Love songs (and sample songs too)

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April 21 – Sometimes you just have to sing your own praises.

Unless you prefer South Middle School to do it for you.

The Monongalia County School Board did the above two nights ago at Mississippi Street School.

The BOE gathered in the school auditorium on Tuesday evening for a late ceremony.

With students from the acclaimed South Middle Orchestra, Choir and Jazz Band providing the soundtrack, the board gave part of the meeting to publicly honor the best teachers and service staff in the district there. was three years old, when the pandemic hit and such gatherings were not possible.

This included Mon Schools Service Staff of the Year for 2020, University High School’s John Hines.

And 2020 Teacher of the Year Kevin Colistra of Morgantown High.

Skyview Elementary had 2021, with that school’s Ashley Marshall winning Service Staff of the Year. Colleague Abbey Coker was 2021 Teacher of the Year.

Brandi Ammons of Morgantown High, West Virginia’s 2021 Family and Consumer Science Teacher of the Year, was recognized for her state honor.

So was chef Brian Covell, who runs the culinary program at the county’s Technical Education Center. He was recently named West Virginia ProStart Teacher of the Year for 2022.

Council members also approved the excess school tax rates, which were passed overwhelmingly by voters last September.

It traditionally brings in $32 million a year for the district and is used for extras like Chromebooks and foreign language offerings like Mandarin in schools here.

The Class I rate is 16.75 cents per $100 of assessed value. The Class II rate is 33.50 cents per $100.

Class III and IV fares are 67 cents per $100.

The excess levy represents approximately 25% of the total operating budget of the Mon schools.

Items on the levy ledger help pay the salaries of school nurses, while also funding all of these after-school and summer enrichment programs throughout the year.

Now more than ever, said BOE Chairman Nancy Walker, taking money from Mon is money well spent.

“It’s actually what funds a lot of the programs,” she said.

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