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Youth initiative tops Board of Education agenda

By Staff | Jan 5, 2011

A presentation by Tyler County students who are participating in the National Youth Leadership Initiative (NYLI) Anti-Drug program was the highlight of Monday evening’s Tyler County Board of Education meeting.

Melody Glasscock, Katrina Byers and Connie Stewart, faculty advisor, along with six Tyler Consolidated High School students, spoke to the board about the group’s recent trip to Canaan Valley, where students participated in intensive training for the anti-drug program.

Two teams from the county participate in the NYLI program – team “A”, which goes to conferences and meetings, and team “B” which is focused on school support of the program. This is a pilot program and has approximately thirty-five counties in West Virginia participating. School counselors and principals were involved in the selection of the students chosen to take part in the initiative. Participants from Tyler County’s team “A” include Isaiah Cassinelli, Hope Stewart, Mijah Charkawi, Danille Seckman, Ryley Warner and Sarah Campbell. Cassinelli was chosen as a state representative on the committee to improve the program, with a chance in participating at the federal level.

All NYLI Tyler County students received a digital camera courtesy of the workshop which they will utilize in a photo essay project called “Photo Voice.” This project entails completing a different project every month, which consists of a photo and blog pertaining to the subject matter. The exchange between FYLI participants is a student-only dialogue about the issues confronting teens in terms of drug, alcohol and tobacco use. (West Virginia is number one in prescription drug abuse in the nation.)

The purpose of student participation is to be the “eyes and ears” in their community and school in order that they may inform and educate the adults around them. “The kids know what is going on,” stated a board member.

“Sounds like you have a worthy cause. You’re on the right track,” added board member Jim Wyatt. “We know it’s a problem.”

“It’s obvious you guys (students) are very committed to this,” remarked Superintendent Robin Daquilante.

Katrina Byers commented, “We have a very good group of kids with us. They represented Tyler County very well.”

A February trip is in the planning stages for a four day leadership training workshop in Washington, D.C. At this time the group will get to participate in a plenary session, which will give them the opportunity to interact with all five representatives from West Virginia.

Glasscock and Byers sought permission from the board to hold two basketball-related fundraisers for the group, one at a girls’ home basketball game, and one at a boys’ home basketball game, where a canned food donation would be rewarded with a dollar off a game ticket as well as a red ribbon signifying support for the NYLI effort. The donated goods would go to Adam’s House.

Other matters discussed by the Board included a personnel matter, which was deliberated in executive session. In the superintendent’s report, it was noted that Tyler County had gained some new students in the past weeks.

Also considered by the Board were approval of requests. Susan Boyles, Curriculum Director, asked and was granted permission that Robert Jones be permitted to transport and chaperone three students to the 30th Annual WV Youth and Government Seminar in Charleston February 14-16.

Matt Kinnard requested and was granted permission to host a 6th grade girl’s basketball game on January 18.

A resignation was accepted by the Board. Carl Rucker, Technology Systems Specialist, tenured his resignation effective June 30th. Board member Jim Wyatt questioned, “Can that be a contract service type job until we find someone?” He was informed that the administration is hoping to conclude interviews before Rucker leaves, and is preparing to place postings for the position in the near future.

Board members attending the meeting included Larry Thomas, Dr. Ralph Boone, Linda Hoover, Jimmy Wyatt and Superintendent Robin Daquilante. Board member Ken Hunt was absent due to illness.

The Board of Education will meet again Dec. 17.