Board Honors Teacher Of Year
Wetzel County Teacher of the Year Alison Fluharty was recognized by the Wetzel County Board of Education Monday with a plaque and kind words from Superintendent Bill Jones. She is a science teacher at New Martinsville School.
Jones cited Fluharty’s description of teaching as a “wonderful and fulfilling profession. There is self-satisfaction in many components, from former students returning to share stories to seeing the enthusiasm generated as new concepts are developed and learned.”
Fluharty became a full-time teacher in Wetzel County in 2000, after seven years of substituting that began in 1993. She holds a baccalaureate degree in secondary education and the Master of Science Degree, both from West Virginia University.
She serves on the staff of the West Virginia Department of Education Teacher Leadership Institute and has trained extensively in project-based learning. Fluharty is noted for classrooms that incorporate activities to fulfill the needs of all students. She also is recognized as a devoted wife and mother.
In separate action, the board approved Fluharty as 7/8 grade boys’ track coach at NMS for the 2009-10 WVSSAC season.
Some 25 members of the Paden City Foundation Inc. appeared with President Rodney McWilliams to update the board on its Cornerstone Project’s campaign to increase enrollments in Paden City Schools.
As a result of that initiative, McWilliams said, student enrollment in Paden City schools increased by 14 students this year, compared with a decline of 70 students in other attendance areas of the county.
He also noted that the project is working with the Paden City High School Local School Improvement Council to identify needs of students and faculty and to allocate funding to “ensure a quality education for the students of Paden City’s schools.”
The foundation, the Paden City Boosters organization, and other constituent groups are noted for passionate support of the local school system.
In a national landscape where local influence increasingly is being pushed aside for more centralized control, the foundation and the county school board may share common concerns.
The board set March 25, 2010, for a public hearing on the county’s Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan, which includes a proposal to consolidate PCHS with Magnolia High School in the 2012-13 school year. The Paden City Foundation opposes that proposal, which is only one of several in the document.
The two-volume CEFP is available for inspection at the county office, 333 Foundry St., New Martinsville, and at PCHS. It contains the recommendations of a committee composed of teachers, administrators, board members, community leaders, representatives of county government, and others who began meeting in December 2008.
Treasurer Jeff Lancaster reported some $100,000 in new funding for the county school system, with $56,000 of it coming from a state Community Participation Grant that supports capital improvements at the county’s eight schools.
Another $34,500 state funding was received for the Reading First program at Short Line School, while $3,000 will go for classroom projects at NMS.
A state appropriation of $90.90 also was received for the “Bugle Fund” that promotes the playing of taps for military funerals by students.
Director of Ancillary Services Brian Jones told the board that nine of the 15 busses taken out of service by state inspectors last month have been returned to service and that six are awaiting re-inspection Dec. 16.
Twenty-six of the county’s fleet of 43 vehicles passed the routine inspection, which had been moved up one week because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Jones said there was no disruption of service during the outage.
“Our mechanics work very hard, very long hours to make sure our busses are safe for our students,” he added.
The board passed on first reading a policy revision to include unauthorized over-the-counter and prescription drugs to substances prohibited on school property. Those classifications were not included in a similar state policy adopted several years ago.
The revision goes to a second and final vote at the board’s next regularly-scheduled meeting, 7 p.m., Dec. 21, at the county office building.
Before adjourning, the board approved a number of personnel and staffing changes, including the retirements of four professional and service employees.