WILLIAMSON — The Board of Education met on Tuesday for their regular meeting where they honored Mingo Central High School (MCHS) senior Jessica Sturgell.
Dr. Cynthia Daniel, Deputy Superintendent of Education Support for the W. Va. Department of Education began the meeting by telling everyone in attendance about a poster contest that was held within the state to promote attendance. She then announced that Sturgell had won the contest at the state level for her poster design.
“We hope to use the poster in many of our schools,” said Daniel as she gave Sturgell her prize which was a new iPad.
Delegations were the next part and even though the position cuts at MCHS were what the majority of speakers were concerned about, it was not the case for everyone.
Bill Duty was the first to give a delegation and insisted to the board that he only needed a few seconds.
“Six months ago, I requested if the board would consider making MCHS a shelter for the people in Pigeon Creek in the event that it floods,” asked Duty. “Emergencies can happen at anytime. I would like to know what the decision is that has been made on that?”
Duty appeared to be shocked when Mingo County BOE President James David Farley responded that no decision had yet been made.
“After six months and you guys have not even made a decision on something like that,” asked Duty. “Okay, that is all I need to hear.”
Randy Lackey also gave a delegation regarding the Lenore Little League and the use of the use of the Lenore K-8 football field.
“Years ago, the board approved that we could play and practice on that field but we now we are having to compete with other sports,” said Lackey. “I don’t care to share the field, but all I ask is that we have some type of say in the scheduling.”
Lackey explained that the Lenore Little League plans to practice six days out of the week just to be eligible to play in the end of the season games.
Robert Hammond, MCHS Wrestling team coach spoke next on behalf of the wresting team.
“We have been asking for a place to practice for four years now,” said Hammond. “When we first started, we had to practice in the cafeteria which meant that the first hour of practice was spent moving tables, picking gum off the floor and rolling our practice mats out.”
Hammond went on to explain that since then, the team has moved to practicing in the athletic complex. According to Hammond, this switch was definitely noticeable in the way the team was wrestling since they were now able to get adequate practice time.
“We were practicing there and everything was going great until I realized that the board had decided to cut the water off to the athletic complex. Without that water, we cannot practice in there,” said Hammond who went on to ask the board to turn the water back on to the facility.
One of the last things discussed at the BOE meeting were upcoming field trips.
MCHS teacher Brandon Cline updated the board on the trip that he will be taking students on to Washington D.C. The cost for students to attend is $650 and according to Brandon, a few students needed help going on the trip while approximately twelve needed full sponsorship.
“We plan on staying for four days. The price includes the hotel and two meals each day,” said Cline. “We have already completed several fundraisers including a hotdog sale at Trailfest, Rada knives and now we are working on two more which will be selling Little Ceasars Pizza kits and then selling spaghetti dinners.”
Cline explained to the board that the deadline to pay for the trip in full was February 1 and that they needed approximately $3,300.
As Cline began to walk away, several board members asked him to stay so they could help in the efforts of funding the trip. Several members wrote checks for Cline before letting him leave.
Other trips that had requested to begin fundraising included a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge and Kings Island for an eighth grade trip at Williamson PreK-8. The three other trips came from MCHS and included a Positive Behavior Support trip for seniors to Pigeon Forge and Dollywood. A separate Positive Behavior Support trip was also requested for MCHS underclassmen to Williamsburg and Busch Gardens. Finally, MCHS teacher Crystal Ramey requested that the board approve taking Beta Club students and those who qualified to participate to the National Beta Club Convention in New Orleans.
“We had 37 qualify for the National Convention,” said Ramey.
The last item discussed during the BOE meeting was the newest RESA II OEPA Baseline Data which showed that Mingo County is currently ranked number one in graduation rate as well as has the lowest dropout rate. While graduation is high, the same audit reports that enrollment is low. The audit also shows that Mingo County struggles the most in math.
“Because we have such a low enrollment number, every bit of numbers and statistics count,” said Superintendent Robert Bobbera, Ed.D.
(Madalin Sammons is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. Madalin can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 304-664-8225.)