The Hampshire County Board of Education held a regular meeting, their twelfth (12th) meeting of the 2019-2020 school year, on Monday, November 2, 2020 at the Offices of the Hampshire County Board of Education.

The following Board members were in attendance: Miss Debra Ann Champ, President; Mr. Ed Morgan, Vice President and Mr. Bernard Hott, Mrs. Deadre Rinker and Mr. Matthew Trimble, members.

President Champ called the meeting to order at 6:30 p. m.

Prayer was given by Mrs. Rinker followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Superintendent Pancione recommended that Board members approve the agenda. Mr. Morgan moved approval. Mrs. Rinker made a motion to amend the motion to include adding one item to the personnel schedule (resignation of Louise Skonier, Special Education Teacher at Slanesville Elementary, effective November 6, 2020), move the non-consent agenda Item A (board members will discuss and make a possible decision regarding color coding) to the beginning of the meeting and remove the presentation portion regarding Patty Lipps due to a restricted limitation of individuals at the Board meeting (COVID19 restrictions. ) Mr. Morgan seconded the amended motion that passed unanimously.

Superintendent Pancione shared a highlight.

“This afternoon Hampshire County Schools was recognized as a “Spirit of Giving” recipient. I humbly accepted the award on behalf of the entire staff of Hampshire County Schools. I am fully aware of the collaborative time, effort and unselfishness of our entire system. I am appreciative of the role each person played in enabling Hampshire County Schools to meet the educational and nutritional needs of our students since March and beyond.

“As I read the attached letter/talking points, I quickly became aware of the absence of the central office staff. Our county and I could not have been successful in accomplishing all we were able to do without their expertise, support, and input. The members of the central office staff worked diligently in the mist of the pandemic and I am proud to say we stood together as a team. I am only as successful as those working together with me.

“I want to express my gratitude to you, the employees of Hampshire County and accept this award for all of us for a “job well done” during a difficult time of uncertainty.

I celebrate you as “COVID Heros. ”

Community Foundation remarks

“As you may know, each year the Hampshire County Community Foundation hosts an annual event to highlight and celebrate local individuals who give so much of themselves to make their communities a better place. They go the extra mile because they are committed to doing what’s needed to make the lives of those around them better. We call the event the “Spirit of Giving” and it typically takes place in November. It’s an uplifting and inspiring event that showcases just a few of these remarkable individuals.

 This year the event has been cancelled, as have most in-person gatherings. But our board still wanted to recognize and celebrate this “spirit”, especially during this exceptionally challenging year when we’ve seen it manifested in every segment of the community.

We’ve all witnessed countless examples of individuals, organizations, businesses, and so on, rising to the challenge of navigating unchartered territory and doing so with compassion and perseverance, driven by the ultimate goal of helping our community through this crisis. We’re calling them…to borrow a term that’s used frequently now…COVID Heroes.

And so, this year, in celebration of the Giving Spirit, we recognize and applaud all of our COVID Heroes. Hampshire County is so fortunate to have so many COVID Heroes, but we simply can’t personally recognize them all. So, we asked our Facebook community to share with us who their COVID Heroes are and from there our board selected five to be named our 2020 Spirit of Giving honorees.

How do you provide quality education in a safe and healthy environment during a pandemic? And when providing a safe and healthy environment isn’t an option, how do you also help provide for the nutrition and safety needs of your most vulnerable students? Answer: a team of COVID Heroes.

We all know that tackling the challenges that all school systems have faced and continue to face requires strong leadership, people willing to make tough decisions, and people who will take the initiative to step up and fill a need when they see one. COVID-19 has brought many challenges to our county school system. Challenges that have made the staff and their love for and commitment to our students shine. We recognize that all teachers, transportation staff, central office administration, and each member of the professional and service personnel groups have gone above and beyond as needed to best serve the students of Hampshire County, but we want to share some specific examples that clearly illustrate why the entire school system is deserving of recognition.

