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Board Names Fluharty Teacher Of The Year

By Staff | Nov 4, 2009

New Martinsville School teacher Alison Fluharty, right, was named Wetzel County Teacher of the Year at a board of education meeting Nov. 2 at NMS. At left is the school’s principal, Fay Shank, who presented Fluharty with flowers of appreciation to mark the occasion. (Photo by Bill Abraham)

New Martinsville School science teacher Alison Fluharty was named Wetzel County Teacher of the Year Nov. 2 during a board of education meeting at New Martinsville School.

She was introduced by NMS Principal Fay Shank, who presented her with a bouquet of flowers in recognition of the occasion. Fluharty joined the Wetzel County School System in September 2000 and was previously assigned to Paden City High School.

Prior to the introduction, the Magnolia High School Choir presented a resonant a cappella selection under the direction of music education teacher Amanda McPherson, who also is the school’s band director.

The board unanimously approved a request from Hundred High School to join the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference. All four of the county’s high schools are now OVAC members. HHS Athletic Director Myron Seese said the OVAC membership “will bring additional recognition for students,” although the Hornets already play most of the schools in the conference.

Hundred will retain its membership in the Mason-Dixon Conference, where Paden City High School and Valley High School also hold OVAC seats.

The newly-formed Magnolia High School Choir performed an a cappella musical selection for the Wetzel County Board of Education meeting Nov. 2 at New Martinsville School. The choir is under the direction of Amanda McPherson. (Photo by Bill Abraham)

At this, the last of the board’s four “traveling meetings” of the school year, it heard reports from the principals and LSICs of NMS and MHS, all of whom spoke of continued efforts in the 2009-10 school year to meet AYP standards as measured by the new WesTest2.

Shank noted that NMS has never met AYP. The largest elementary school in the county, NMS also has a greater number of students with disabilities, which pulls down average scores in key WesTest categories of reading, language arts, and mathematics. However, Shank also noted that NMS scores equal or surpass those of other elementary schools in the county and state-although they are short of mastery level.

In teacher assessments and evaluations-other measures of student achievement-Shank said all students, including those with disabilities, continue to make progress; faculty and staff continue efforts to meet AYP.

New this year at NMS is a 10-member 7-8 grade Student Council, whose purpose was explained by LSIC student member Shelby Sands as an effort to engage students in support of the school’s core values and overall improvement. Two additional students represent the student body for the LSIC.

Although the council struggles with limited meeting time, it has met three times and has planned a number of school events this year, including field trips, dances, canned food drives, and pep rallies. In addition, the council supports teacher pay increases.

Also new at NMS is a school-wide literacy leadership team that will identify strategies to strengthen students’ WesTest performance. It also will continue participation in Dynamics of Early Literacy Skills, or DIBELS, program.

Shank also noted that the continued incorporation of 21st Century Skills into daily lessons remains a priority. She cited a number of ways teachers are implementing the skills, including weekly student access to computer labs, utilizing Accelerated Math and Accelerated Reading programs and the use of Differentiated Instruction techniques in all classes.

The MHS LSIC introduced a new wellness initiative Oct. 21 school assembly at which all students and faculty were given pedometers donated by the Health Plan, which also donated $5,000 for the school’s wellness programs.

The objective of the pedometers is to encourage students and faculty to walk the equivalent of the 2,178-mile Appalachian Trail. The first homeroom to reach the goal will receive t-shirts.

Additionally, Wetzel County Hospital administration and staff, the school nurse, and a registered dietician are combining to support the school’s wellness class that promotes healthy eating and exercise, as well as addresses abusive relationships, drug abuse, and teen mental health issues.

LSIC President JoBeth Simmons noted that the word “benchmarks” has been added to MHS core beliefs. The concept of benchmarks, Simmons said, will help students stay “above the line” in meeting established goals and prevent them from falling behind.

MHS Assistant Principal Marilyn McWhorter said her school continues programs to remediate students who are coming in under the line in math and reading, including one-on-one tutoring sessions that are available daily at 7:30 a.m. during the week.

The school also is working with New Martinsville Chief of Police Tim Cecil to establish an Officer in the School program and to find grant funding for it.

Members of the New Martinsville School LSIC are: James Hoskins, Minerva Evans, Lillian Pierce, Bruce Ensinger, Dave Tallman, David Shank, Jill Fox, Pam Shockley, Pam Chapman, Patricia Bland, Jeanie Deem, Linda Fonner, Teresa Standiford, Alison Fluharty, Linda Hill, Margaret A. Roberts, Alison Toman, Amanda McPherson, Carolyn Zepuhar, Pam Brill, Trisha Mensore, Shelby Sands, and Catherine Ensinger.

LSIC members at Magnolia High School are Eva Rogalski, Mark Lemasters, Sadonna Kimble, Sandy Hinerman, Kathy Madden, Janey Longwell, Lee Jackson, Kellie Stackpole, Tim Cecil, Michael Shank, Jackie Patterson, JoBeth Simmons, Krysten Miller, Rebecca Patterson, Danny Westfall, Vicki Natali, David Kimble, and Mary Calvert.

The board set Nov. 16 and Dec. 7 for its next regularly scheduled meetings, to be held at 7 p.m. at the county office building, 333 Foundry St., New Martinsville.