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GSC Senior to Hold Art Show Opening

The Free Press WV

Glenville State College senior Graphics and Digital Media major Christopher Cunningham invites the public to attend the opening reception for his senior art show on Monday, November 12 at 6:00 p.m. The show will run through Friday, December 7 and will be on display in GSC’s Fine Arts Center Gallery.

The exhibit, titled “Bureaucracies of Charming Dysfunction,” will contain various sculptures, digital illustrations, photography, oil paintings, pyrography (woodburning), and charcoal drawings. He also hopes to include some written works on his thoughts of art, history, culture, and the industry in general.

“I draw inspiration from the concepts touched on in the vast amount of work I see and some of the concepts I have taken from thought to paper. Sometimes I simply let the canvas guide me, allowing for the foundation concept to grow according to its own recurrent pattern. I form a relationship with the works I produce, over the hundreds of hours poured into some of the various projects they can go smoothly, violently, brilliantly, poorly, not at all as planned, accidental, and rife with muddied communication. It’s important to take something away from these, regardless of how the process came along,” Cunningham said.

After graduation he plans to relocate to Colorado to work as a Junior Art Director in the Denver area, hopefully with an industrial commercial corporation or a public relations firm.

He says he’s appreciated his time in the classroom with his professors. “My takeaway from Professor [Chris] Cosner has been the requirement to stay current and at the forefront of trends in the industry; to always be looking and willing to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. My take away from Professor [Duane] Chapman is how to present my works and communicate concepts more effectively; this leads to a greater impact and competitive edge in today’s fast-paced industry,” he said.

Cunningham, who hails from Grantsville, West Virginia, also thanks his parents for supporting him through the worst of times and the best.

The Fine Arts Center Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and one hour before all GSC musical performances in the Fine Arts Center.

For more information call 304.462.6340.

Paintings by GSC Professor Selected for Art Exhibitions

The Free Press WV

Several paintings by Glenville State College Associate Professor of English Dr. Marjorie Stewart have been selected to be featured in two different exhibits.

Stewart’s piece “Ah, But Ain’t That America” was one of 23 works chosen for the 2018 Carnegie Hall Juried Exhibition out of 83 that were submitted. The theme of that exhibit is “Alternative Views.” An opening reception will be held on Friday, September 7 in the Old Stone Room of Carnegie Hall, which is located at 611 Church Street in Lewisburg, West Virginia. The reception will be open from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The exhibit will be displayed until Saturday, October 27.

Additionally, Stewart had four other paintings accepted into The Edgewood Foundation’s Art Night. That exhibit takes place at Edgewood Train Station on 100 East Swissvale Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 15. The included paintings are “My Eyes Could Clearly See,” “Fountain at the Point,” “Mudluscious,” and “We the People.”

“I started a series of paintings of the Statue of Liberty this summer in reaction to the immigration crisis. I was listening to somewhat cynical music – Simon and Garfunkel’s “American Tune,” Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” and John Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” were all in my playlist. At some point, I decided to try a take on the American Flag. “Ah, But Ain’t That America” was the result. The Carnegie Hall call asked for works with the theme “Alternative Views.” I submitted one Statue of Liberty, one abstract take on “Huddled Masses,” and “Ah, But Ain’t That America.” The flag was selected by the jurors,” said Stewart.

For more information about The Carnegie Hall Juried Exhibit, click here or call 304.645.7919. Visit the Edgewood Foundation website for more information about the Edgewood Foundation Exhibit.

Annual Glenville State College Student Art Show Winners Announced

Winners of the annual Glenville State College Juried Student Art Show have been announced.

The show was open to any full time GSC student who wished to submit a pieces of original art created during their college career.

The show was judged by GSC Associate Professor of English Melissa Gish.

“We are very proud of our art majors and all of the works in the show. This show wonderfully showcases the growth of our art students as well as the department,” said Department of Fine Arts Chair Dr. Lloyd Bone.

Heather Chambers of Parsons, West Virginia won first place for her ‘Howling Wolf’ digital painting and took third place for her ceramic piece ‘Demon Wolf.’ She is the daughter of Margaret and Matthew Chambers and is a senior studio art major with a minor in music.

The Free Press WV
Heather Chambers – First and Third Place Recipient


“My love for art comes from my twin sister. When we were little we would have competitions to see who the better artist was, but as I got older it became less about competition and more of a passion. I enjoy working with a wide variety of mediums, and I’m always excited to learn more,” said Chambers.

Gavin McCord of Walkersville, West Virginia won second place for his oil painting ‘Oni.’ He is the son of Shelia Watson and Andy McCord and is a sophomore graphic design and digital media major.

The Free Press WV
Gavin McCord – Second Place Recipient


“This is the first step in my career which I’m looking to expand. I’d like to thank Professor [Chris] Cosner for seeing my potential and drive and for inspiring me to put in the hard work to create this piece,” said McCord.

Four students - Taylor Brumfield, Joshua Smith, Sarah Lines, and Heather Coleman - were recognized with honorable mention certificates for their entries.

Gish, who judged the show, is the author of more than 90 juvenile nonfiction natural history and science books. Her writing and artwork has been published in a variety of small press journals. Her collections of found object art has been featured in the GSC Fine Arts Center Gallery, and she is currently working with GSC’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Guild student organization on their first chapbook of creative writing and art.

For more information about the GSC gallery, contact Assistant Professor of Art Chris Cosner at or 304.462.6349.

WV Education and the Arts Announces Opening of Submissions for the Congressional Art Competition

The Free Press WV

Submissions are being accepted from now until February 9, 2018 for the Congressional Art Competition. High School students may submit art work for a chance to have their work displayed at the United States Capitol in Washington D.C. Cabinet Secretary of Education and the Arts said, “This unique opportunity gives students the ability to display their artwork on a national level, promoting our state’s rich artistic culture.” Art work categories include paintings, drawings, collage prints, mixed media, computer generated arts, and photography.

The competition is a partnership with members of the West Virginia Congressional Delegation, the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts, and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. “This is a great opportunity to highlight the incredible talents of our young people in West Virginia. I encourage any student with an artistic interest to participate and make a submission,” Congressman Alex Mooney said.

There will be one winner from each of the three congressional districts and they will receive a $100.00 Dick Blick art supplies gift card. A $50.00 Dick Blick art supplies gift card will be awarded to five second place winners. Congressman Evan Jenkins said, “The arts allow students to express themselves, develop their voices, and explore their creativity. This competition gives young artists from across West Virginia and the nation a chance to display their works for thousands of visitors to the U.S. Capitol. I encourage all of our students to share their creations and am honored to display the winner’s work in Washington.” On March 2, 2018, there will be an art workshop and awards ceremony for participants at the Culture Center in Charleston, WV.

