FOSTER, W.Va – The Boone County Board of Education met with a packed house of close to 100 people Monday, November 28 at 6 p.m. at the Operations Complex.
There were six people signed up to speak at the meeting. These individuals addressed the board with concerns they have about the future of Boone County Schools.
Bonnie Barker a teacher at Sherman Jr High School said as she addressed the board, “Our teachers and our students cannot afford the drastic cuts that will have to be made if no schools are closed. Without closing the smaller schools the majority of the students in the county will endure hardships.”
Questions were raised as to whether there should still be public hearings since the school closures are put on hold for now.
Susan L. Kimbler Boone County Board member said she was in favor of having the public hearings because she had not made up her mind on the issue of closing the schools.
Kimbler also stated to be fair, both sides should be heard.
Kimbler said, “These are hard times, hard times and we all have a love for Boone County and if we can do anything let’s try to pull together let’s find ways to make this work for our county and for our kids.”
Charles J. Gibson Boone County Board vice president said there is not one board member that wants to close a school.
Gibson said, “It’s the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.”
Gibson spoke about the Van students and how they mattered.
Gibson said, “We are trying to make them have a good education as well as everybody else.”
Gibson’s remark about Van students mattering received numerous shouts from the crowd that “Every kid matters!”
Board President Joe S. Tagliente there was not enough support from the board to go through with the school closing recommendations of Superintendent Jeff Huffman at this time.
Tagliente said the hold on the school closures is to see if the economy picks back up.
These decisions were in light of the recent election results for president and governor in November.
Heather Kinder is a reporter for the Coal Valley News. She can be contacted at 304-369-1165 ext. 1661, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @CVN_hkinder