“When schools closed due to the pandemic, many people thought the school employees had an early start to their summer. Nothing could be further from the truth. The schools quickly shifted their primary focus from meeting instructional needs of students to meeting the day to day nutritional needs. Cooks came in every day and packaged meals for delivery by our school bus drivers. Teachers, secretarial and janitorial staff, and others assisted with this packaging process. Bus drivers walked up long drive ways looking for students to ensure delivery of lunches. Some lunches were delivered by personal vehicles to make sure that kids who could not make it to a feeding center or to a bus driver because parents were working out of town were fed. Personnel were there and assisting because they love the students and wanted to make sure their most fundamental needs were met. Every week, the process was tweaked. Every week, the needs were met and many, many meals were served; in fact, more than fifteen thousand meals a week were prepared and delivered to students. A wonderful job by the transportation team, our cooks, and all the staff involved!

Teachers are also to be commended for going above and beyond. Not only have they continued to reach out to students to provide educational opportunities, they have also looked beyond those needs. One teacher learned from an extremely troubled student that her family was struggling as a result of her father being laid off due to COVID. The teacher reached out to the community, and delivered clothes, food, and basic supplies to the family. Another teacher “hired” a struggling student to assist with projects over the summer so that he could afford gasoline to travel to the job that he needed to help support his family. There are so many more examples: tutoring sessions for kids who were struggling, teachers who reached out to students to discuss an assignment and ended up just listening to the concerns of the student, the teacher who provided transportation and guidance to a student who was enrolling as a freshman in college, the teacher who spent hours with a student prepping him to take the PSAT, and so many more. It may not have been apparent to many, but teachers continued to meet with and call students, and have virtual classes, to try to ensure that that ground was not lost due to the time out of the classroom for which no one was prepared.

A special recognition must be given to head nurse, Rhonda Dante, who has worked closely with the Health Department to make sure that guidelines were met and that there was a safe way to return to the classroom. Her role has been instrumental in keeping all the staff and students safe and healthy as schools reopened.

Then, there were the hours upon hours of time that Superintendent Jeff Pancione invested – first, to address the sudden school closure in March and then to determine a safe plan to return students this school year. He fully recognized his role to serve the whole student body from the onset and has kept the health and wellbeing of the students and staff at the forefront. His leadership has been outstanding.

We very much regret that we cannot congratulate and say thanks to our honorees with the usual fanfare that a large gathering affords, but hope that the presentations we’re doing individually this week will still carry the same message of sincere appreciation and gratitude. The efforts of our honorees, and the many other Heroes in our community, weave and bind together the fabric of our community and make it stronger. Your leadership, dedication, and resiliency are what so many of us rely on to see us through uncertain times.

In addition to presenting a certificate and a Blenko water bottle, we have also made a grant to the Hampshire County Education Fund, which will be used for our Mini Grants to Teachers program that will take place in early winter. ”

I. APPEARANCES:

The following individuals appeared before the Board:

A. Megan Fuller, Assistant Principal and Volleyball Coach at Hampshire High, requested that Board members abide by state guidelines (regarding color coding for counties) and allow sports program to continue.

B. Trey Stewart, Athletic Director, also requested that Board members abide by state guidelines (regarding color coding for COVID19) and allow all sports to continue.

C. Ed Morgan, Vice President of the Board, shared several e-mails and letters that he had received from concerned parents and members of the community to allow sports to continue (by following state guidelines) and that fairness be shown throughout the county.

D. Daniel Alkire, Teacher and Coach at Hampshire High, asked that Board members consider all students and athletes and the time they expend and to keep sports moving forward.

E. Aaron Rule, Teacher and Coach at Hampshire High, joined others request to abide by state guidelines (regarding the COVID19 virus and color coding). He asked for the continuation of athletics and all other extra-curricular activities.

F. Kari Judy, Athletic Trainer at Hampshire High, requested that Board members allow athletics to continue as per West Virginia Department of Education and WVSSAC rules.

G. Carmen Shane, Teacher at Hampshire High and concerned parent, requested that the Board allow athletics to continue according to state guidelines.

President Champ requested an executive session. Mrs. Rinker moved approval with Mr. Morgan seconding the motion that passed unanimously. Executive session began at 7:03 p. m. When Board members returned, Mrs. Rinker made a motion to return to open session with Mr. Hott seconding the motion that passed unanimously. Open session resumed at 7:29 p. m.

II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Superintendent Pancione recommended that Board members approve the October 19, 2020 Board of Education minutes.

Mrs. Rinker moved approval with Mr. Trimble seconding the motion that passed unanimously.

III. PRESENTATION:

Patty Lipps. Elementary Curriculum/Pre-K Director, was scheduled to discuss her areas of responsibility but due to building capacity restrictions regarding COVID19, her presentation was re-scheduled.

