Dr. Donna Burge-Tetrick participated in her first Braxton County board meeting as new superintendent on July 11.
She briefly spoke to the board about her first few days in the new position. She noted she had visited every school and met with principals to work on strategic plans. Dr. Burge-Tetrick discussed briefly lists for items that needed to be worked on and completed at each school.
She stated she was impressed with the innovative, outside of the box thinking she was seeing while visiting with principals and the directors at the central office.
The Superintendent discussed the Southern Educational Service Cooperative (SESC) with board members. She asked that a board member be appointed to sit on this board as Braxton has not had a representative in the past. The SESC replaced the old RESA program and Braxton is one of nine counties in the cooperative. On a motion by Dr. Kenna Seal, the board approved to have Board President Evelyn Post be Braxton County School’s representative.
To follow up on the previous discussions about the purchasing of a van for the school system, Dr. Burge-Tetrick found a used 2022 Ford Transit with only 12,000 miles and a 120,000 bumper to bumper warranty. The van does seat 12-15 but with new legislation, seats may be removed to fit the state code requirements of nine passengers. She requested the board consider allowing her to move forward with the purchase. The board granted that request on a motion by Larry Hardway.
Chris Campbell with ZMM Architects presented the HVAC bids for the BCHS. The bids came in lower than expected and the project can now be expanded and include other units including the band room, media center, and nursing station. The roof plans will be completed in August and bid requests will be going out in September/October for that replacement to be done in conjunction with the HVAC replacement. This project was over $1 million under the original estimates and will allow for additional bids to be taken on replacing the units for “B” wing as well as the funding is from ESSERF (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund). Larry Hardway made the motion to approve the low bid of $1,851,549 from Nitro Construction Services.
The board postponed discussion on the bid to paint BCHS gym. The third bid had not been received and the other two had a start date of December. Chris Campbell will bring the bids at a later date for board consideration. The board requested that he also look into replacing the floor in the gym as well and the sound system.
In regular action, the board approved the following consent agenda items on a motion by Kevin Gregory: June 28 meeting minutes; payment of bills; and budget transfers.
The following personnel recommendations were approved by the board on a motion by Lisa Ratliff: resignations of Myrtle Copen, elementary music teacher, Nathaniel Putnam, mechanic/bus operator, Andrea Nichols, cheer coach, BCMS, and Jerry Frame, golf coach, BCHS; and employment of Michelle Winemiller, principal, Davis, Kaleb Davis, $1 cross country coach, BCMS, and Jason Hunt, assistant girls’ basketball coach, BCMS.
Both policies, Medication Administration Policy 4310 and Local Wellness Policy 1006, were approved on separate motions. Other items approved on various motions were fundraisers, contract renewal with West Virginia Network, contract renewal with United Dairy, Memorandum of Understanding between Braxton County Schools and SESC for bus operator/examining services, and job postings for four extra-curricular summer custodians, extra-curricular custodian for BCHS field house, and extra-curricular custodian for board office.
Also approved by the board was permission to increase the addenda for speech therapist. Dr. Burge-Tetrick requested the pay be increased by $15,000 per year for the current speech therapist and the pay increase would be available for new ones coming into the system. The request is to make a competitive wage to attract people into the county. The motion was made by Larry Hardway.
The board was in executive session from 6:54 pm to 8:06 pm to discuss several commercial competition contracts. The reconvened with no decisions made.
Board members ended the meeting thanking Dr. Burge-Tetrick for coming back to Braxton County and noted how she is off to a great start. Board President Post stated the county was fortunate to have her and that she does have the student and staff interest in mind.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:12 pm. The next regular meeting is set for July 25 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.