“Each year of this competition we see some fantastic works of art produced by our students. The First District has a wealth of creative talent. I look forward to seeing this year’s winning piece on display in the Capitol each day as I am representing you in Washington,” said Congressman David McKinley.

Students may seek application material(s) and guidelines from their art teachers or principals. They may also contact the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts for more information.

Local Artist with Sculptures in GSC’s RFK Library Passes Away at 89

A half-century ago, Glenville State College became the recipient of two sculptures from local artist Wolfgang Hubert Flor.

In 1966, Glenville State College’s newly completed library named a designated juvenile section after longtime librarian Alma J. Arbuckle. Obtained by faculty members, the room would include a piece by Flor. The carving, entitled ‘What Next,’ is still on display in the children’s room at the Robert F. Kidd Library.

The Free Press WV
Wolfgang Flor piece titled ‘What Next’ that is on display in the Alma J. Arbuckle children’s room in Glenville State College’s Robert F. Kidd Library


The following year, Flor was commissioned by the faculty and staff at GSC to design a sculpture to accent the library’s main floor. He spent time studying the area and meditating on what would be appropriate for the space. “He saw that a library could be a place where students meet the ancients and speak with them in silence. It was the base of the pyramid of learning and was a place utilized by students for individual studying and reflecting. He believed that people develop the capability to acquire wisdom on their own with the right amount of support, and the library enabled these independent learners to find their own path in life,” said GSC Archivist Jason Gum. These themes resonated with Flor, and he used them to create a piece of art that would exemplify the importance of education, the thirst for knowledge, and to symbolize the path towards enlightenment.

What ended up becoming his final design for the piece used the parable of the prodigal son in The Bible to represent the return of a beloved child to his aging father after he had left home to seek out wisdom on his own. The father embraces and comforts his child knowing that he could never have given his son the knowledge that he gained through his own personal experiences in the world. Flor also wanted the old man to characterize the wisdom that the child had begun to attain through his own personal journeys. The ‘Prodigal Son’ became the title of the carving that was accepted by then Library Director Dr. David Gillespie on October 17, 1968.

On Saturday, December 02, 2017, Mr. Flor passed away at the age of 89.

Flor was born in Naumburg, Silesia, Germany. When he was a teenager, he was forced from his homeland after World War II because allied forces had overtaken the area. While remaining in parts of Germany, doing many different jobs in the English and American sections, he eventually wound up in a whittler’s shop, a job that would spark his passion for artwork.

He made his way to America and traveled extensively throughout the country. In 1961, he made his home in Rock Cave, West Virginia and began creating sculptures on a 30-acre tract of land. He even set up a workshop/studio in a barn without many of the modern-day comforts that most enjoyed at the time.

The Free Press WV
Wolfgang Flor wood carving ‘Prodigal Son’ that is located on the main floor of GSC’s Robert F. Kidd Library


In addition to his pieces on display at Glenville State College, he also carved the college seal of West Virginia Wesleyan College as well as the 12 apostles and family tree which are displayed in Wesley Chapel on the WV Wesleyan campus. His piece, ‘Integration,’ is displayed at West Virginia University and he also has works at the West Virginia Culture and History Center in Charleston. These are in addition to pieces on display in numerous other places in West Virginia and across the country.

“Glenville State College is proud to have these unique pieces from Mr. Flor on display. We hope his legacy is able to carry on through his artwork,” Gum added.

Several GSC Artists Featured in Buckhannon Art Exhibit

Three Glenville State College Department of Fine Arts students and two alumni were recently featured in an exhibit titled ‘The Importance of Dreams.’

The Artist Collective of West Virginia, the Blaxxsmith Shop in Buckhannon, West Virginia, and Alien Gold collaborated to hold the art exhibition.

The Free Press WV
(L-R) Ezekiel Bonnett, Heather Coleman, Ryan Spangenberg, Sarah Normant,
Heather Chambers, Danielle Shepherd, and Christopher Cunningham at
‘The Importance of Dreams’ exhibit opening | Photo by Mike Normant


An opening reception took place on Friday, April 07 at the Blaxxsmith Shop.

GSC students Heather Chambers, Chris Cunningham, and Danielle Shepherd, GSC alumni Sarah Normant and Ezekiel Bonnett, and GSC Academic Support Center employee Heather Coleman all had work showcased in the exhibit.

In preparing for the show, the students learned more about being ‘gallery ready’ with their work in addition to networking, communication with clients, sales and commission, how to create business cards, how to sell their work and show professionally, and the communication process with gallery owners. Coleman said, “The students had a very enriching educational experience at this gallery.”

Each student had two pieces in the show including oil paintings, collage, ceramics, and glass sculpture. GSC Assistant Professor of Art Chris Cosner is a member of the Artist Collective.

The exhibition was on display Friday and Saturday nights from 4:00-10:00 p.m.

Crutchfield Selected for Barr Professional Development Award

Glenville State College Public Relations Specialist Dustin Crutchfield has been selected to receive the 2017 Pete and Betsy Barr Professional Development Award. The award is rotated annually between GSC faculty and staff and must be used within eighteen months of being awarded. The award is designed primarily for the recipient to further their professional growth, although the awardee can use the money to further their particular area of interest in lieu of traditional professional development activities. Crutchfield has used the funds to purchase assorted recording equipment in order to make online and social media video content.

The Free Press WV
GSC Public Relations Specialist Dustin Crutchfield with some of the equipment purchased with the Barr Professional Development Award


“Video has been and continues to be a popular format to share information online. Outside research has shown it to be an effective way to communicate with a variety of groups, especially younger audiences like potential students,” Crutchfield said. “My intent when applying for the award was to acquire some compact, easy-to-use equipment and software that would allow us to be a little more agile with our online content; something that would allow us to go from idea to output a bit more seamlessly, especially for brief messages.”

The addition of the equipment will mark the first time that the Marketing and Public Relations office will be generating their own video content. “I’m hoping that we can work to slowly begin integrating more video content into our everyday communications to both current and prospective students, alumni, the general public, and others,” he said. Crutchfield says he expects a learning curve and looks forward to working with some experts on campus to acquire new skills.

“I was pleased and surprised to learn that my proposal had been selected. The goal is to live up to the high standards set by the eight previous recipients in their professional development efforts to assist the campus. I extend my thanks to the Barrs’ for funding the award and to the numerous well-wishers who have congratulated me since hearing of the award decision,” said Crutchfield.

