The Wetzel County Commission voted Tuesday to match approximately $12,500 in grant funds for Valley High School's Prevention Resource Officer Donald Bordenkircher.
Jessica Stine, Valley High School's principal, stated that the school's PRO program focused on reducing tobacco referrals last year, along with decreasing disrespectful conduct. "The areas we have focused on have been reduced, so we believe having the PRO is effective," she stated.
Stine stated that Bordenkircher stays "very visible." "When we have lunches and breakfasts and assemblies, he's visible and walking around the school. Stine stated that she uses Bordenkircher as security as well, and he also goes with her to visit parents' homes when necessary.
"He does a lot of Big Brother types of things as well," she noted. "He's in gym classes and does mentoring for young men and young ladies. You'd be surprised how many things I have to bounce off of him, just to get a second opinion."
Stine added that she has not had any repeat offenders for tobacco use in the school. "When we have a person caught with cigarettes or snuff, Deputy Bordenkircher meets with them and talks about how this is not just a school rule. This is the law. If you are caught again, you will be fined and brought to court. That is a huge deterrent."
Chief Deputy Mike Koontz, who was also present for the meeting, stated that Bordenkircher assumes the duties of a normal deputy when school is not in session.
The Wetzel County Commission agreed to support the grant again for the year. Stine noted that she was going to speak with the Wetzel County Board of Education soon, regarding their support. Last year, the difference between the PRO grant funds received and what Bordenkircher's salary and benefits were, was split between the commission.