Grant to help curb dropouts

ELKINS – Del. Denise Campbell, D-Randolph, and West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee presented the Randolph Board of Education with a $296,480 check at Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting. The funds, from an innovative zone grant, will be used to help curb school dropouts.

Campbell said Lee was instrumental in helping her connect and secure funds for this ever-growing need.

“There were some things that needed tweaked,” Campbell said.

“I went to Dale and he helped us. We worked with Donna Simmons, and I am proud to say the innovative zone grant was approved and will be used at Elkins Middle School … for the prevention of drop outs.”

Campbell said the focus of the grant will be for students transitioning from elementary to middle school and from middle to high school.

“Those are the students who get lost a little bit,” Campbell said. “This grant will help ensure that we help students who possibly would drop out.”

Campbell said she could not say enough about Lee’s help.

“Education is at the top of my priorities,” Campbell said. “I just think this is a great thing for Elkins Middle School.”

Lee said it was an honor to visit some of the Randolph County schools and attend Wednesday’s meeting.

“You have excellent schools,” he said. “I truly am the luckiest man in West Virginia, because I get to go around the state and see the great things that are happening in our classrooms every day.”

– The Service Personnel and Professional Employees of the Year nominees and winners also were announced at Wednesday’s BOE meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Pam Hewitt awarded Randolph County Teacher of the Year honors to Diane White of Tygarts Valley High School, and Randolph County Service Employee of the Year honors to Bobby Hart from the Central Office.

“Each year, we ask each school staff, the central office and the bus garage to serve us their nominee for teacher of the year and service employee of the year,” Hewitt said. “Tonight we are taking time to thank you for your service. We appreciate your hard work for the students.”

School nominees for Teacher of the Year were Chris Storrick, North Elementary; Julia Nestor, Midland Elementary; Jack Crumm, Beverly Elementary; Kristie Skidmore, Coalton Elementary; April Senic, Elkins High; Tina Cooper, Elkins Middle; Mark Allen, George Ward; Barbara Green, Harman School; Jennifer Workman, Homestead Elementary; Leanne Reynolds, Valley Head Elementary; Cathy Duffield, Third Ward Elementary; and Diane White, Tygarts Valley High.

School nominees for Service Employee of the Year were Rebecca Parsons, Pickens School; Wayne Lambert, Tygarts Valley High; Susie Starr, Beverly Elementary; Orville Hunt, Elkins High; Laura Weese, Elkins Middle; Sheryl Ware, George Ward Elementary; Lora Mullenax, Harman School; Donna Fluharty, North Elementary; Kenny Weese, Randolph County Bus Garage; Brian Paugh, Jennings Randolph Elementary; and Bobby Hart, Central Office.

– Jackie Bright, who served Randolph County Schools as a substitute teacher, received a certificate thanking her for her 20 years in that capacity.

– Board members also voted in Wednesday’s meeting to table a vote for the revision of six attendance zones. Superintendent Terry George said the changes were minor adjustments, and if passed during the next board meeting, parents would be able to apply for intracounty transfers for students.

“We have to tweak the revisions of attendance zones every couple of years to address buses chasing buses and to even out students in the schools,” George said. “The group working on this included Lynn Proudfoot and Pam Hewitt. They worked very hard on this project.”

– Following Wednesday’s board meeting, George shared an update about an incident that occurred May 15. Four Elkins High School students were injured in a wreck that totaled an EHS teacher’s car.

“I issued directives to both principals (Don Johnson at Randolph Technical Center and David Fincham at Elkins High School) that in light of the accident, that students will not be permitted to drive any vehicles on school property, regardless,” George said. “The only vehicles they will be permitted to operate are their private vehicles they drive to and from school. They will not drive any staff vehicles nor county vehicles.”

George said disciplinary action has been handed down for the individuals involved.

“That includes students and professionals,” George said. “I don’t think that you will see a repeat performance.”

George said students involved in the accident only received minor injuries.