V. NON-CONSENT ITEM: (Moved from the later portion in the meeting).

A. Board members discussed color coding (COVID19 related).

Superintendent Pancione had requested that Rhonda Dante, Lead School Nurse, be present to discuss any concerns the Board might address. Mrs. Dante answered questions and assured Board members that the athletic departments were doing everything correctly. She explained the screening process and stated that she was in constant contact with Stephanie Shoemaker, Director at the Hampshire County Health Department and Superintendent Pancione. “Protocols are being followed. Everyone is doing an amazing job (at keeping students and staff safe)”.

President Champ stated that color coding concerns had been “blown out of proportion” and that people were “making a mountain out of a mole hill”. Mr. Morgan shared that he spoken with a representative from the WVSSAC. All protocols were in order. “Our number one concern is the staff and student safety. We just need to stay vigilant”. Board members dispensed taking any action and removed any approval from the agenda.

IV. CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS:

Superintendent Pancione recommended that Board members approve the followingconsent agenda items for school:

School Items:

The following fundraisers:

Capon Bridge Elementary:

Library Fund: Scholastic book fair

Romney Elementary:

Bingo event

Romney Middle:

Girls’ Basketball: shoot-a-thon

Mrs. Rinker moved approval with Mr. Morgan seconding the motion that passed unanimously.

Superintendent Pancione recommended that Board members approve the following consent agenda item for finance:

B. Finance Items:

1. Bills to be paid

2. Budget revisions

3. Transfer between funds

Mr. Morgan moved approval with Mrs. Rinker seconding the motion that passed unanimously.

Mr. Morgan requested an executive session to discuss a personnel issue. Mrs. Rinker made a motion to move into executive session with Mr. Trimble seconding the motion that passed unanimously. Executive session began at 7:46 p. m. When Board members returned, Mr. Morgan made a motion to regular to regular session with Mrs. Rinker seconding the motion that passed unanimously. Regular session resumed at 8:14 p. m.

Superintendent Pancione recommended that Board members approve the following consent agenda items regarding personnel:

C. Personnel Items:

Transfer and Employment of Professional Personnel:

Employ Shonda Davis, Brian Eglinger and Emily Shockey as Substitute Teachers (001-30) effective November 4, 2020

Employ Karen Corbin as a Professional Support Personnel (PSP) at Augusta Elementary (201-78) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Kelly Duckworth as a Professional Support Personnel (PSP) at Augusta Elementary (201-78) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Brenda Haines as a Professional Support Personnel (PSP) at Augusta Elementary (201-78) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Gwendolyn Kenney as a Professional Support Personnel (PSP) at Capon Bridge Elementary (209-79) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Leroy James as a Professional Support Personnel (PSP) at Capon Bridge Elementary (209-79) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Sharon Ritz as a Professional Support Personnel (PSP) at John J Cornwell Elementary (204-80), effective November 5, 2020.

Employ Shirley Dodson as a Professional Support Personnel (PSP) at Romney Elementary (206-81)

Employ Margaret Kesner as a Professional Support Personnel (PSP) at Romney Elementary (206-81)

Employ James Lewis as a Professional Support Personnel (PSP) at Springfield-Green Spring Elementary (208-82), effective November 5, 2020.

Employ Donna Davis as a Professional Support Personnel (PSP) at Springfield-Green Spring Elementary, effective November 5, 2020

Employ Leisa Iser as a Professional Support Personnel (PSP) at Slanesville Elementary (207-83) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Michelle Poland as a Professional Support Personnel (PSP) at Slanesville Elementary (207-83) effective November 5, 2020

Transfer and employment of Service Personnel:

Employ Hannah Reno as a Substitute Custodian (001-28) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Brianne Berg as a Sign Language Specialist/ Itinerant Classroom Aide/ Transportation Aide at Romney Middle School ((402-53) effective November 4, 2020

Employ Lisa Pyles as an Itinerant Classroom Aide/ Transportation Aide at Augusta Elementary (201-56) effective November 5, 2020

Transfer and Employment of Extracurricular Personnel:

Employ Robert Hott as Assistant Boys’ Basketball Coach at Romney Middle (402-29), effective November 5, 2020.

