School board honors athletes, gets update on Paw Paw School
School officials began their January 8 board meeting by recognizing eight Headstart employees for reviving a school volunteer in June 2007.
Receiving the board's Extra Miler Award, were Kathy Ullom, Gerri Haines, Susan Stevens, Dave Griffiths, Kathy Morgan, Lori Woodal, Josi McCumbee and Sharon Hamilton.
Those staff members performed CPR and stabilized volunteer Jim Breeden during his heart attack at the Headstart building last summer. Breeden survived the incident, but passed away January 1, 2008.
In his remarks honoring the staff for their quick response to Breeden, board member David Ambrose said their efforts allowed Breeden to spend another holiday season with his family.
Fall sports successes
Chad Brinegar, athletic director at Berkeley Springs High School, reported to the board about the successes of the school's fall athletic season. Brinegar said it was notable that all sports programs participated in regional playoff events this fall.
Boys' soccer finished with a winning record of 10-11-1 and were both Potomac Valley Conference and Sectional champs.
The girls' soccer team finished with a winning record of 10-9-3 and were also Potomac Valley Conference and Sectional champs.
The high school's golf team finished fifth in the regional playoffs.
The Boy's Cross-Country team won the Potomac Valley Conference championship, were regional champs and finished second in the state championship.
The school's volleyball team had a winning record of 14-10 and were sectional champs.
Two cheerleaders made the Potomac Valley All-Conference team.
The high school's football team finished 9-3 for the season and advanced to the second round of the state play-offs, a first for Berkeley Springs High School.
The girls cross-country team finished third in regional competition, qualified for the state tournament as a team, and celebrated Rachel Buser's fourth straight state championship.
Superintendent David Banks complimented Buser on her class in representing Berkeley Springs High School and Morgan County, and for setting the bar high for others.
Banks presented Buser with a plaque noting her four state titles, and acknowledging that she is only the second girl in West Virginia history to have captured that many titles back-to-back. Buser is a senior this year.
Arts in schools
Mary Hott, Executive Director of the Morgan Arts Council, asked the school board to renew their annual support of the Adopt-a-School program for the current school year.
Hott requested $3,500 as the school's share for the $11,000 program, which brings professional artists into classrooms at the county's eight schools. Two artists – storytellers and a songwriter – have already presented programs this fall. Writing and songwriting workshops are planned for the spring, Hott said.
Hott gave board members a list of all youth art programs run by MAC, including after school arts, dance and theatre classes, summer camp and Art Saturday workshops.
Hott said the group's art offerings serve more than 100 children each year.
Paw Paw update
Superintendent Banks gave board members a rough timeline of renovations planned for Paw Paw Elementary, which was damaged by a fire on Dec. 21. Banks said the repair schedule is aggressive, but intended to get students back into their usual classrooms as soon as possible.
Banks hoped the fourth and sixth graders would return to their classroom by Jan. 16. Special education and fifth grade students could expect to be moved back to their rooms by Jan. 28.
Work on the first, second and third grade rooms will continue into early February, Banks said. The fire began in the third-grade room, which must be gutted and rebuilt.
Treasurer Nancy White said students would be using the outside doors to access their classrooms until renovations made the interior hallway usable again. All interior doors will be sealed until work is completed, White said.
Maintenance Supervisor Tom Grove said the cause of the December fire hadn't been pinpointed. Because it appeared to start in a wall heater, all the heating and air conditioning units in the school have been taken out, inspected and cleaned, Grove said.
The Fire Marshall told Grove that damage to the school was 10% fire and 90% smoke.
David Ambrose asked board members how the lost instructional days at Paw Paw School would affect students. High school students missed two days and elementary students lost four days of school while the facility was being cleaned.
Ambrose wondered if the state would waive test requirements for those students. Banks said the school didn't need to alter their instructional calendar to make up those days.