Crutchfield graduated from Glenville State College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with an emphasis in marketing in 2009. He is currently in the process of completing a master’s degree from the West Virginia University Reed College of Media. He is a Burnsville, West Virginia native.

Previous recipients of the Barr Award have included: GSC Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Sara Sawyer (2010), Administrative Secretary for the GSC Athletic Department and Title IX Coordinator/Senior Women’s Administrator Amanda Frymier (2011), Associate Professor of Business Cheryl Fleming McKinney, CPA (2012), Registrar’s Office Certification Analyst Denise Ellyson (2013), Assistant Professor of Spanish Dr. Megan Gibbons (2014), GSC’s Sports Medicine Staff (2015), and Professor Dennis Wemm (2016).

The next Barr Award will be presented in January 2018 to a selected faculty applicant. A committee comprised of two faculty members and two staff representatives reviews all applications and selects the awardee.

For more information about the Pete and Betsy Barr Professional Development Award, contact Vice President for College Advancement and Executive Director of GSC Foundation and Chairman of the Pete and Betsy Barr Professional Development Award Selection Committee Denny Pounds at or 304.462.6381.

Bonnett to Hold Senior Art Show at GSC

Glenville State College senior studio art and graphics and digital media major Ezekiel Bonnett from Cox’s Mills, West Virginia is presenting his senior art show. The show, titled ‘Because Humans,’ will be on display until Friday, December 09. A reception will be held on Thursday, December 01 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be provided.

The Free Press WV
“Shark Toaster” by Zeke Bonnett


Bonnett describes the pieces in his exhibit as simplistic and abstract. He says the focus on the ideas, emotions, and expression in his artwork is more than art for art’s sake. Most of his mediums are traditional, the majority being metalwork and mixed media. Exploration of duality and the human condition, often featured in his works, mostly express concerns about psychology and philosophy.

The GSC gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and one hour before all Fine Arts Department musical performances.

For more information, call the Fine Arts Department at 304.462.6340.

WVDEP Accepting Photo Entries for Roadsides in Bloom Calendar

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) is accepting photo entries to appear in the 2017 edition of the Operation Wildflower “Roadsides in Bloom” calendar. The deadline to enter photos in the contest is October 01, 2016. The contest is a joint project of the WVDEP and West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT).

There are several requirements that must be met for the entry to be accepted. 

        - Photographs must be taken in West Virginia. 

        - Entries must be submitted as 8"x10” color prints and must be landscape orientation (portrait orientation will not be accepted). Each entry must also include a digital copy on a CD, DVD or flash drive submitted with the color print. 

        - Flowers must be growing along a road and the road must be prominently visible in the photo. The flowers may be growing naturally or in an Operation Wildflower bed planted by the WVDOT’s Division of Highways staff. Pictures of cultivated species planted in arranged beds, such as marigolds, pansies, etc., do not qualify. 

        - Name, address, phone number and e-mail address (if applicable) of entrant and a short description of the photo, including location and county where photo was taken, must appear in the upper left hand corner on the back of the photo. Photos become property of the WVDEP and will not be returned. 

        - No more than three entries per person will be accepted. However, only one winning photo will be selected from any photographer’s entries. 
 
        - 12 winners will be selected to represent the months of the year. A grand prize winner will be chosen to appear on the calendar cover.

To see the 2016 Roadsides in Bloom calendar, click here: http://www.dep.wv.gov/dlr/reap/ow/Documents/Roadsides%20in%20Bloom%202016%20Calendar.pdf.

Entries for the 2017 calendar contest should be mailed to:

WV Operation Wildflower
Roadsides in Bloom Calendar Contest
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection/REAP
601 57th Street, S.E.
Charleston, WV 25304

For more DEP news and information, go to www.dep.wv.gov. Also, be sure to connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter and find us on YouTube by searching “Environment Matters.” For specific information about our REAP (Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan), West Virginia Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), West Virginia Watershed Improvement Branch, Youth Environmental Program and Human Resources initiatives, connect on Facebook.

NEARLY $700,000 FOR COMMUNITY ART PROGRAMS ACROSS WEST VIRGINIA

The Free Press WV

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) announced a $697,600 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for West Virginia nonprofit and art organizations. The funding will be used to preserve the Mountain State’s cultural heritage and expand opportunities for residents to experience and participate in the arts.

“As West Virginians, we take pride in our rich, cultural heritage and this funding from the NEA will help preserve our unique history and traditions,” Senator Manchin said. “These resources will go towards exposing our kids to traditional music and the arts and give them the opportunity to be creative in different ways while expressing themselves.”

“West Virginia is rich with history and culture, and I believe it is important to keep our state’s creative spirit and proud traditions alive,” said Senator Capito. “This funding will support projects that encourage community engagement and educational opportunities for our students. I applaud the award recipients for their commitment to strengthening our communities through the arts.”

Established in 1965, NEA has funded programs that support arts education, sustains and celebrates our nation’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and promotes equal access to the arts in every community across America. For Fiscal Year 2016, NEA will make 1,148 awards totaling $82,357,050 to nonprofit art and design organizations in all 50 states plus five U.S. jurisdictions.

Individual awards and details are listed below:

    •  $667,600 – West Virginia Division of Culture and History: Funding will be awarded to the Commission on the Arts (WVCA) to support programs and events that promote creative expression and art appreciation for the benefit of West Virginia citizens and visitors.

    •  $20,000 –West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Inc.: Funding will be used to support a statewide touring and community engagement project. The orchestra, under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Grant Cooper, will introduce orchestral and chamber music to new audiences throughout West Virginia, as well as present educational programming in schools. Programming may include Young People’s Concerts and The Sounds of West Virginia, which will feature commissioned works by West Virginia composers like Charleston native Matthew Jackfert. Concerts and events will be presented in rural and small towns in West Virginia, such as Beckley, Elkins, Fairmont, Hinton, Lewisburg, Parkersburg, Summersville and Morgantown.

    •  $10,000 –Wheeling Symphony Society, Inc.: Funding will be used to support a regional performance tour with related educational outreach programs. The orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Andre Raphel, will present a Young People’s Concert program in venues across West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. In collaboration with guest artist ensemble Classical Kids Live!, programming will feature an innovative program, such as “Beethoven Lives Upstairs,“ that engages listeners to explore music through dramatic artistry. The project will include teacher workshops and pre-concert instruction for elementary school children.

West Virginia Spotlights Student Talent in Annual Arts Alive Celebration

The Free Press WV

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Department of Education’s (WVDE) tenth annual Arts Alive celebration is Friday, April 22 at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston. This distinctive arts event showcases outstanding arts education programs and student achievements from across the state including works in dance, theatre, music and visual art.

