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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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March 28, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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March 28, 2012
 

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! Wednesday, March 28, 2012 N ews Spirit of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE Court FROM PAGE A1 with the he.lpof area attomeys. "The students will have reviewed the cases, the cases are actually argued, and then we make sure we render our decision before school is out, so the students will understand what happened in the case," Davis said. "The students are very opinionated. They choose a side, and they are very adamant about their position on the case." Davis said more 5,000 students have participated in the program to date. "It teaches the students about our government, about our third branch of government- the judicial branch - and how important our job is, became the law that we hand down is the law for the entire state of West Virginia," Davis said. "These are real cases that are being decided by our court. We try to choose cases that will be interesting to high school students." The Supreme Court reviewed four cas s Tuesday. One involved a DUI in which five people were killed and seven more were injured. A second involved a man accused of armed robbery tho claimed evidence against him was gathered in an illegal search and seizure. A'third is an appeal of a parole violation. and the final case is an appeal of a felony murder and child neglect case. "It's an oppommity for our court to be able to show the entire state of West Virginia what we do. so that everybody doesn't always have to come to Charleston. We're delighted to be in the Eastern Panhandle." Davis said. Supreme Cou lauds Spirit Staff CHARLES TOWN -- The Jeffe ou County Board of Education attendance rates for last :year was 98.98 percent, an mapressive number though the West which laud, "We have been woddng very hard on working very hard on:I must credit a lot of people,- parents, Students, teachers, principats." Jefferson County Schools attendance director Sherry credits ist Stacey Catro with her researche a stu. dent problems, where she uncovers such issues as homelessness,medical and den- tal issues or even lackof school clothing or supplies. All of which, can an ex- cuse for a student not to attend school. * 8 he follows up wheal she sees they have missed too many excused and un- excused days;? Hall said. Wall said all personnel are trained to look out for students who are struggling; "We have done a systemwide educa- 'tion with our staff to help our students a success' Wall said. Statistics on attendance were sent to the ton. "We couldn't be more proud" Wall said. Board FROM PAGE A1 "The basic of all human relations is to treat everybody fairly and respectfully. And I think that's what this board has done," Kable said. "I think we brought the morale of the system back to where it ought to have been. We've had a few bumps here lately, but those will work out." Kable said recent teacher and service personnel layoffs, called RIFs, have been effective at keeping the county schools' books balanced. "In a system such as the Eastern Panhandle, funding is always an issue. Right now I don't think it is the most pressing issue," Kable said. "Contrary to what people are telling you, there is no deficit. We do have less money to work with for next year. We have been reducing staff and positions for the last three years." Jim Jenkins, who taught .science in Jefferson County Schools before going on to teach at the SmithsoRian Institute and Shepherd University, said he was spurred into action by recent teacher pay cuts and layoffs. "With the recent RIFs and pay reductions - I thought that was intolerable. I wrote to all the members of the board concerning my thoughts. I received responses from two." he said. "We need to do budgetary planning effectively so we don't have the disaster that just occurred." Jenkins also argued for giving teachers more autonomy in the classroom and higher pay. "I'm increasingly concerned with bureaucratic dictates from Washington, Charleston and Charles Town that have the effect of interfering in education. Teachers need to be more in charge of what goes on," Jenkins said. "Cost of living allowance is imperative for teachers here - not locality pay. It costs more to live here. We should be paid accordingly." "To improve the relationship with teachers, we simply need to do things that work. Teachers these days spend an inordinate amount Jim Jenkins of time testing, recording, in ,olved in stylistic innovation thai has no impadt on student achievement." Laurie Ogden, the mother of several Jefferson County students. past president of both booster organizations and her Parent Teacher Organization, said her experience as a parent will bring an important perspective to the board. "I am running for the board because of my children and for my community," Ogden said. "I feel I am uniquely qualified for the position because I have so many children." Ogden said the most pressing issue for the school system is resolving falling tax revenues. "The most pressing issue right now is, honestly, to find out how we can go from a $5.5 million deficit to a not having a financial crisis,'"'We have a 100 percent excess levy (and) track money funds for both lottery and table BRYAN CLARK Candidates for the Jefferson County Board of Education gathered