BOE bids farewell to departing members

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Tim Walker
AMR Reporter

The Pocahontas County Board of Education wrapped up some financial matters and other fiscal year ending business at a special meeting June 29, just before the 2020-2021 fiscal year begins on July 1.

In other matters, the three remaining board members and superintendent Terrence Beam paid tribute to the two outgoing members – Becky Campbell and Board President Joe Walker.

While each of the members thanked the two for their service, Beam’s tribute to Walker was particularly stirring and noteworthy.

“I know you don’t want me to say anything, but I am going to say it anyway,” Beam began. “Since you have been on the board – working with you for the last few years – we’ve gotten to have a lot of discussions. You’ve been so involved in what goes on in the school system, especially since you became president of the board. And what you’ve provided to our school system is not measurable.

“I don’t understand elections. I don’t understand a lot of things, but I assure you, there is nothing you have done that hasn’t been of benefit to our kids. We’ve bit off a lot of stuff for the last several years, but every decision you’ve made is about how we can help our kids. And I just want to thank you publicly for your service. I haven’t known any other board member who has spent as much time. I mean, they care just as much, but you’ve just absolutely gone above and beyond the responsibilities of your duties… And you’ve helped me a lot and been a big supporter of mine, and I am extremely grateful for it.

“And, don’t make yourself a stranger.”

Beam also announced that the CEFP committee will hold a meeting after the Fourth of July holiday, and that they will be meeting the July 10 deadline to apply for a Major Improvement Project to have a replacement sprinkler system installed in Marlinton Elementary School.

Beam said he is creating a re-entry committee, made up of about 25 people, to come up with ideas about how to safely restart school this coming school year. That committee will hold an organizational meeting on July 9 and will appoint subcommittees to consider reopening issues such as:

* Transportation

* Technology

* Academics

* Food Service

* Maintenance and cleanliness of facilities

He also announced that Pocahontas County Schools will likely be invited to join 15 other county school systems in the state’s Community in Schools Program which will bring $385,000 to three of the schools – one elementary school, one middle school and Pocahontas County High School – to connect students with community members to help them graduate.

They approved a memorandum of agreement with Glenville State College to increase dual credit courses and offer an opportunity for PCHS students to actually obtain an Associate’s of Arts Degree in General Studies in addition to their high school diplomas when they graduate.

They approved an agreement drawn up by their attorneys that would allow Jacob Meck limited use of a small portion of the board’s Green Bank property.

The personnel agenda items which were approved will appear in next week’s edition of The Pocahontas Times.

The next Board of Education meeting will be Monday, July 6, beginning at 8 a.m. at the board office conference room in Buckeye.