Employ Jose Medina as Assistant Boys’ Basketball Coach at Capon Bridge Middle (401-43) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Stacey Hill as an After School Tutor at Augusta Elementary (201-45) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Rachel Leatherman as an After School Tutor at Augusta Elementary  (201-45) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Cindy Shriver as a After School Tutor at Augusta Elementary (201-45) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Amanda Beeman as an After School Tutor at John J Cornwell Elementary (204-46) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Robert Colebank as an After School Tutor at John J Cornwell Elementary (204-46) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Sara Dailey as an After School Tutor at Slanesville Elementary (207-48) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Brandon Clark as an After School Tutor at Springfield-Green Spring Elementary (208-49) effective November 5, 2020

Employ Julie Derham as an After School Tutor at Springfield-Green Spring Elementary (208-49) effective November 5, 2020

Resignation of Professional Personnel:

Resignation of Louise Skonier, Special Education Teacher at Slanesville Elementary, effective November 6, 2020.

Resignation of Extracurricular Personnel:

Resignation of Cindy Shriver as Tennis Coach at Hampshire High effective October 27, 2020

Other:

Approve Kelly Rayner to complete 100 hours of clinical observations at Romney Elementary to complete the requirements for a Teacher Preparation Program

Approve the seniority drawing of Substitute Cooks held on 10-20-20, 1- Samantha Barnes, 2- Hannah Reno

Ratify the administration of the paid leave of absence for an Employee of Hampshire County Schools (Joe Mueller, School Bus Operator).

Approve the Leave of Absence of Janel Pancione, Teacher at Romney Elementary, from approximately February 28, 2021 through June 4, 2021. This falls under State and Federal guidelines.

Approve the Leave of Absence of Avila Wilson, Music Teacher at Hampshire High and Capon Bridge Middle, from approximately November 4, 2020 through June 4, 2021. This falls under state and federal guidelines.

 Volunteers:

Capon Bridge Elementary- Nancy Hott and Tammy Michael

Capon Bridge Middle- Judson Eversole and Tina Eversole

John J. Cornwell Elementary - Tabitha Hock, Leana Timbrook and James Lewis

Romney Elementary- Brittany Clark, Grant Clark and Stephanie Pryor

Springfield Green Spring Elementary- Linda Alkire, Jennifer Amrhine, Brittany Ayers, Jennifer Bidinger, Michael Bidinger, Kim Bishoff, Natasha Buckley, Nick Buckley, Derek Burkett, Sandy Burkett, Jennifer Deurr, Shelley Everett, Elissa Foley, Leslie Harris, Tara Heh, Alana Holmes, Jessica Imperio, Amanda Koontz, Wanda Koontz, James Lewis, Brian Malcolm, Stephanie Malcolm, Dorothy Meadows, Jenny Messick, Emily Milleson, Joe Milleson, Kim Morris, Jessica Riggleman, Monica Ritchie, Sharon Ritz, Crystal Sandridge, Emily Shanholtz, Penne Shanholtz, Amie Smith, Lindsey Snyder, Ashley Wilson, Steve Wilson, Dwane Wotring and Julie Wotring

Transportation: Teresa Ramsay

Mr. Morgan moved approval with Mr. Trimble seconding the motion that passed unanimously.

V. NON-CONSENT ITEM: (Continued)

B. Board members discussed and made a decision regarding excess real estate (Lovett’s Flat, land beside John J. Cornwell Elementary and land beside Springfield-Green Spring Elementary).

Mr. Trimble made a motion to sell excess real estate. Mr. Morgan amended the motion to include selling the property at a public auction with a reasonable asking price after surveys of John J. Cornwell Elementary and Springfield-Green Spring Elementary were completed. Mr. Trimble seconded the amended motion that passed unanimously. It was decided that further discussion was needed to set minimums for bidding. A work session was scheduled to discuss this item as well as other items. (Thursday, November 12, 2020. )

VI. OTHER:

Mr. Hott shared his thoughts on color coding. “I don’t understand where the idea came from that we were going to shut down (athletics). As far as I am concerned, I will always follow CDC and WVSSAC rules and guidelines as well as the health department and Rhonda Dante (Lead School Nurse). I will always follow the rules”.

President Champ commented that “reckless was not a word that was spoken. There is no vendetta. We will stay focused on our kids (students)”.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:24 p. m.

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