“Out of 45 slots to go to the National Academic Challenge, Logan County Schools had 24 of the 45,” Zigmond said at yesterday’s Logan County Board of Education meeting in West Logan.
The news received a loud ovation from the board members and people in attendance at the meeting. Zigmond said the national competition will take place at Oglebay Park in Wheeling this summer.
She said the Math Field Day was also a success. It was held this week in the county and awards were handed out yesterday by Phyllis Adkins and Jan Hanlon. The Math Field Day team will be competing in the upcoming regional competition at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.
“It’s just a real exciting time,” Zigmond said.
Board members gave reports on last week’s state board training session. Mark McGrew, Phyllis Adkins, Bill Davis and Dr. Pat Joe White all attended the training session, along with Zigmond.
“We got a lot of good information from the state, especially from the governor, about some of the stuff they plan to do and some of the changes they propose to make,” McGrew said. “It’s really going to help the schools systems across the state. I look forward to working with (Earl Ray Tomblin) as governor so we can continue to get our test scores up and keep us going in the right direction. I think the state is going in the right direction — especially Logan County.”
Board Member Bill Davis agreed with McGrew about the training session.
“We had a good turnout and a good program,” Davis said. “Dr. Mark Manchin, we got some words from him about the (School Building Authority).”
Adkins said she believes the training is helping move education forward.
White said he is pleased that Gov. Tomblin signed legislation this week taking care of the other post-employment benefits, which will put the burden of funding OPEB on the state and free up money in each county to use toward better education for students.
“I think we can all finally breathe a sigh of relief,” White said. “That has been, in my short time on the board and I know throughout the years, that has really been a burden on school boards. Hopefully, that will free up some of that money in reserve and we’ll be able to look toward things we have had to hold back on.”
Zigmond said Gov. Tomblin received two standing ovations during the state training because of signing the OPEB legislation.
“We’re so excited about that,” Zigmond said. “He talked about the economic status of West Virginia and he really, really presents himself well and Mrs. Adkins and I got to accompany him to the podium and we got to sit on the podium while he spoke, since he is a Logan County boy and we were representing Logan County.
“It was a real good meeting. Dr. Jorea Marple spoke about the education of the whole child and things that are coming up and things we need to address with 21st Century Learning. Dr. Mark Manchin did speak on the School Building Authority and we are going to present to the School Building Authority, but, you know there is a lot of good projects and only X number of dollars.”
Zigmond said the Logan County School Board plans to ask for a new Logan Elementary School, and, if they get turned down, they will ask again at a later date. Burgess asked if substitute teachers can stay in a job for more than the allotted 140 days if no one else applies for that particular job. Board Attorney Leslie Tyree said if there is a critical need, the substitute can work past the 140 days.
“I think they’re going to be able to stay without any problem, as long as it’s language arts and that’s critical need,” Tyree said. “Now, if it’s Kindergarten or P.E., that’s a little hard to suggest that that’s critical need.”
Congratulations and well-wishes were handed out at yesterday’s Logan County Board of Education meeting to kids involved in Math Field Day, Academic Challenge and basketball and wrestling tournaments. McGrew started the comments by wishing good luck to the local basketball and wrestling teams in the sectional tournaments. Currently, both girls and boys sectional tournaments are in progress and Logan High School has two wrestlers in the state competition. The other board members followed suit with well wishes and congratulations. White congratulated the Math Field Day winners and wished them well in the upcoming regional competition. He also wished the basketball teams and wrestling team good luck in the tournaments. Adkins praised the Math Field Day students for their hard work and achievement.
“Some of them there, I remember seeing them in fourth grade,” Adkins said. “It always makes you cry to see these students doing so well. Some of them I had in kindergarten.”
A decades-old policy was questioned at the meeting. White asked about a policy that states that local vendors to the Logan County BOE are to get a 5 percent discount. State law does not allow giving a discount to any vendors, but the county BOE policy had not been changed to reflect that.
“If this is an erroneous statement, then we need to change our policy,” White said. “The reason I bring this to everybody’s attention, in the past, there have been several concerns related to policies, be it related to this or be it to different things. We have asked that we get Neola to come back here and to meet with us in a special session to review these policies, and I definitely, after doing this, I definitely think it’s a critical need. As board members, we are responsible for making sure our policies are implemented and I don’t want to implement a policy that is wrong.”
Logan County Schools Treasurer John Brennan said the state wrote a new purchasing policy 10 years ago for county BOEs so that all the policies would be the same.
“We’re not allowed to give a 5 percent preference,” Brennan said.
White said the notation on the policy was in 1999, making it nearly 13 years since the policy was updated.
“As a board member, I am requesting that, very soon, we set up a meeting and have the people from Neola come back in here and sit down with us and review these policies,” White said. “We want to do actions on policies that are right.”
Neola is a company that has been hired to come in and update any policies that have been changed over the years. Zigmond said the policy will be changed as soon as the entire county policy book is typed into a template given to the BOE by Neola.
“Neola has sent us templates and we are the in the process of getting the policies into the templates,” Zigmond said. “But, it takes awhile. That’s a big policy manual.”
Burgess agreed that the work is time consuming and too much for one person to handle. “It’s a monster,” Burgess said.
To contact Staff Writer Michael Browning, call 304-752-6950, extension 309, or email him at email@example.com.