By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
It was a shorter meeting for the Tucker County Board of Education as Vice President Daniel “Chopper” Evans called the meeting to order with The Pledge of Allegiance. Board President Tim Turner was absent from this meeting with all other members in attendance.
There were no delegations, public comments, recognitions, reports, or information items to review. The discussion item topic, the creation of the Athletic Game Administrator that was tabled from the last meeting, was suggested to be tabled again until all members are present to move forward with this position. “I agree with Cathy (Hebb), let’s do this right and not rush it,” said Evans. This position would not come into effect until the next school year.
Board member Cathy Hebb made a motion for the approval of the consent agenda items with a second by board member Chris Gross. This included the minutes from February 17 and 25, payment of bills, out of state travel and field trip requests, and TCHS job shadow site requests. Gross had a few questions about track and potential grants for Tucker County Schools. It was suggested Tucker County track athletes have the option to practice on approved tracks to prepare for meets. Brief discussion commenced relating to nine staff members, two teachers and a principal from each school, approval to attend a Model School Conference this summer in Orlando Fla. Superintendent Alicia Lambert explained that this conference is put on by members of schools rated in the top 20 performing schools in the nation. Schools across the nation are invited to attend and find out what approaches these highly successful institutions are doing that rate them among the best. Hebb asked about the funding source for the trip which Lambert stated is from a $25,000 Math for Life grant that they receive yearly for professional development. Lambert informed the board she hoped to have those who attend return and provide a presentation to the board, their LSIC groups, as well as their home school staff.
The additional requests were for the TVEMS eighth grade class to go to Kennywood Park on May 28, TVEMS fifth grade class to attend Gateway Clipper May 5, Mrs. Falls and Mrs. Evans classes to go to Carnegie Museum of History on April 3, TCHS AP Lit students to Staunton, Va. April 21, and the TCHS Senior Class to Niagra Falls May 26 through 28. Hebb also requested that in conjunction with field trip request forms, the staff submit their professional leave requests at the same time. Lambert said she and Superintendent Secretary Debby Fike are looking into modifying the field trip request forms that will actually include the professional leave requests so they come to the board for approval in unison.
TCHS job shadow site requests were John Phillipa, Wilson Works, Inc. in Morgantown, Dixon Electrical Services, LLC in Oakland, Md. and Elkins Physical Therapy at Wellness 24 Fitness Center in Parsons. Hebb also requests knowledge of what area of interests were highly sought after by the local students as job shadow sites. “Say carpentry, if we have twenty kids wanting to job shadow carpentry, then I think that should be a major emphasis in our school,” she said. Lambert noted a master list was developed to see which sites were being utilized, but would speak with TCHS Principal Stephen Cosner about that possibility. “I just think it would be interesting data,” Hebb stated. All board members were in favor of all consent agenda items.
Finance and budget consisted of a contract with Hart Office Solutions for a copier and printer lease and maintenance agreement. Gross and Hebb motioned to approve followed by a brief explanation by Finance Director Tracy Teets. She stated this contract length is five years, and “is approximately $70 more a month than what we are paying now.” However, the schools currently have several leases that have different beginning and ending dates, and this would put all copiers and printers together on one agreement. “It is replacing the copiers that are out at the schools,” Teets continued, “some of them have over a million copies done on them at this point.” This will also provide a color print option at each school, as well as hole punching and stapling capabilities. Usage of the printers and copying talk commenced, but Lambert stated that when using the large machines, a code is needed which tracks each teachers usage. Teets prefers the staff utilize these larger, more efficient and cheaper operating machines versus the smaller, personal copiers that a lot of teachers have in their room. She said the cost of operating those far exceeds that of the industrial size copiers and printers. “We need to do what makes sense financially, wherever those dollars come from, so it makes sense to use the more efficient machines,” she said. Future plans are to include the smaller devices on the school network to monitor the usage of those and compare costs to remain financially efficient. Evans asked for all in favor of the contract with a unanimous agreement.
Personnel followed with recommendations by Lambert, the first being the resignation of Nathaniel Goldstein, head football coach at TVEMS, effective March 3. Gross made the motion to accept with a second by board member Jessica Wamsley with all in favor. Under employment, Gross excused himself from the room as it was recommended by Lambert to accept Gross as a volunteer assistant track coach at DTEMS effective this school year. Hebb and Wamsley made the motions with all in favor to approve.
Prior to adjournment, a calendar of events were reviewed drawing attention to the next regular meeting of the board to be held on March 16 at 4:30 p.m. followed by a special levy rate session and a public calendar hearing. This meeting will take place at TCHS. The early childhood festival will be held in Thomas Education Center beginning at 10 a.m. on March 30 and March 31 will be held at the TCBOE annex gym beginning at 8:30 a.m. TCHS events include the induction of the new members of the National Honor Society on March 16 at 6 p.m., a school wide showcase and CTE portfolio presentation on April 22, and FFA banquet on May 16. TVEMS is hosting a parent math night on March 24 and DTEMS Social Studies Fair March 3.