CINDERELLA — The Mingo County Board of Education conducted its regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 19, as they heard reports from the Local School Improvement Councils (LSIC) at each of the county’s two high schools, the Mingo Extended Learning Center and the county’s lone elementary school, Dingess Elementary.

Dingess Elementary fifth grade teacher Jason Blankenship and Principal Paula Brown each spoke to the BOE and Superintendent Don Spence about some exciting things taking place in the small school, including the crazy 8 math club, increased involvement in BETA, a “kindness counts” program and more.

They were followed by the Mingo Extended Learning Center as Principal Thomas Hoffman talked about the various CTE programs that are offered and new programs that could potentially be added following a needs assessment for the area.

Tug Valley High School Principal Dr. Doug Ward gave a rousing PowerPoint presentation with audio from Metallica playing in the background.

Ward talked about how the BETA program at TVHS is thriving as well as the Gear Up Program, which is funded by the Department of Education and devised to help high school students get signed up for financial aid and get ready for that next level of education, and the new TVHS Option Pathway program.

He also talked about the progress of the athletic programs at TVHS and the nearing completion of the baseball field, which will set directly beside the newly built softball field that opened in the spring of 2018. They hope the field will be ready to play on this upcoming season.

Mingo Central High School Principal Daniel Dean talked about the progress to their new baseball field being constructed on the campus of MCHS, beside the newly built Patrick Cline Softball Field that opened earlier this spring.

Dean said that the clay has already been placed in the infield area and that fencing has been put up around the field, and he thanked several volunteers for donating time and equipment with helping see the project through. They hope to be playing baseball on the new field for the last half of the season.

Dean also discussed a new program being offered at the school called Virtual Enterprise International (VEI) and the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support Committee (PBIS).

VEI offers students meaningful skills based on career experiences as students “test drive” potential careers and develop in-demand skills and competencies that post-secondary institutions and employers are seeking while the PBIS is a committee that is focused on rewarding students for positive behavior.

According the WV Department of Education website, LSICs exist at each public school in West Virginia. Membership of the LSIC includes teachers, service personnel, bus drivers, parents, business and community representatives. An election occurs annually for membership.

The LSIC is directly involved with the operation of the local school in many ways. The LSIC reviews discipline data and procedures yearly and submits written recommendations to the local school board.

They also encourage involvement of the school community with the school operation through regular LSIC meetings and collaboration, and they support local initiative for school improvement by being directly involved with the strategic planning and innovative ideas.

The next regularly schedule BOE meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, in what is currently set to be the final meeting of the 2019 calendar year.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at