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Board approves one-year contract extension for Superintendent

On February 16, the Braxton County Board of Education conducted a regular meeting. It was called to order at 6:00 pm by Board President DeAnna Whipkey. Vice President David Hoover led those in attendance with a non-denominational opening prayer.
At the very end of the meeting the board convened in executive session at 8:20 pm to discuss the superintendent contract. At 9:58 pm, they reconvened bringing the total hours of discussion on the topic to nearly eight in recent weeks. On February 12, the board conducted a special meeting to complete the superintendent evaluation. The board approved the one-year contract extension for Superintendent Kathy Hypes. The terms of that contact were not disclosed and are reportedly still being resolved.
The meeting began with the recognition of the WV STEM-minded Educator Grant recipients, Katrina Dennison, Frametown, Alicia McPherson, BCMS, and Anita Lambert, BCMS. McPherson will be providing power kits for each child to build their own electrical circuit. Lambert will be using the grant to conduct an engineering project in which the students will build derby cars. Dennison’s project will be building a better egg basket for an egg drop contest.
Jami Hefner, a high school educator, requested to speak to the board. She said a letter had been sent to the board on behalf of the staff at the high school. She wanted to inform the board that not all staff was aware of the letter and/or agreed to it.
Superintendent Kathy Hypes gave the board an update on COVID-19. As of the meeting, 127 employees had received both doses of the vaccine. She also reviewed the new quarantine guidelines for those who have received the vaccine.
Dr. Leatha Williams, Director of Food Services, provided board members with new WV P-EBT facts. Benefits are for school children that participate in the National School Lunch program and issuance of the benefits will begin mid-March. Families do not have to apply for the program. Data from the school is used to determine benefit eligibility.
Brenda Wells, Facilities Director, spoke to the board about an issue at Burnsville Elementary. She had Chris Campbell from ZMM Architects on TEAMS to discuss a joist in a corridor at the school that will need to be corrected. He recommended not using that corridor as much as possibly until a contractor could be secured and the joist reinforced.
Director Wells also discussed the heating issues in some of the classrooms at the high school and what was being done to correct the problems.
Anita Lambert, Career Readiness teacher at BCMS, spoke to the board about the program at the middle school. As part of the class, she teaches career exploration as well as life skills. The class have developed their own job simulation, a mobile book delivery service the Knightly Reader.
Both Braxton County High School and Frametown Elementary School did their LSIC presentations during the meeting. The schools updated the board on benchmark testing, attendance, and programs taking place in the facilities for the students.
Under regular business, the board approved the following consent agenda items: approval of minutes of special meeting February 2 and February 2 regular meeting; payment of bills; and budget transfers and supplements.
The following professional, service, and extracurricular personnel recommendations were approved by the board: the resignations for Timothy Huffman, retirement, physical education teacher, Flatwoods, Donna Lambert, retirement, Title I/Data Coach, Frametown, Patty Montgomery, retirement, second grade teacher, Flatwoods, Donna Booher, retirement, first grade teacher, Flatwoods, Brandon Hines, Brenden Gum, school bus operator and substitute custodian, Charles McCumbers, school bus operator, Amber Byrd, substitute custodian and cook, and Jerry Frame, head baseball coach, BCHS; and the leave of absence for Tamyra Cundiff, unpaid medical leave.
After a brief discussion of the BCMS fundraiser for bleacher replacement in the gym, the board approved the fundraisers as they were presented. Also approved was the Linguacare contract for speech therapy services for the remainder of the school year.
The board briefly discussed the first reading of Policy 2325: Homeschool Instruction. Superintendent Hypes stated this was to repeal and replace the previous policy. The policy will be out on public comment for 30 days.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:59 pm. The next regular meeting is scheduled for March 2 at 6:00 pm. The board now has resumed a limited in-person meeting in addition to the live stream. The in-person meeting will be limited to 25. If attending in-person, please arrive 15, minutes prior to the start of the meeting. All attendees will be required to wear a face covering. If you want to address the Board, either in-person or virtually, send an email to carolyn.lewis@k12.wv.us by 4:00 pm on March 2.

Commission supports
GVFD grant application

During last week’s Braxton County Commission meeting Paula Cunningham ask Commissioners to support a grant application through Homeland Security that the Gassaway Volunteer Fire Department was applying for. The representative explained that the support would not obligate the Commission for any monetary donation but could help the GVFD in the application process. The department is applying for $187,000 to buy new SCBAs (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus). Larry Clifton made a motion to provide a letter of support for the fire department.

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Arraignments, sentencings
highlight Circuit Court activity

The Honorable Richard A. Facemire recently completed several court orders in the Braxton County Circuit Court. Braxton County Prosecuting Attorney Jasmine R.H. Morton represented the state during these proceedings.

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Burnsville Lake hosts online photo contest

On Groundhog Day, February 2nd, the Burnsville Lake, US Army Corps of Engineers announced via Facebook their most recent online photo contest.

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