School division sees boost to budget

Additional school funding in Virginia’s  budget could allow Shenandoah County Public Schools to hire more staff.

That was the message Shenandoah County School Board members heard at Thursday night’s meeting.

When the state budget was adopted May 30, the schools found that projected state revenue gave them an increase of $224,532.

“It is not often I get to bring you good news regarding the budget,” said Barbara Stombock, director of finance.

School administrators said that with the extra funding they would like to hire one more special education teacher, two more paraprofessionals to support students with disabilities, offer stipends for teachers to support improvements in reading, and hire in a new position titled “supervisor, student career and business development,” which is now necessary because of changes in the Virginia Standards of Quality.

Johnson, with the approval of the School Board, has to quickly submit a letter to the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors asking them to appropriate at its June 26 meeting the $224,532 into the schools operating budget. The school needs the money in place to start the hiring process for these positions, Johnson said.

Otherwise, the money will not be appropriated until August and the school will be behind in trying to find candidates to hire.

“This is great news,” Board Vice Chair Richard Koontz said.

“These were positions that were in our initial request but could not be funded,” Koontz said.

Volunteers were recognized at the meeting:

Johnson recognized the Spring Forward afterschool program and those involved in the program as Volunteers of the Year.

Spring Forward is a church-based program to help elementary school students who need a boost in learning.

Jane and Bob Perry, who are part of the local program out of the Zion Luthern Church in Edinburgh, accepted the award.

“We are called to serve,” Jane Perry said. “We do it to increase literacy and improve the education of children.”

Annabelle Palmer was named Student Volunteer of the Year.

Shane Ring was named Middle/ High School Volunteer of the Year.

Tina Showman was named Elementary Volunteer of the Year.