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Board Offers Southerly Family Deepest Sympathy

By Staff | Sep 25, 2019

Middle School TSA members Allison Wince, Abbigail Kimble, and Braeden Wall being recognized at the Board of Education Meeting on September 16.

The Tyler County Board of Education met on September 16, where students were recognized for academic success, an update on the roofing project at the Elementary Schools was given, and the members of Board of Education expressed their condolences to the family of Levi Southerly.

The meeting was called to order, and following the approval of the previous minutes, began with student recognitions. “I wanted to bring students in who have done something special academically or sports related – that went above and beyond what other kids do,” Superintendent Highley expressed.

Members of the Tyler FFA Land Judging and Homesite Team were recognized for their success at the national contest in Oklahoma earlier this Spring. “This was a whole year process from start to finish,” said team member Creed Ammons.

Ammons explained that Land Judging is a contest that teaches students to determine the class of land. Once land class is determined, it can be decided the proper way to use the land agriculturally.

He went on to say Homesite is also determined in the same manner, and is used to decide what could be built on the area, such as a yard, basement, home, sewer system, etc.

Team members Madison Craven, Creed Ammons, and Nick Spencer recognized in front of the Board of Education for their national title. Not pictured is Megan Vandruff.

The team, consisting of members Creed Ammons, Madison Craven, Nick Spencer, and Megan Vandruff placed first in Land Judging and fourth in Homesite at the national level.

Next, members of the Middle School TSA were present to be recognized for their success. “In Digital Photography, Miss Kimble placed fourth in the nation, and second place in Children’s Stories was Miss Kimble and Miss Wince. Tenth place nationally for Stem Animation was Miss Wince and Miss Wall,” reported Highley.

“We’re really pleased to have students come in and tell us what they’re doing,” said President Linda Hoover.

“We’re really proud of you all,” added board member PJ Wells.

Following the recognitions, Hoover asked for an update on the roofing project at both middle schools, noting she’s been frequently questioned about the nature of the project.

Highley handed out a roofing progress report which he received on September 16. This report provided a list of everything that needs to be completed at each location including finishing the metal around the top of the roof, a gravel stop on the top of the roof of the gym, installing scuffers and downspouts on the roof of the gym, ladders to the roof, metal panels and soffit, and adding the names to the buildings. The report stated if everything was on site, the completion date would be around the second or third week of October.

Highley then spoke about the possibility of a Middle School Girls Softball Team. The idea was presented by town resident Crystal Rocchio, as well as several middle school students and parents, at a previous meeting. Highly reported that he was working with Mr. Walton, the athletic director, to find schools within an hour radius. He went on to report they had been successful in finding eight or nine schools within that range, and the next step is to look at scheduling possibilities.

The following requests were presented to and approved by the board: Erica Shirer to take the SES Pre-K Class to Sweet Apple Farms on October 9, Mr. Negie for the TCHS Choir to perform at the New Martinsville and Sistersville Genesis Healthcare Centers on September 24, and Ashley Cochran to take the TCHS TSA students to the Annual Pumpkin Drop Contest at WVU in Morgantown on October 25.

Board Member Katrina Byers moved that the meeting go into executive session to speak about personnel.

Upon returning from executive session, the following employments were approved: Marcus Winters as Special Education teacher at Boreman effective immediately; Michael A. Foltz as Assistant Boys Track Coach at TCHS; Kelly Smith and Christopher Weekley as Substitute Bus Drivers pending completion of licensing; and Jeremy Gilbert, Christian Zane, Jaclyn Barron, and Stacey Yoho as Substitute Teachers, countywide, pending certification.

The following employee termination was approved by the board: Alexis Baker as Boreman Secretary.

In other business, Dave Roberts expressed his concern for the need of an additional PRO officer forTyler County Schools. Highley reported that he was looking into it and would like to attend a Commission meeting to discuss it with the Commissioners. This would allow for an officer at each elementary school along with the high school.

“I just wanted to thank – in the midst of the tragedy that we had last week – the counselors, social workers, and Westbrook,” said Highley, reporting that moving forward, the school is still working to look at the needs of all kids. “We worked as a staff to collect, and we are going put on a dinner for the family after the services, and our social worker has come forward and really worked hard to make sure the funeral expenses are paid for this young man.”

“We also spoke with Michelle Toman who is in the lead in the state with suicide prevention. We ars going to work with her clodely along with Westbrook for some post intervention and look at a program called Sources of Strength that brings all these things together to help the kids,” added Highley.

“The board offers the family our deepest sympathy,” added PJ Wells.

Following this statement, the meeting was adjourned.