Arts Alive aims to support developing and establishing arts programs in public schools throughout West Virginia, to inspire local education systems to embrace the arts as an essential part of every child’s education, and to empower the broader learning community to be advocates for comprehensive arts education in public schools.

The tenth year of Arts Alive brings with it the continuation of free master classes provided to students on the day of the event. The young artists featured in Arts Alive will have the opportunity to take classes with West Virginia arts professionals, who are donating their time and expertise to advance the educational mission and focus of Arts Alive.

“This year, we are exhibiting more students and providing opportunities for students to work with master arts professionals in continuing to promote the arts and expand interdisciplinary partnerships throughout the state,” said WVDE Arts Alive Coordinator Dr. Raymond Lowther. “It is inspiring that we are still choosing to focus on and showcase the work of students in these areas.”

The Art Exhibit will open at 6:00 p.m. The program begins at 6:45 p.m. and main stage performance at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public but assigned seating is required. For tickets, call the Clay Center Box Office at 304.561.3570.

Murphy to Hold Senior Art Show at GSC

GLENVILLE, WV - Glenville State College senior studio art major Quentin Murphy from Grantsville, West Virginia is getting ready for his senior art show.

The show, titled ‘Larger Than Life,’ will be on display until Friday, May 7th. His exhibit features original photography, drawings, and paintings.

The exhibition will begin with an opening reception on Monday, April 04 from 6:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

The reception is free and open to the public and refreshments will be provided.

The Free Press WV


“Art is life; it begins with the creative process of finding yourself. At that moment, thatis when you realize your potential of making your life and everyone’s life around youone worth living. That defines art. It becomes Larger Than Life,” said Murphy.

The GSC gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and one hour before all Fine Arts Department musical performances.

For more information contact Associate Professor of Art John Selburg at or call 304.462.6346.

G-Eye™: Gilmer County CEOS Holiday House

Gilmer County CEOS Holiday House on December 04, 2015

The Free Press WV

 

 

 

FIRST LADY TOMBLIN INTRODUCES 2015 GOVERNOR’S MANSION HOLIDAY ORNAMENT

Ornament features gingerbread man and holiday candies

CHARLESTON, WV - First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin today unveiled the 2015 West Virginia Governor’s Mansion limited-edition holiday ornament, the sixth in the series of her annual holiday ornament collection. Keeping with West Virginia tradition, the 2015 holiday ornament was painted by Logan native and Alum Creek resident artist Shelley Goodman, and features a jolly gingerbread man and sparkling holiday candies.

The Free Press WV
First Lady Tomblin and artist Shelley Goodman show off
the 2015 Governor’s Mansion holiday ornament.


“It is always a wonderful experience collaborating with Shelley and the Division of Culture and History to choose what will be featured each year,“ First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin said.  “No confection symbolizes the holidays quite like gingerbread, and Shelley’s detailed painting style really brings it to life.  We are honored that she continues to share her talent with us and the citizens of the Mountain State.“

Goodman uses enamel paints to create detailed nature and floral paintings. Although her artistic touch is most often found in kitchenware, she enjoys the challenge of designing the Governor’s Mansion holiday ornaments each year.

Her works, titled “Designs by Shelley,“ are sold at Tamarack in Beckley and at a number of West Virginia’s fairs and festivals across the state.  Goodman also designed the 2010 Governor’s Mansion holiday ornament featuring the Cardinal, the 2011 ornament featuring the Rhododendron, the 2012 ornament featuring the Black Bear and Honey Bee, the 2013 ornament featuring Sugar Maple leaves and Monarch butterfly and last year’s ornament featuring white Poinsettia leaves and Holly berries. Goodman also designed the official West Virginia Sesquicentennial ornament.

The Free Press WV
The 2015 limited-edition Governor’s Mansion holiday ornament features
a gingerbread man, peppermint lollipop and gumdrop candies.


Funding support for the 2015 Governor’s Mansion ornament was partially provided by a grant from The Tamarack Foundation. In addition, Dunbar artist Steve Cassle’s drawing of the Governor’s Mansion is featured on the ornament card.

This year’s ornament is available for purchase at the West Virginia State Museum Shop at the Culture Center in Charleston, at Tamarack in Beckley, or online at http://www.tamarackwv.com for $24. A portion of each sale will be donated to the West Virginia Governor’s Mansion Preservation Fund to help preserve the mansion for future generations to enjoy.

G-LtE™: Mountain State Art & Craft Fair

The Free Press WV

Friends,

      As artists, crafts people, business people, and taxpayers, I believe you will be SIGNIFICANTLY CONCERNED about this.  I have recently learned that the Mountain State Art & Craft Fair Board of Directors will be VOTING OCTOBER 21, 2015 to END the tradition of the Mountain State Art & Craft Fair in July.

      Many of us have a vested interest in the success of the MSACF and realize that it has suffered from declining attendance and budgetary woes.  There are many contributing factors to this decline of “The Fair”.  None of us can deny that the marketing of art & craft work has changed in recent years and we recognize that some changes have to be made to make “The Fair” profitable again.  Rather than make some changes to revitalize the 51 year tradition of “The Fair”, a decision has been made to discard everything and ‘start a new festival in September’ with a new name.

      I do not want to implicate or accuse any one of any wrong-doing.  I only seek to share concerns and information so that YOU CAN TAKE ACTION based on YOUR OPINIONS.  Some areas of concern for me:


•  The MSACF receives a notable amount of TAXPAYER funding through support/sponsorship of various WV State agencies.  The money from those agencies is for the MSACF, and I would suggest that it is NOT LEGAL to simply redirect those funds without action from each of those agencies and possibly from the WV Legislature.

•  The president and a small number of the board of directors have made these plans in NON-PUBLIC meetings and presented their plan to the full board of directors indicating “this is what we’ll vote on next meeting” and “let us know if you have a problem with this”.  I maintain that ALL decisions for “The Fair” should be discussed, debated and decided in an OPEN, PUBLIC FORUM….no back room meetings and behind the scenes schemes

•  There is a required PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD for people to voice concerns and offer alternate solutions.  However, this time line is being fast-tracked to avoid controversy of what will, undoubtedly, be a controversial issue.

•  The dates for the 2016 MSACF have already been published and promoted.  People will show up for an event that will not be occurring….those folks may have spent their entire vacation budget to “come home” to WV for a long-standing tradition.

•  ARTS and CRAFTS will be a small portion of the focus of the new September festival, with focus on ethnic “Villages” , antiques, craft beer tasting, wine tasting and a Mini-Epcot Center.  ART will be a ‘side-line’.