at Jefferson High School to express their views on the future of education in the county games. We should be number one in our state at the very least And our state should clearly not be 49th in the country." She said she would also emphasize social issues facing students. "Teen pregnancy, drugs, social issues - those are big issues for me," she said. Mark Osbourn. a Jeferson County educator with 38 years experience and retiring principle of C.W. Shipley Elementary School. said the board should focus on resolving financial difficulties and getting input from teachers on policy. "Our biggest problem right now is managing the budget and finding a way we can live within its parameters and project in future years ahead so we don't have abrupt adjustments. Our public looks to us for leadership and stability, and we have not shown that," Osbourn said "We improve relations with our teachers by involving them. I feel two years ago teachers, service personnel and principals were involved in the budget, and we had quite a bit we were able to say about the budget. When we get into a panic situation, I didn't feel that we had the near input," he said. Osbourn also said he thinks expectations should be raised for all students. "In No Child Left Behind. I think our primary focus was on low-achieving students. I think our primary focus has to be on high expectations for all students," he Mark Osbourn said. Former board member Lori Stilley said she decided to run again because she was "deeply concerned" with budget shortfalls and the resulting layoff of over 60 teachers and service personnel. "Please understand that this school board knew in 2009 that the excess levy funds were decreasing, and this budget shortfall never should have occurred." Stilley said. "The bottom line is that we started the year needing $88 million to get through the school year, as we have in the past. We were $5 million short of being able to do that." She promised to work to restore the TEAM teaching program in Jefferson County middle schools. which she said has been endangered by layoffs and funding cuts. "We lost funding for the middle school TEAM leaders, which has a detrimental effect on the TEAM approach which is important to children at that grade level," Stilley said. Stilley promised to focus on long- range financial planning, local professional development programs and increasing transparency on the school board. Tom Delauney, an area air- conditioning technician, said he hopes to bring a working-class, perspective to the board. "I'm running because I'd like to give, maybe, a blue-collar perspective to the decisions that the board of education has to make. I don't want to say uneducated, but more of a vocational education somebody that gets their hands dirty and knows what it's like to Lori Stilley work out in the trenches." Delauney said he wo~ld work to restore public perception of the board. "The faith of the community. needs to be restored in the board of education because, from what I heard, they've kind of lost faith with them." He also promised to be responsive to popular demands. "I may think we need to paint the clouds green, but if I get three or 400 people calling me saying, 'No. we want purple clouds,' I'm gonna vote for purple clouds. It's not really what I think. It's what the community, the teachers, the service personnel, the volunteers think." Delauney said. Established 1844 r w JEFFERSON "'No government ought to be without censors and where thepress is free, no one ever will." -- Thomas Jefferson www.spiritofjefferson.corn PUBLISHED EACH WEDNESDAY BY The Jefferson Publishing Co. Inc. PUBLISHER !. Craig See MANAGING EDITOR Robert Snyder editor@spiritofjefferson.com EDITORIAL STAFF Bryan Clark, Reporter bryan@spiritofjefferson.com Robert Smith, Reporter - news@ spiritofjefferson.com Christine Miller Ford, Life & Business Editor christine @spiritofjefferson.com Bob Madison, Sports Editor : sports@ spiritofjefferson.com BUSINESS STAFF Jennifer See, Cara Young officemanager@ spiritofjefferson.com ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT Karen Bowers Advertising Manager ads@spiritofjefferson.com GRAPHICS STAFF : Kim Schell : kim @ spiritofjefferson.com Sharon Snyder i sharon@spiritofjefferson.com i Rachel Painter-Fields : rachel @spiritofjefferson.com CIRCULATION STAFF Robert Smith circulation @spiritofjefferson.corn ONLINE STAFF Rachel Painter-Fields rachel@spiritofjefferson.com webmaster@spiritofjefferson.com CONTACTING OS Office: 210 N. George St Charles Town, W.Va. Mailing address: P.O. Box 966, Charles Town, WV 25414 Phone: 304-725-2046 Fax: 304-728-6856 E-marl: editor@ spiritofjefferson.com ABOUT DELIVERY (USPS 510-960) Periodical postage paid at Charles Town, W.Va and additional post offices POSTMASTER: Send Ad- dress Changesto The Spirit of Jefferson. RO. Box 966, Char~sTown, WV 25414 SUBSCRIFrlON RATES: Yearly in Advance: $27 in West Virginia and $29.50 outside the state. Everett "Ed" Boober- Sheriff 38 years of law enforcement experience S years as your Sheriff Paid for by the Committee to Elect "EO" Boober Sheriff. Dave Withers. Treasurer. Price, Product, Warranty & Service We Can't Be Beat Guaranteed! Let us advertise your special service, event, or hours of worship for Easter. Submit your ad or information to The Spirit of Jefferson. We will be placing all Easter related ads on the church page March 28 and April 4 CALL 304-725-2046 to Advertise Nationwide has been serving West Virginia for over 75 years! 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