(04/05/2001)
By Bob Weaver

The presentation of belated diplomas to Calhoun men who went off to war before they completed high school, was undoubtedly the highlight of the Calhoun County Board of Education meeting Monday night. Calhoun was the first county in West Virginia to begin recognizing 700 veterans from West Virginia who qualified. (SEE "Old Soldiers Get Their Due" 4/3)

The Board discussed the use of the old baseball field at Grantsville. Administrator Roger Propst said there are problems with continuing to care for the field and providing lighting. Donnie Pitts said a policy needs to be adopted regarding its use by the community. The Board will discontinue funding the up-keep this year.

"We could still use the old field to play ball," said Propst, apparently referring to the problems with the new field at the Mt. Zion campus.

Discussion focused upon the selling of the "band building" behind the old Grantsville Grade School, placing it on the auction block. A decision is being made to sell the current administrative offices of the Calhoun school system, the old stone cut Grantsville Grade School property, adjacent buildings and playground/parking areas.

A delegation of elementary school teachers approached the Board regarding elementary teacher work days. Currently teachers at Pleasant Hill receive 180 minutes of planning time per week, compared to 450 minutes of planning time at the high school.

Kelli Whytsell, speaking for the group, asked for more time to plan for classes. She said research confirms that adequate opportunities for teacher preparation leads to more effective teaching and learning. The Board will consider the proposal.

Financial administrator Connie Roberts presented the Board with the fiscal year 2000 audit, which contained a minimum number of shortcomings. The Board accepted the audit. Board members Carlene Frederick and Ralph Cunningham gave reports on RESA and the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center.

The Board approved three out-of-state transportation requests, two volunteer agreements for Eleanor Coltabiano (Pleasant Hill) and Teresa Ritchie (Calhoun High School). Two home-school requests for Patricia Vosberg for two students and Eleanor Neilson for a sixth grader.

The resignation of Twila Miller was accepted. Carol Webb and Eleanor Neilson were employed as substitute teachers. The Board made three employment transfers, Catherine Johnson, Aide IV at Calhoun/Middle/High School; Barbara Tingler, Cook III at Calhoun Middle/High School; and Vivian Dye to Arnoldsburg/Calhoun Middle/High School.

The Board approved invoices for $309,531 and the February financial statement. The next meeting will be on April 17 (Tuesday) at the Board office.


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