•  One of the main missions of the WV Art & Craft Guild has been to promote & support the MSACF, yet the WVACG has been virtually shut out from any discussions about the future of “The Fair”.

•  Emphasis on High Quality ART & CRAFT work has been discarded


      Overall, it seems to me that the tradition of ART & CRAFT in WV is being tossed aside and the funds which are intended by our citizens to be used to support and promote the ARTS & CRAFTS for our future generations are being used in a way which concerns me.

      IF THE FUTURE OF the Mountain State Art & Craft Fair is important to you, PLEASE contact the commissioner or directors of those sponsoring agencies, and contact Governor Tomblin, and remember….THE MEETING IS AN OPEN, PUBLIC MEETING.  10:00 A.M.  October 21, 2015 at Cedar Lakes Conference Center, Ripley, WV

Sponsoring agencies’ directors are listed at the following website:

http://msacf.com/contact/

Respectfully,
Kenneth D. Westfall, Treasurer
West Virginia Art & Craft Guild

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Readers' Recent Comments

During intervention the State had dictatorial control of our school system to include all decisions related to the GCES.

One result is that the GCES was built too small.

An investigation is needed to determine who was responsible for the bad decision, and what role the no-bid architectural firm had in designing and constructing the school.

Something major happened to cause the GCES to be built too small. Was something dropped at the expense of adequate class room space as a result of having to spend extra money because a poor site was selected?

Minimally, gross incompetency on the State’s part is the explanation for the disaster foisted onto the County.

A question pertains to the new gym. Lots of effort was taken by the State to try to convince the public that a competition gym instead of a regular gym was needed.

Did the competition gym cost extra money at the expense of needed classroom space? If the answer is affirmative who was responsible for deciding on the more expensive gym?

What about the enormous pit at the GCES? Was money spent on it at the expense of classrooms because something was wrong with the school’s site that was selected by the State?

Nothing similar to the pit has been seen at other sites where new WV schools were built.

Why has there been a failure for a thorough investigation to have occurred to expose the facts?

The obvious explanation is that powerful elitists in control do not want tracks leading to them, and they have veto power over a meaningful investigation including one done by a leading newspaper.

By GCES Built Too Small Scandal on 01.15.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Pat McGroyne is spot on.
High speed internet is simply another failure of WV state government.

If the elected in our state, were doing the job expected by voters….we should have very few problems or issues?

By Gilmer resident on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Muddling has another distinct symptom. It is the tendency for administrators in control to emphasize processes and procedures while avoiding disclosure of progress, or the lack thereof, in achieving learning results.

The purpose is another way to avoid personal accountability for school system failures.

By Muddling Epidemic In WV School Systems on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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West Virginia is number one!
Our politicians are the best that can be had.
They are also the lobbyers dream come true.
No one—-can out-muddle our elected reps !

By we know it on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Suggestion after reading strategic plans for the GCHS and the GCES.

How about the school board requiring that for each school an informative executive summary be written to include——where each school stands on reading, math, and science proficiency, what the term proficiency means to eliminate the confusion, student proficiency goals for the two school, target time to expect goals to be achieved, and a statement to commit to keeping the public informed of progress in achieving the goals at designated intervals (e.g. quarterly) during a school year.

Omit confusing abbreviations and technical terms understood only by a select few in the education field, and written for comprehension by reasonable persons.

Leave it up to the County’s professional educators to determine how to get the job done with continual laser-like focus on getting results.

By Student Learning at GCHS and GCES on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Muddling infects federal, state, and local government entities where personal accountability for top officials to get measurable results rarely exists.

Muddling practitioners are famous for passing off information unrelated to measurable proof that effective problem-solving has occurred. A common example is emphasizing how much public money is being spent to attempt to convince tax payers that magnitudes of expenditures are always directly correlated to levels of problem-solving successes.

Muddling by an organization is characterized by the existence of thick planning documents replete with vagueness and lack of clarity, undefined technical terms, and mysterious acronyms.

Muddling thrives on intentional ambiguity and confusion designed to protect muddlers and their organizations.

By Muddling 101 on 01.11.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Gilmer County is not the only place in the USA that has been faced with its students failing to meet proficiency standards for science, reading, and math.

The difference here is that evidence is lacking to conclusively demonstrate that Gilmer County’s officials in control have exerted proper efforts to profit form powerful lessons learned elsewhere to use that knowledge to help solve learning deficiencies in our schools.

In fact, a convincing argument could be made that the approach in the County has been the one professional planners designate as muddling through.

Classic symptoms of muddling through include failure to thoroughly analyze categories of causes contributing to problems followed up by using the information to develop a comprehensive plan to do the most good in getting better results by treating key causes instead of symptoms.

Muddling typically involves officials assigning blame for lack of progress to outside forces e.g., the “culture”, the State did it to us, and poverty. Haven’t we heard plenty of that?

Muddling must be eliminated if we want progress in solving non-performance problems within the County’s school system. Does anyone disagree?

By End School System Muddling on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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It is unclear after reading school board meeting minutes what progress if any is being made by GCHS and GCES principals in improving student proficiency in reading, math and science.

Why not allocate a few sentences in the minutes to summarize what the two principals reported to the school board?

All it would take to get the critical information out to citizens would be for the new school board to act on this.

Does anyone have a problem with the suggested change to keep Gilmer’s bill paying public informed?

By Need Specifics For Principal's Reports on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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“High speed broadband – a necessity for today’s homes, businesses and other institutions – remains a huge unmet need for rural residents, despite promises by a succession of Governors from both parties (a contributing factor in why we’re losing population at a rate higher than any other state).“

I disagree with much of what Mr.Boggs believes.  That said, high-speed broadband is the single most important step the State of WV could take to improve the business climate and provide more opportunities for its citizens.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Conversation at local eatery.
Shortly after election.
Individuals were educators.

‘You think we have school problems now, wait until these new folks take the steering wheel’.

‘Students, parents, staff are all going to be in the soup’.

Sounds as if Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving vacation-deer season times have all taken a big hit.  If that is true, the union teachers need to come together, stand their ground, along with parents, and hold this new board accountable.

Have a local strike if need be.
Request resignations.
Vote of no confidence.

Schools employees can win.
You have done it before.
Just stick together.

By overheard conversation on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Scholarship must be the most important focus in Gilmer County’s schools.

Brought up the ZOOMWV Data Dashboard site to review the most recent State achievement test results for GCHS’s 11th grade.

Folks, Gilmer is in serious trouble. Proficiency for math=24%, reading=41%, and science=24%.

On an A through F grading scales the GCHS gets an F for all three subject areas.

What does the new school board have to show for inroads it has made since last July to make critically needed proficiency improvements at the HS? Citizens deserve answers to the question.

