WILLIAMSON – Tensions ran high Tuesday evening when members of the Mingo County Board of Education voted 5-0 in favor of abolishing Mrs. Karen Cook’s teaching position at Gilbert Middle School.
Daniel Dean, Principal at Gilbert Middle, and Cook were in attendance at the meeting and both made statements against abolishing the position.
“It would be a terrible idea to cut this position,” Dean said. “It would be unfair to both students and teachers.”
Dean mentioned Gilbert Middle’s high English testing scores as evidence against abolishing the position. He states that Gilbert Middle has outperformed other schools on both the county and state level.
“Our scores are not just the highest in the county. They are highest in the state,” Dean said.
According to homefacts.com, Gilbert Middle School (GMS) has the highest English Language Arts grade in the county for 2014 with a score of an A-. The website also has also graded GMS higher than any other school in the county overall.
Cook asked the members of the Board, “Where is the evidence to support cutting this position?”
The decision to cut the position was made after considering GMS lower student population in comparison with other school’s throughout the county.
Homefacts.com, lists Gilbert as having lower populations compared to other schools throughout the county with a 2014 enrollment of 222 students.
Dean, however, feels that the population is not significantly low enough to justify cutting this position. “There are 7 more students at Burch Middle School…,” Dean said.
However, before the meeting concluded, it was made apparent that the decision to abolish the position could be temporary. Board member June Glover inquired if the position could be reinstated at the start of the year if it was determined that the English Language Arts position was needed.
To learn more about school grades throughout the county, visit www.homefacts.com.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2279.)