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Berkeley County school briefs

March 19, 2013

Celebration planned for state champion Bulldogs

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A community celebration for the West Virginia Class AAA state champion Martinsburg High School boys basketball team will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday in the school gymnasium, Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Manny P. Arvon announced Monday.

Player autograph session and refreshments will be available immediately following the program.

The team’s state title win in basketball comes a few months after Martinsburg’s football team won its third consecutive state Class AAA state title in November. 

“I think it’s something we can get used to,” Arvon said smiling.

Arvon noted Hedgesville High School was last year’s Class AAA state champion in boys basketball and recounted other state titles won recently by the county’s three high schools, including Musselman High School’s volleyball team.

“It’s just a wonderful thing,” Arvon said. “I’m very proud of our young men and women.”

Arvon said he was “thrilled” to hear how well Martinsburg High School’s basketball team represented Berkeley County on and off the court in Charleston, W.Va., during this year’s 100th state tournament. The boys basketball title is the school’s third, following wins in 2009 and 1994.



County excess levy rates look to stay the same

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Berkeley County Board of Education is proposing to leave the current and excess levy rates unchanged for the next fiscal year, officials said.

A slight increase is being eyed for the bond levy rate so the school district can meet its debt service obligations, according to the school district’s treasurer, Jim Butts.

A public hearing will be held April 16 at 6:45 p.m. to hear and consider any objections to the proposed levy rates for the 2013-14 year, which begins July 1.

Revenues for the coming year are projected to remain stable after the school district absorbed losses in excess levy revenue totaling about $3 million in the last few years due to declining property values, according to school officials. 

Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Manny P. Arvon acknowledged the added financial strain of opening a fourth high school, but said after Monday night’s board of education meeting the school district is “fine” financially.



Hedgesville music teacher wins state honor

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. —Hedgesville Middle School teacher Maggie Beth Ponton was recognized Monday night by the Berkeley County Board of Education for being named 2013 West Virginia General Music Teacher of The Year.

School Principal Elizabeth Adams, who said she nominated Ponton more than once for the award, told board members that Ponton was “just an amazing teacher.” Adams lauded Ponton’s efforts in the classroom with teaching all of the school’s 700 students as well as  extracurricular activities, including the school’s handbell choir. Adams said the choir also has received state recognition. 

Ponton, a National Board Certified teacher, was honored by the West Virginia Society for General Music and the West Virginia Music Educators Association.

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