By ZOOMWV Data Dashboard on 01.07.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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A thorough accounting for where all the public money went could be easily achieved by a competent accountant.

Isn’t there a special account at the County’s school board office for expenditures related to all bills paid and who got the money?

Following the money trail always gets results along with verification of means, motives, and access.

By Let An Accountant Dig It Out on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If central office financial records for all public money paid out for everything from site planning, site studies and development, and everything else to get to completion of the GCES and the LES—- what is the reason?

It is known that money was spent on the Arbuckle site and Cedar Creek, and public money was paid out for the LES too.

Were County records for the spending purged and if that happened who ordered the action? The records are either in the County’s central office or they aren’t.

By End Financial Secrecy on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Hasn’t the time come to finally start naming names and making people accountable?

By Get It Done on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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How about the “BIG WV WINDFALL”....?

For 3 or 4 months now we keep hearing about the millions of dollars of tax revenue collected.

Millions and millions above ‘estimates’.  Were those ‘estimates’ honest, or fudged to begin with, so as to request higher tax rates?

Well, Justice and the Legislature now have our dollars, what will become of this windfall? Will we see tax rates lowered?  Doubt full, but we should.

Likely this windfall, created by “over-taxation”, will simply create a “party atmosphere” of legislative spending. Watch the Charleston ‘gangsters’ get their wish lists ready this coming session.

By taxpayers always lose on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Yes.  The blame Does seem to fall to ‘local’ people. In small places like Gilmer County, it’s just a poker game, boys, and the deep pockets win.  Money speaks volumes where ‘officials’ stay silent.  Go ask for the records, see what they’ve got.

By CheatersNeverWin on 11.20.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Teachers and staff knew from the beginning that the GCES was going to be too small. They were ordered by the State to keep quiet about the shortfall and other serious concerns too.

A sixth grader could understood how many rooms were needed by dividing total student numbers to attend the school by how many students should be in a classroom.

Under sizing was the State’s fault and it cannot be rationalized any other way including to assign the blame to local people. Same applies to the over sized LCES.

By Corrupt State Intervention on 11.19.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There will never be a full, public accounting of the gross mishandling of tax dollars during WVDOE intervention.
Too many local jobs and too many embarrassments of both elected and appointed bureaucrats.
These types cover dirt for each other.

Any local whistle blowers?  Doubtful.

One school built short 4 classrooms and another built with 5 too many.  Can it get more stupid than that?
Mr. Degree and Ms. Common Sense seldom travel together.

By Full accounting will never be revealed. Never. on 11.18.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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GCBOE when the two principals give reports at board meeting could the gist of what they said be summarized in minutes to keep the County informed?

It was a welcomed development by the Board to require principals to give reports particularly if there are required updates on progress designed to improve student learning for reading, math, and other subjects.

We still have not been informed about the status of science proficiency at the GCHS based on the latest testing. Why has the State failed to release the data? Were results too dismal?

By More Specifics For Principal's Reports on 11.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If it is going to cost extra money to eliminate over crowding at the GCES the financial information referenced by Do It Ourselves should be presented to Charleston and the press too.

That would help frame a solid case that crowding problems were not caused by Gilmer County because all decisions related to facilities were dictated by officials over whom the County had no oversight authority during the State’s intervention.

By Follow The Money on 11.16.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is assumed that all records for spending to include money paid out for the LCES, dropped Arbuckle site, dropped Cedar Creek site, and all bills for the GCES are in the Gilmer Schools central office.

The new GCBOE has authority to get to the truth by demanding a thorough accounting for all the spending.

Afterwards the financial officer in the central office could easily access existing computerized records and to use the information for a report to the GCBOE and the public.

By Do It Ourselves on 11.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Notice that most of the ‘officials’ in Gilmer County also hold regular day jobs - sometimes working on more than one paying ‘job’ at a time in the same office space. This common practice is concerning for many reasons, and it needs to be talked about when so many go without.

By QuestionablePractice on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There are two views in the County related to the under built GCES. Although the State built the school with inadequate classrooms one group believes that we should move on to let go of the past.

Isn’t this a form of advocacy for a coverup to prevent accountability for the State’s incompetence and mismanagement?

The other group believes that there should be a full accounting for all public money spent up to the time the GCES was completed to include disclosure of recipients of the public money. 

The accounting should be done for all public money spent at the LCES, the Arbuckle site, Cedar Creek, and finally the GCES.

Reasons for the under built GCES should be fully disclosed too. When the State was in control this information was kept secret from the public with loud claims that there was adequate space at the GCES.

Now it is known that there is inadequate space at the GCES and the problem is left to Gilmer County to fix. Only in WV!

By Citizens For Financial Disclosure on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Unprofessional issues,rude commentsand rolling eyes at the high school has become an issue. Being on cell phone talking to boyfriends,when parents etc.going into the office. Since the teachers were ask not to be on them while students in the classroom. The one in the office should not be allowed to talk personal to her boyfriend, or whoever. Also, I hope this is corrected, the personal days, etc that the board provides to staff shouldn’t be allowed to use to work or operate a second job. Let’s get the priorities straight.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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GULMER COUNTY BOE. It is time for me to let you know some issues that is going on at the High school.  I’m hoping this will be addressed at the next board meeting. 1. It should not matter if an employee has a second job or run a business. The priority job is for the board. One should not be allowed to use any time from the board to run your business. There is going on
If they want to run your business than go but not on the boards time. I would like for all employees be treated the equal. They should not be allowed to use the time the board gives them for other jobs.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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While at it there should be an investigation of why the LES was build with too many classrooms and the GCES was built with too few. At the very least what happened is a WV horror story example of the State’s waste and mismanagement.

By Where Is The Investigation? on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is obvious that the GCES has a major space problem.

What options for dealing with the State’s mismanagement to cause the serious blunder are being considered by the Board of Education?

Could the original architectural design for the dropped Cedar Creek site be compared to what resulted at the GCES to accurately determine the extent of classroom space alterations?

If the architectural design at the GCES is different than the original plan for Cedar Creek the next step should be to determine reasons for the changes and where the money originally planned for needed classrooms went.

By INFO REQUEST TO GCBOE on 11.09.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It’s long been known that Justice doesn’t happen in Gilmer County “because it all comes down to money”. And for those in charge of handling it and making decisions, it comes down to being competent to do the job,  keep accurate books and accounts and I’m sorry to say, that is seriously lacking in Gilmer County.

By Follow the Paycheck(s) on 11.06.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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What is GSC’s BOG’s plan for getting money for the next payment on the $38,000,000 bond loan the Gilmer County Commission approved?

