into the history and the legalities involved with the property and would invite him back to a future meeting for further discussion once an investigation was completed.

Sarah Rexroad, representing the Braxton County Board of Health, spoke to board members as a follow up to a previous discussion on the use of Narcan in the schools and the training of staff. Dr. Combs and Director Christina Bailey stated the policies were close to being completed and that they had been working with the state department in order to have the correct procedures in place. The policy would soon be finalized and brought to the board for approval.

Burnsville and Braxton County Middle School presented their LSIC reports to board members. Both reports were very similar to the previous reports.

Burnsville Principal Grace Wine and teacher Jessica Vandernick stated their school was working to improve student attendance and increasing performance in math and ELA. They are working to address those students chronically absent with various incentive activities. The school has monthly student data conferences to provide the students with intervention supports in academics. They are also working on addressing behavioral issues with students.

BCMS Principal Amy Perkins noted that her staff was focusing on attendance, behavior, academics, and the social/emotional needs of students. She stated they were working to address the issue with inconsistent leadership and staffing at the school. There has been a small improvement in attendance compared to last year and she wants students to understand the importance of coming to school. She is also addressing issues with staff attendance. She discussed programs implemented to work on increasing test scores including flex time at lunch so students could complete missing assignments. CTE Instructor Anita Lambert spoke to board members about work to repurpose the library into a classroom and the simulated workplace developed by the middle school chapter of the FBLA.

Both LSIC reports were accepted by the board on separate motions.

Superintendent Dr. Combs updated board members briefly on several items. She first discussed the “Third Grade Success Act” that was recently passed in WV legislation. The act is aimed at pushing for early childhood intervention in schools to ensure literacy by the end of the third grade.

Dr. Combs also discussed the end-of-the-year evaluations for staff.

She invited board members to the BCHS Scholarship and CTE recognition ceremonies to be held the next two Thursdays at 1:00 pm.

Finally, she stated the reposting of positions for the next school year will be going out.

Director of Transportation Dr. Brenda Wells updated the board on the van purchasing. No proposals were received. She will work on getting quotes directly from dealers before moving forward on the purchasing.

Dr. Leatha Williams, Technology Director, presented the board with the final reading of Policy 1950 on cell phone and electronic device usage. Eight comments were received and one letter on the policy. Those issues were addressed in the policy before the board approved it on a motion by Larry Hardway.

Debbie Friend, WVU Extension Agent and County Coordinator came before the board for a request to increase the budget. She discussed the various programs the organization provides for the students in the school system. WVU is cutting funding and the agency was requesting an increase by both the board and the county commission. The board approved the request of a $2250 increase on a motion by Larry Hardway.

Under regular business, the following consent agenda items were approved on a motion by Kevin Gregory: minutes of the April 18 regular meeting with corrections to minor typos; transportation requests; budget transfers and supplements; and payment of bills.

On a motion by Dr. Kenna Seal, the board approved the following personnel recommendations: resignation of Melissa Strong, Title I teacher, Little Birch, Linda Leggett, Head Start/Social Services aide III, central office, Iris Robinson, cook, summer school, James Huffman, substitute custodian, BCMS, assistant football coach, BCMS, head baseball coach, and Nathan Short, assistant football coach, BCMS; and the employment of Jennifer Arambula, from fourth grade to first grade, Flatwoods, Nicholas Long, substitute teacher, Jami Hefner, extended school year position-2023 summer, Jessica Huffman, cook, summer school, Michele Campbell, special education supervisory/instructional/transportation aide, summer school, Forrest “Drew” Taylor, BCHS assistant football coach, David Lewis, BCHS co-assistant football coach, and 2023 summer student receptionists-$10/hr.-Kenzie Heater, Burnsville, Piper Estep, Davis, Ariana Brown and Alyssa Luzader, Flatwoods (splitting time), Haley Morris, Frametown, Jeffrey Evans, Little Birch, Sklyer Davis, Sutton, Karl Boyce, BCMS, Hayden Lemon, BCHS, Morgan Shingler, substitute, and Kaytie Sargent, substitute.

Approved on separate motions were fundraisers; permission to post for Kinderboost teachers and aides for summer program; and permission for welding class to be transported by rental van to attend welding competition in Wyoming.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:56 pm. The next regular meeting is scheduled for May 16 at 6:00 pm.