Pam Dudding-Burch
Contributing writer

Photo by Pam Dudding-Burch
The Craig County School Board working diligently on making decisions for local students. Pictured l-r: Pam Myers Chairman (Craigs City District Rep), Jeanette Warwick (Superintendent), Susan Crenshaw (Vice Chair and Craigs Creek District), Aaron Calfee (Potts Mountain District) and Diana Bayne (Deputy clerk of the School Board). James Stephens (Simmonsville District) not in attendance.

The monthly School Board meeting on Tuesday, October 2, included the reviewing of the submitted regulations for the Athletic Hall of Fame, jersey retirements and making any needed changes.

These were the guidelines established by the committee on September 27, 2017, which consisted of Principal Gennifer Miller as Principal Athletic Director, Carrie Hutton – Athletic coordinator, Jeff Boyer – teacher/coach, Donna Deplazes – teacher/parent and JoAnna Hutchison – parent.

Deplazes shared that the committee all believed ‘retiring’ should be something truly special. Warwick commented, “I think they have done a nice job with the process for nominations, eligibility and then the voting process, so it is not just one person making the decisions.”

Aaron Calfee, Potts Mountain Representative, suggested that they define the statement more clearly. “Must be of good standing and of moral character. This could be a big grey area as one person’s definition is different from another’s,” he said, adding that they could list specifics.

He also suggested for the committee to consider adding a clause or exception for a student to be considered, such as getting killed in a car wreck or dying from a chronic illness. These suggestions were agreed upon and added and approved to the guidelines.

Craig County Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame: The Craig County High School Hall of Fame was conceived to honor a proud athletic tradition, and the many athletes who have contributed to it in so many ways.

A five-person committee was organized to develop guidelines for eligibility and selection for the honor of being placed on this wall. It consists of administration, athletic director, teachers, coach and parents.

The guidelines for Hall of Fame and Jersey Retirement will be reviewed annually during the May committee meeting, and if changes are proposed will be taken to the school board during a subsequent school board meeting. Any proposed changes to the guidelines must have a unanimous vote by the committee.

  1. A committee chosen that year by the athletic director will make the selection for any given year. Composition of the committee must include the athletic director and principal, and some combination of alumni, former athletes, former coaches and administrators, current coaches, and current faculty members.
  2. To be eligible, an athlete must:
  1. Have been graduated for at least five years
  2. Have achieved a minimum of first team all-district, second team all-region, or honorable mention at state
  3. Have contributed substantially during his/her career, which would include the establishing of significant school, district, region, or state records, or a demonstration of unique versatility.
  1. Nominations:
  1. Candidates can be nominated annually, via a letter with the athlete’s accomplishments that should be sent to the athletic director.
  2. All nominations should be made to the athletic director no later than May 1 for the following year.
  3. Opening for nominations will be announced annually on the school website and the local newspaper.
  1. Voting Process:
  1. The committee will meet annually in May.
  2. Each nominee will be considered individually and a blind vote will be taken. A 2/3 majority vote is needed to be considered.
  3. Those considered will be voted on using a yes/no system.
  1. Induction:
  1. The induction will occur during a home game determined by the athletic director.

Craig County Public Schools Retiring of Jersey: A five-person committee was organized to develop guidelines for retiring a jersey. It also consisted of administration, athletic director, teachers, coach and parents. Jerseys only will be retired, not numbers.

Nominations: 1-Candidates can be nominated annually, via a letter with the athlete’s accomplishments that should be sent to the athletic director. 2- All nominations should be made to the athletic director no later than May 1 for the following year. 3- Opening for nominations will be announced annually on the school website and the local newspaper.


  1. A nominee must meet three of four of the following criteria: Won a state championship, selected to the all-state team, selected as state player of the year or set a state record.
  2. Player must have played three seasons at the varsity level in their given sport.
  3. Player must pass a background check according to school district criteria.

An athlete will only be considered at least five years after graduation, and the retirement of the jersey serves as the athletes Hall of Fame representation.

Jersey retirements must be submitted to the athletic director by May 1 for the following year and will be voted on by the hall of fame committee selected by the athletic director. To retire a jersey, there must be a unanimous vote by the committee that year. Exceptions to these guidelines may be made in cases of loss of life or catastrophic events based on committee decision.

Last Tuesday, McCleary Elementary had their fire alarms to go off. “I wanted to give kudos to my administrative staff as you know we had a little mishap in the microwave oven at McCleary in the Teacher’s Lounge,” Warwick explained. “We never knew what was in there could cause that much smoke.”

She added that the good news was that the fire alarms and smoke detectors worked as they went off right away. ”We worked together and got the situation taken care of quickly and all the kids were safe and out of the building in about 42 seconds,” she said.

Chairman Pay Myers explained that the high school was let out at the same time, as to only run the buses once a day. Warwick added that they had to be attentive also to the variance in ‘instructional hours’ in each building as well.

Almost two years ago, a generator was obtained during the time of Kelly Wilmore’s tenure as Superintendent. “Since then, a grant was written by Mr. Cady for a completion of the wiring for the buildings to be able to run the generator,” Warwick shared. “The amount it would require to complete this would be $7,000 more than the grant had been written for, therefore Mr. Cady worked with Craig Botetourt and they agreed to complete it for a significant amount less but it still falls short by about $6,000.”

Warwick said that the County Board of Supervisors asked the school to split the difference of the $6,000. However, Warwick explained that with the budget reduction of $68,000 and the fact that the County no longer funds 50 percent of the projects for the schools, she could not “in good faith” recommend that they use the remaining funds of their capital projects for the generator.

“We are not even assured that the generator even works, therefore this would cover the wiring so that the Craig County could rent a generator,” Warwick added. “I agree that it would benefit the community, but basically it would not directly benefit the school because in a massive power outage, we will be home as we cannot operate.” Warwick added that it is currently not a priority in the view of the school’s capital funding.

Also in New Business, Warwick announced that the Federal Government added a new title in attendance regulations called ‘Chronic absenteeism’, which will be tied into the Federal accreditation standards.

“They define this as ‘students who miss more than 10 percent of the School year, which for us is 18 days, excused or unexcused are considered chronically absent,’” Warwick said. “No more than 10 percent of our students can be chronically absent and if they are then we do not meet that bench mark for the Federal Government.”

Warwick shared that during the school year 2016-17; approximately 10 percent of Craig’s students fell into that category. Therefore the school’s policy was changed from 19 days to 18 days and the students now have a specific, three days from an absence to bring the note of excuse to the school. “If they do not bring it in, it is marked as unexcused,” Warwick said. “We also gave more clarity to the number of absences that a parent can excuse as well and we will be sending letters to parents.”

Warwick added, “These are all very punitive as we have to have consequences for missing school.” The principals will be working with their staff to create ‘attendance incentives’ as well as taking into consideration the best for the overall assistance for students. “We are looking for ways to promote good attendance and positive ways for the students as well as meeting the different State and Federal Guidelines.”

Principal Gennifer Miller shared that new spread sheets have already been designed for individual classroom attendance to assist the teachers.

The next monthly School Board meeting will be held in the Media Center at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 7, and the Board and staff encourages the community to attend and participate in strengthening the ‘community’ of the school.

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