Will the State pay or will the money come from private donations?

Money will have to come from somewhere to avoid a default.

By Where Is The Money? on 11.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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So sorry to hear of Kendall’s passing. I have fond memories of him at Uncle Paul’s store and the family reunions. I’m sure he will be missed greatly by those closest to him.
Please accept condolences from me and my family.

By Steve Lewis on 11.04.2018

From the entry: 'Kendall Goodwin'.

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GSC’s present plight is no secret and its future existence is in question.

Instead of expressing attitudes that GSC is being picked on could the Blue Ribbon Commission reveal why the College “tested out” as it did to fail to get more State money?

Was the “grading system” based on student enrollment trends, retention, time taken to get a degree, academic reputation, inept governance and administration, and other factors to block more funding? Informative specifics were not disclosed.

Teachers know that concerned students who want to do better always seek advice on what needs to be done to get better grades.

Similar to concerned students GSC’s supporters should be informed of what needs to be done to position the College for improved chances for survival to include eligibility for more State funding.

Saying that GSC is being picked on does nothing to help solve its nagging problems.

By What Was The Grading System? on 10.30.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Well thank you, Details Please,  for asking!  So many problems in Gilmer and education is just one.  Look at the town, take a good look around.  Remember who runs unopposed at election time.  Vote.  Make a difference.  Hold authority figures responsible.  Allow videos, minutes and more to be shared on GFP again, for transparency.  Know your neighbors, help a friend.  Be good to each other. Amen.

By Reader7 on 10.29.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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I will truly miss my Uncle Stephen.  Telling me so much information about from gardening to canning. Just to listening to him talk with such passion for everything that he does… he had a sense of humor that always warms my heart.. listening to him play the banjo sometimes even when he didn’t feel good. he is always willing to share his recipes and his ways of doing things… his solar information he was always studying something ... I’m remember one time we asked him where he got his blackberries when it wasn’t Blackberry season and he go there’s a store down the road it’s called Walmart they have everything… He was so funny.  I love you.. xoxo.

By Robin Nunez on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Sorry for your loss. He sure did look like his father.

By Buck Edwards on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Reader 7, please give details for your suggested solutions to the County’s concerns you addressed.

The information would be helpful for consideration by school system administrators and the general public.

By Details Please on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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There is speculation that the plan is for GSC to convert to an education center for low risk federal inmates. Is this something the County and central WV needs?

By GSC's New Mission? on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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Dr. Pellett’s commentary in the 10/26/2018 issue of the Gazette includes a statement that GSC is responsible for injecting $28,000,000 into the local economy.

If GSC were to close loss of the money would cause the County to have more severe poverty than it has now.

The pressing challenge is for GSC’s administrators including its Board of Governors to exercise effective leadership to prevent closure.

Why can’t GSC take action on the long standing suggestion for it to be an innovator by establishing a five year teacher education program to enable students to earn a masters degree by graduation time?

Something must be done in WV to deal with the 700 positions for which certified teachers including those for math, science and special education are not in the classrooms.

Dr. Pellett and GSC’s Board of Governors why is a new teacher education program at the College not a viable option? Nothing else seems to be working.

The need exists, a similar program of excellence does not exist anywhere in the State, and GSC’s status would be elevated by having a masters degree program.

By GSC Alumni on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Paine: Plan to improve math scores to focus on algebra where a third of teachers aren’t certified'.

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GSC could make a valuable contribution to WV by doing a study to report on how grade and elementary schools with excellent results in math and reading did it.

Then, other schools could use the information as guidance instead of going it alone to reinvent the wheel.

With the Ed.D. expertise at GSC it would be a natural to take on the assignment. Dr. Pellett, would you back the initiative?

By Opportunity for GSC on 10.23.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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There is reference to signing an agreement with the State for math4life for all WV school districts. What has Gilmer County agreed to do to fix our problems?

By Agreements Matter on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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This important news has potential for making significant progress in improving math and reading outcomes in WV.

It hinges on how quickly advantage can be taken from lessons learned in schools that excelled.

The WVBE could do an analysis of reasons for excelling and to quickly provide guidance information to other schools.

That is the way the private sector approaches problem-solving because chronic failures have consequences and the unfit are weeded out.

Dr. O’Cull could help if the WVBE is not responsive. There could be panels of individuals from excelling schools to make presentations at WV School Board Association meetings to explain what their schools did to make the achievements.

By Why Reinvent The Wheel? on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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A characteristic of a good strategic plan is to simplify language to enable a clear understanding of all its details.

Regarding the comment about abbreviations, a simple fix for them and terms (e.g. lexile) would be to insert an asterisk or a footnote symbol the first time one of them is used to refer readers to a section at the end of the documents where the entries are defined.

This comment is not intended to be a criticism. All specialty fields have a language of their own including the teaching profession.

Suggested clarity improvements in the plans would not be time consuming for principals at the County’s two schools.

By Clarity Is Always Good on 10.18.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Looked at the strategic plan for the GCES. It is a major achievement for the new GCBE to provide the information to the public.

Suggestion. Could the GCBOE post a meaning of all abbreviations in the plan? Doing that would make it far easier for readers to understand details in the plan.

By Help Understanding on 10.17.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Thanks Mrs. Lowther and the BOE for providing meeting minutes for the public to read.

Those of us who voted for the levy would appreciate receiving specific information for what is being done at the grade school and the high school to make needed improvements for college and career readiness.

Could a current overview and updates throughout the school year be provided to the public?

Why not put the details on websites of the two schools to give the principals a chance to shine?

By Levy Supporter on 10.16.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

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“engage in pedantic colloquy?“

No Bill.

By WEKNOWYOU on 10.14.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Correct.  I do not wish to engage in back and forth useless ‘banter’ with big words and no results.  What I AM interested in is Gilmer County, in all it’s ways.  Education, Food, Law and Transparency.  Fancy words are often used to hide, divide, and distract..  Plain words speaking truth for the safety and well being of the people is what I’m looking for..  Gilmer is suffering… I want it to stop. I want to see the citizens healthy, educated and strong. I want to see more jobs instead of food banks.  I want Committee meetings for all to see. I want the law to do what it should, when it should.  Plain english would work fine.  Thanks for asking.

By Reader7 on 10.14.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Lol 7, you do not wish to engage in a pedantic colloquy?

By Smart Feller on 10.13.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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All nice but a small request? Can we simplify some of the language?  Don’t mean to be rude, but fancy works aren’t needed for the Truth.

By Reader7 on 10.12.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Stop living the delusion the state will fix education.
They have caused the problem.
Remember, for them, job one IS job protection.

