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Pride Team Performs For Board Of Education

By Staff | Apr 8, 2009

Cody Hall and Urvi Patel, two members of the Magnolia High School Pride Team, perform an informative skit for the Wetzel County Board of Education Monday evening. (Photo by Bill Abraham)

The Magnolia High School Pride Team presented a skit for the Wetzel County Board of Education meeting April 6 to illustrate its tobacco prevention message-a skit and message it will deliver to MHS and Hundred High School students April 17.

The skit was in the form of a rap parody performed by Pride members Urvi Patel and Cody Hall that included some pretty gruesome facts.

Perhaps the most disturbing information was that tobacco claims 400,000 lives annually in the U.S.-more than the combined death toll from alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, homicide, car accidents, and AIDS.

There also was some good news that smoking cessation has some immediate and long-term health benefits. After 10-15 years of not smoking, the risk of stroke in a smoker is reduced to that of a non-smoker. And, the risk of lung cancer drops by as much as 50 percent after 10 years of not smoking.

The MHS Pride team has approximately 40 members who fund their efforts through yearly dues of $10. Team Advisor Theresa Hoskins noted, “Kids will listen to other kids faster than they will listen to adults.” Superintendent Bill Jones added, “And they are making a difference” in the reduction of substance abuse.

Hoskins also serves as the abstinence coordinator of the Family Resource Network, located at the Wetzel County Center for Children and Families.

Treasurer Jeff Lancaster reported that the school system has received almost $140,000 from state grants and the West Virginia Legislature in previously unbudgeted funds. The largest single share-$90,788-will go toward salary and benefits for the school nurse program.

Another $24,294 was received as Wetzel County’s share of proceeds from a 2003 class-action lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. for unlawful anti-competitive practices. That revenue will go toward hardware supplies.

MHS will receive $10,000 for improvements to its athletic track and another $10,000 will go toward countywide high acuity health needs such as physical therapy and audiology services for special education students.

Nick Zervos, executive director of RESA 6, reminded board members that his agency offers help to county school systems in some 20 different areas, including substance abuse prevention and school nurse programs.

RESA 6 recently funded HAZMAT and first responder safety classes for some 15 Wetzel, Tyler, and Marshall county EMS and fire rescue personnel.

The statewide Regional Educational Services Agencies assists county school systems with personnel expertise and funding in areas of need where there is almost no other source of those resources.

Wetzel County Board of Education Member Willie Baker and Superintendent Jones serve as members of the RESA 6 Advisory Board.

The board approved a revision in its alternative education policy that provides more specific definitions of the responsibilities of classroom teachers, counselors, parents, and alternative education students. It made no operational changes to alternative education procedures.

The board voted to table another policy revision, pending clarification of some details.

Before adjourning, the board approved commencement exercise assignments for members, all of whom will attend all four county graduation ceremonies, as follows: Hundred High School, June 6, 11 a.m.; Paden City High School, June 6, 3 p.m.; MHS, June 4, 8 p.m.; and Valley High School, June 4 at 7 p.m.

Baker will accept the MHS class of 2009 on behalf of the board, while board vice-president Bob Patterson will do the same at Valley.

Board member Linda Ritz will be the board’s official representative at PCHS and member Amy Dieffenbauch will represent the board at Hundred High School.