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Board of ed discusses improvement projects


KINGWOOD — The Preston County Board of Education met Monday in regular session with one board member, Jeff Zigrey not present.

The secure front entryway and exterior door projects scheduled at Preston High School this summer have been combined for bidding purposes to elicit a greater number of bids for the project, according to Superintendent Bradley Martin’s report. Three vendors have submitted bids for the project, with Veritis being the successful bidder.

R.M. Hunter has been contacted to provide quoting for bleacher replacement for the PHS gym. According to Martin, the likely timeline for this work is spring 2024.

Nutritionist Beth Doerr told board members from last August to present that 256,000 breakfasts and 354,000 lunches have been served to students. She said these numbers represent a 41% participation in breakfast and 51% participation in lunches.

Board member Lucas Tatham said he would like to see more home-cooked food come back into the lunchroom. Doerr said it is not feasible at this time because the schools are low on staff. She said the staff is providing as much low-processed and unprocessed food as currently possible.

No further action was taken.

Laura Shaffer, director of Attendance and Student Support Services said Preston High School has seen a decrease in attendance due to COVID and students becoming accustomed at being at home. She said she is currently working with the state to remove students who are past graduation date or age 18 from the rolls.

“We’re also sending a letter letting them know they are able to come back if they can graduate by the age of 21,” she said. “September is attendance month and we have banners, signs and activities for students. We’re ready to go.”

Shaffer said 3% to 4% of truant or chronically absent cases are sent to magistrates court. She said previously a student attending first period was listed as present for the day. Shaffer said this is no longer the case, as they are now only credited with the amount of time they are physically in attendance.

Board members also recognized the Grade 9-12 Young Writer’s Awards Winners. In grade 9–10, poetry winners were 1st place, Colson Manko; 2nd place, Anna Maxwell; 3rd place, Olivia Coombs; and Zachary lynch and Kaden Hayes, honorable mention.

Grade 9-10 Prose: 1st place, Julya Johnson; 2nd place, Lindsey Kitchen ; 3rd place, Noah Humphrey; Damian Rumer, honorable mention.

Grade 11–12 prose: 1st place, Taryn Veltri; 2nd place, Koty Trenum; 3rd place, Simon Ratcliff; Bentley Livengood, honorable mention.

Also recognized was the PHS qualifiers and all-state winners from the West Virginia State Wrestling Championships.

Qualifiers were Robbie Lowe, Dylan Haskiell, Noah Shaffer and Gavin Garlits. All state were Owen Klimas and Cole Turner. Head coach is Brad Reed.

PHS State FFA Degree Recipients recognized were Averi Adams, Brynna Bishoff, Madison Bolyard, Alex burns, Kendall Clark, Melvin Harsh, Isabelle Hauser, Heather Hayes, Carson Kidwell, Eilzabeth Larew, Emily Moreland Marli Phillips McKenna Riley, Sophia Saurino, Emily Shillingburg and Carson Stone.

North Central Region FFA Creed Contest Winner was Ben Price; Large tractor driving contest was 1st place Carson Stone and Rick Deal; Zero turn mower competition winners were Kenzie Clark and Brett Bennett.

The next meeting of the Preston County Board of Education will be at 6 p.m. May 24 at the Preston County BOE Boardroom.

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