Members of the Upshur County Board of Education honored Howard J. Johns Tuesday for his four-month stint on the board filling the unexpired term of Keith Nichols, who resigned to seek a spot on the Upshur County Commission.
Johns was presented a plaque of appreciation for stepping up to the plate to fill out the unexpired term with dedication and concern.
"I would like to thank Howard for his dedication," Superintendent of Upshur County Schools Dr. Scott Lampinen said.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Clise
Howard J. Johns, front right, receives accolades from Upshur County Board of Education members for his four-month stint on the board, filling the unexpired term of Keith Nichols, who resigned to seek a spot on the Upshur County Commission. Board president Patrick Long presents Johns with an appreciation plaque.
All board members echoed Lampinen's thoughts on Johns' service on the board.
"It's really been a pleasure," Johns said. "Maybe some day down the road I can be of some help."
Johns expressed his hopes for the future success of the new middle school project moving forward.
Lampinen also gave the board an overview of the recently concluded school year.
"There are so many good things to talk about, and there are some concerns," Lampinen said.
Enrollment has been stable this year with drop-out numbers lower than in past years.
Second month enrollment figures showed 3,863 students attending school in the county. That number dropped off slightly during the 10-month report to 3812.
"We usually lose students over the course of the year, but this year we did have a gain over last year's loss," Lampinen said.
As a system 351 professionals are employed; 202 service personnel are employed and more than 200 substitutes in a variety of areas are employed.
Lampinen reported 59 percent of all students are eligible for free or reduced lunches.
The lunch after first breakfast program has increased the food service program between 200 and 300 percent this year.
Average daily attendance for 2011 came in at 94 percent. Lampinen said the administration is very pleased with that attendance rate.
In 2011 there were 178 students enrolled in advanced placement classes, which is up from 143 in 2010.
All schools are fully accredited for 2011.
Other accomplishments included Rachel's Challenge being implemented into all schools; the planting of 400 trees; the installation of a guardrail at Buckhannon-Academy Elementary School; increased student recognition but by the board; and the implementation of a variety of grants to help athletics, academics, and facilities.
Lampinen said he would like to see an ROTC program be considered at the high school.
The big development of the year was a $1 million grant that will be combined with $1.4 million in local funds for $2.4 million in improvements to county schools and facilities over the next few years.