Teacher requests additional position at TVHS

A Tygarts Valley Middle and High School music teacher asked the Randolph County Board of Education Tuesday to consider adding a teacher to help her provide music education.

“I have a tentative schedule and would like to have a second full-time instructor of music at Tygarts Valley Middle and High School,” Natalie Dennis said during the board’s meeting Tuesday. “If we had another instructor, we could offer the classes students want, and we could share students. If a student wanted to take band and choir, we could share the students who could go to one class one day and the next class on the next day.”

Dennis said that she has students at different levels in the same class, and when she works to bring some up to level, the others have to wait and cannot move on.

“Valley Head has no music, band nor choir,” Dennis said. “Homestead and George Ward both have a full-time music instructor. But if I get a student from Valley Head, they have never been around an instrument and I have to start at the beginning. I know that you look at numbers, but there are things I have to do if I have five or 15 students.”

Dennis pointed out that Elkins Middle School has a full-time band and a full-time choir instructor, and that Elkins High School has a full-time band and a full-time choir instructor.

“I would just like to have the time to help everyone progress,” Dennis said.

Currently, Tygarts Valley High School Band has 22 members. Tygarts Valley Middle School Band has nearly 30 members.

  • Also during Tuesday’s meeting, Tygarts Valley High School student representative Owen Arbogast gave a report to board members about athletics in the school.

“We have football, golf and volleyball,” Arbogast said. “We have girls, boys and middle school basketball, track, baseball and softball.”

The football team finished with a 1 and 8 record, and the volleyball team record was 16 and 6.

“Brandon Pritt reached the 1,000-point mark, and Chanda Howell should hit the 1,000-point mark in the next few games,” Arbogast said.

“The real problem with the sports program at Tygarts Valley is we have become accustomed to losing over the years,” Arbogast said. “Kids expect we will lose every game except (against) Hundred. If players lifted weights, we could do better. Our last playoff appearance was in 2005. It is aggravating to lose and lose and lose. If more players lifted, it would help.”

Arbogast said a big problem is the schools’ current weights are in the middle school locker room and are not accessible to the team members.

Board member Harvey Taylor agreed with Arbogast.

“I agree Tygarts Valley High School needs a weight room up closer,” Taylor said. “Everything you said is 100 percent.”

Interim Superintendent Terry George said the plans for a new Tygarts Valley High School gym had included space for a weight room. Funds for that new gym would have been provided by the Randolph County Schools bond proposal, which was defeated in the general election in November.

  • In other business, George told board members that notifications had been mailed Tuesday regarding reductions in positions, or RIFs.

“We currently have 340 professional positions and only 325 will be reimbursed by the state formula,” George said. “We have 202 current service personnel positions, and that is 6 more than in the formula.”

Taylor said this is his fifth time working on RIFs.

“I hate it,” Taylor said. “It is a hard thing for a board member.”

The next Randolph County Board of Education meeting is slated for 6 p.m. Feb. 4 at the central office.