The Braxton Democrat, Town Meeting

Board of Ed to HireIn-house Legal Council

The Braxton County Board of Education conducted their most recent meeting on July 25 at the board office.
The meeting opened with an executive session at 6:04 pm to discuss an issue with parents and to address their concerns with the emergency evacuation plan for Burnsville Elementary. After coming out of executive session at 6:23 pm, Board President Evelyn Post issued a statement saying the emergency evacuation plan/policy will be reviewed at the next administrative meeting.
One of the first actions in open session was Superintendent Dr. Donna Burge-Tetrick requesting the board consider posting for a Director of Legal Services position. Currently the board is spending $85,000 to $95,000 yearly on legal fees and contracts. Dr. Burge-Tetrick feels having an attorney trained in educational law to be available for legal guidance would be fiscally efficient. This individual would be able to work on the policies and many current policies need to be updated. Larry Hardway made the motion that led to the approval of the request.
In the area of updating the Board, the Superintendent discussed working with directors on formulating plans for the school system. She added she would like to have principals to come in monthly to update board members on items like school improvement and student achievement. Dr. Kenna Seal asked about the test scores. She noted they were still embargoed until the August state board meeting and would be released after that.
Dr. Burge-Tetrick approached the board with granting her permission to approve fundraiser requests. Granting the requests during board members is less efficient and sometimes delays fundraising opportunities, she explained. The request was approved on a motion by Dr. Seal. He requested she verify that it is not actually in policy that the board is required to approve fundraisers.
She told board members that she was looking to revamp the career technical program at the middle school and requested that a position as career exploration teacher be posted. Dr. Burge-Tetrick wants to expand the program to include not just computer technology but agriculture, manufacturing and possibly e-sports. On a motion by Lisa Ratliff, the board approved the request.
Another superintendent request approved by the board, was the permission to post for two positions, HVAC/general maintenance and plumber/general maintenance. Filling those positions will allow the school system to complete work in-house instead of contracting out. Dr. Seal made the motion that granted the request.
Dr. Burge-Tetrick worked with Christina Bailey, Head Start and Special Education Director, to identify student services needs for the schools. The following positions will need to be posted to meet those needs: one preschool special needs itinerant teacher for county services; one special education self-contained teacher and one itinerant special education transportation aide for BCMS; Sutton special education position from half-time to full-time; third grade, and first grade and kindergarten teacher to eliminate the K/1 split class at Little Birch; occupational therapy contract with Best Life Therapy; vision contract with Dot One Three; physical therapy and speech therapy contracts with Lingucare; speech therapy contract with Integrated Speech Solutions; and the MOU to hire through SESC two related service facilitators pending need of services.
In regular action, the board approved the following consent agenda items on a motion by Larry Hardway: minutes of the July 11 meeting with a name correction, and the payment of bills.
The following personnel recommendations were approved on a motion by Dr. Seal: resignations for Isaac Casto, 2/3 split teacher at Little Birch, Everett Wine, physical education teacher, Jo Malcomb, principal, Flatwoods-retirement, and George Dennison, summer school bus operator. The board also approved the employment of Ashley Given, math teacher BCMS, Suzanne Wine, special education teacher BCMS, Miranda Wotring, special education teacher Burnsville, Jason Knight, welding technology instructor BCHS, Lindsey Morris from preschool special needs teacher Flatwoods, to preschool special needs Frametown, Toni Meadows, special education teacher Davis, Tyler Cunningham, career technical teacher BCHS, Stephanie Moore, from school nurse to career technical healthcare teacher, Russell Bramble, extra-curricular assignment, lawn care (two positions), all school facilities, Charles Harman, custodian (BCHS/central office), Heinrich Harman, from RIF to special education supervisory/instructional/transportation aide, Flatwoods, Addi Facemire, from RIF to special education supervisory/instructional/transportation aide, Flatwoods, Emily Oates, from preschool supervisory/instructional/transportation aide ECCAT, Burnsville to Frametown, Shaina Shaver, from RIF to special education supervisory/instructional/transportation aide, Sutton, Lisa Legg, extra-curricular custodian BCHS athletic building, Lisa Allen, extra-curricular custodian central office, Taylor Spencer, volleyball coach BCMS, Courenay Smith, cheer coach BCMS, Cody Dobbins, golf coach BCHS, Mackenzie Helmick, $1 cheer coach BCHS, and Rick Garavaglia, $1 boys’ and $1 girls’ soccer coach BCHS.
Dr. Seal presented the motion to approve the continuing MOU with SESC for the eight positions of the Community In Schools program. The motion was approved by the board.
Motions by Larry Hardway led to the approval of the contracts with Pitney Bowes for the automatic mailing system and Star Weld for gas cylinders for both the bus garage and BCHS.
A motion by Dr. Seal approved the Head Start grant application for the upcoming school year.
The board went into a second executive session to discuss the pending litigation regarding a cellphone tower lease at 6:58 pm. They reconvened at 7:39 pm with no decisions made.
Board President Post ended the meeting stating she was pleased with the new superintendent. She had received several phone calls from individuals who were aware of the changes that were going on and the plans for moving the schools forward. The meeting was adjourned at 7:41 pm.