Athletes from Alleghany High School and Covington High School were commended for their athletic achievements by the Alleghany Highlands School Board at its meeting on Mon., Jan. 9.
The Board recognized the AHS girls’ cross-country team for finishing as runner-up in the region and for going on to win the state championship.
The CHS girls’ volleyball team was honored for winning the Pioneer District championship before losing in the first round of the regional tournament to Narrows High School.
CHS Volleyball Coach Mary Tyree, who has retired, was honored for her successful tenure as coach.
In his absence from the meeting, Luke Conner, a football player at CHS, was recognized for being selected as Pioneer District Defensive Player of the Year in addition to making the Pioneer District’s All-District and All-Regional teams.
Teammate Purcell Turner was honored for All-Pioneer District as a wide receiver.
Garrett Via of AHS was recognized for being selected for the All-District Three River and All-Regional Three River teams.
Lorri Saville, a mathematics teacher at Clifton Middle School, spoke during the “Public Comments” section of the agenda, voicing her opposition to the closing of Clifton Middle School in favor of sending students to Covington High School that will serve as Covington Middle School as part of the consolidation agreement that became official on July 1, 2022.
She cited a number of safety concerns before adding, “There will be nothing left of Clifton Middle School, and we were told that wouldn’t happen.”
Saville concluded, “I’ll see you next month.”
Resident Mazie Green expressed her concern regarding the lack of headgear for soccer players, gear that would protect them from brain injuries.
She explained that her son, Noah Green, a former student at AHS who played both soccer and football for the Mountaineers before graduating in 2014, was diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CET) after an autopsy was performed following his death in 2021. He had played football at Glenville State.
Mazie encouraged the Board to provide funding for the proper protective headgear.
John Moser, a resident of Clifton Forge, questioned the Board about the Virginia Lottery funds that the school district receives, and wanted to know how much was being set aside in the school district’s budget to address the needs of children with special needs.
He recommended that some of the money being spent in support of sports be diverted to hiring more teachers to help students with special needs.
Board Chairman Jacob Wright addressed Moser’s concerns by saying, “If you know someone (special education teacher), please let us know because we are looking for educators.”
Eddie Graham, director of the Jackson River Governor’s School (JRGS), presented an overview of the operation and structure of the program.
Sidney Donnan, a student at AHS, shared her experiences as a member of the JRGS and encouraged other students to join the program.
Seth Davis, the AHS boys’ tennis coach, requested that the cracks in the tennis court be repaired prior to tennis season, and Wright responded by telling Davis that he would direct Eric Tyree, director of maintenance and transportation, to make the necessary repairs.
In other business, the Board reported on several information items before approving other action items. All were approved unanimously.
Danielle Morgan was not in attendance as the Board approved minutes from the called meeting on Dec. 6 and the Dec. 12 regular meeting.
Other items approved included the academic calendar, the 2023-2024 curriculum, the Parents for Safe Teen Driving Program, policy regulation due to change in the Va. code 11A-R, and new job descriptions due to merger for a project manager and a secretary for maintenance and transportation.
Superintendent Kim Halterman thanked all present by saying, “Thank you all for coming out in such large numbers to celebrate the athletes.”
Tammy Scruggs-Duncan, a board member, encouraged everyone to, “suit up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
She was referring to the first year of the merger, and she concluded, “We are all here for the right reasons.”
There were no comments during the “Public Hearing” on the 2023-2024 Operating Budget, and the meeting was adjourned for the Board to conduct a closed session at 7:34 p.m.