Rare in history, that the cause of a problem, has come forth with a solution to what they have caused. They keep resetting testing standards so as not have any ‘yardstick’ they can be measured against.  Apparently people just don’t get it?  And the WVBOE is so happy about that.

By it-ain't-a-gonna-happen. period. on 10.12.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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There is a continuum for sophistication regarding what is done with data.

Collecting and compiling it is at the low end of sophistication.

Synthesis is at the high end.

This means using results and other information to make specific recommendations for making improvements.

The State took its typical easy way out by failing to go beyond the data compilation stage.

By Easy Way Out on 10.10.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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The comment about need to find out what was done at high performance schools to determine what we could do in Gilmer County to get the same results merits a comment.

The comment flags what is wrong with the State BOE in failing to provide effective leadership.

Does anyone recall a single instance, after tens of millions of dollars were spent on amassing data, when the State BOE did anything to effectively address lessons learned at high performance schools for application at other schools?

Of course not! It is the easy way out for those in high income brackets in Charleston to collect data instead of using it to the maximum to take full advantage of lessons learned.

Could the WV School Board Association help fill the gap?

By Lost Opportunity on 10.07.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Harry, So sorry to hear of the passing of your wife.  I’m also sorry that I never got to know her because if she was anything like you, I’m sure she was pretty special.  Please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.  May God’s love be with you my friend.

By Greg Garvin on 10.04.2018

From the entry: 'Judith “Judy” Carolyn Buckley Rich'.

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What is the BOE’s proficiency goal for English and mathematics and what is the time frame for achieving the goal? That is news citizens want.

Then too, how can citizens at large get involved to honor and to encourage students who improve, and what of a similar nature could be done to give special recognition to outstanding teachers who contribute to improved learning for English and math?

By Positive Changes Made By New BOE on 10.04.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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The BOE and Mrs Lowther deserve high praise for disclosing proficiency information to the public.

It is the first time since 2011 anything like this has happened.

We still do not know about results for science, and it is understood that Charleston is still “working” on it.

Now we know our serious shortcomings in math and English and there is new hope for burrowing out of the mess with everyone in Gilmer working together.

By Thanks Gilmer BOE on 10.03.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Well, dear citizen… sometimes the local ‘law’ gets it wrong.  #truth #JusticeForGilmer

By Transparency matters on 09.30.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

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Soooo…...why do we never see a big drug bust in Gilmer?
With the college and others, there are plenty sources.
Seems strange?

By citizen 3 on 09.23.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

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If you access http://www.mywvschool.com it is evident that some schools outpace others for math and English.

For examples look at data for Lizemore Elementary in Clay County, Alum Creek Elementary in Kanawha County, Rock Branch Elementary in Putnam county, and Greenmont Elementary in Wood County.

Gilmer BOE why not assign someone to evaluate what is being done at those school and others to make them State standouts and to apply lessons learned to our elementary schools?

The same applies to learning from others regarding how to get high marks at GCHS.

By Learn What Works From Others on 09.23.2018

From the entry: 'WV and Area Counties Balanced Scorecard for School Year 2017-2018'.

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I have not read anyone blaming our teachers.  Quite the contrary.
There have been some well thought out comments submitted too.
I am old enough to remember when we had few issues about quality education.

Forget Charleston? Better not.
Believe we are still in their “probation” period.
You better check out just what that means.

By GC--still on state probation? on 09.22.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Why not go for it on our own and use the tried and widely accepted Iowa Test of Basic Skills to evaluate learning proficiency of our children?

It is the longest running test in America and it goes back to 1936.

One outcome of using the test is that each grade would be evaluated and compared to performances to schools in other parts of America.

We would probably have to go through hoop jumps of the State’s everchanging testing too.

By Iowa Test For Gilmer on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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To compound complexity of the issue, Gilmer is different from McDowell and both are different than Monongahela.

The implication is that getting out of the crisis must be county-specific and there is no one size that will fit all of WV’s 55 school systems.

Each county is on its own and ones with the best planning, local boards of education, and administrators will shine. Forget about Charleston!

By County-Specific on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Similar to most complex problems there are several categories contributing to WV’s dismal failure in improving education results in our grade and high schools.

Information in referred journal is beginning to show up. Some of the categories include curriculum issues in high schools, block scheduling failures in high schools, inordinate emphasis on sports at the expense of academics, inadequate prep of grade schoolers to ensure that they get firm foundations in math and English Language Arts, failure to instill need for life long learning at early ages, failure for school systems to fund continuing education of teachers to prepare them for newly emerged practices for enhanced student learning, cultural impediments including failure of some families to encourage children and to give them extra learning help at home, dysfunctional families for children to grow up in caused by drug and alcohol abuse and chronic unemployment, grade inflation characterized by too many As and Bs and attitudes that nobody fails so pass them along, failure of school boards to hire the best qualified superintendents and teachers because of local emphasis on favoring “home grow” individuals, failure of school boards to define performance expectations for superintendents to make effective accountability impossible, constantly changing types of State mandated testing to cause chaos and morale problems, poor compensation of teachers necessary to attract and keep the best and the brightest, etc.

To blame all problems on teachers is a cruel travesty.

One of the weakest links contributing to a lack of progress in improving WV schools is that instead of analyzing the full spectrum of contributing problems and focusing on ones with the biggest payoff potential, the trend in Charleston is to constantly apply band aid approaches with hopes that “cures” will be stumbled on accidentally.

By Do Not Blame It All On Our Teachers on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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The problem with preK-12 education in WV is that a holistic and and technically defensible evaluation of contributing factors to cause WV’s problems and how to deal with them has not occurred.

Instead, under direction of clueless politicians ineffective muddling prevails while selling what is done at a particular time as the definitive solution.

How many times have we witnessed muddling over the past 20-30 Years? It still goes on in Charleston.

Why not obtain a grant to have qualified experts analyze success stories around the Nation and use findings to craft a demonstration project in Gilmer County to improve our school system?

Regardless of what we do there must be open minds in seeking out what to do in homes, schools,  teacher education programs in our institutions of higher learning, continuing education for classroom teachers, and to involve various factions in our community to achieve acceptable results. Everyone must band together as a unified team to make it work.

One trap is over emphasis of sports. If the same magnitude of attention and importance were to be focused on solving preK-12 education problems in WV, great strides could be made to benefit deserving children.

By Muddling on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Our heartfelt condolences on the passing of Mr. Ron. I too know this pain of losing a beloved father. Both of these men were taken way too soon. Praying maybe Mr.Ron, my Dad, and all the former Westinghouse employees in heaven are getting together. Love and prayers from, Adrienne and family.

By Adrienne (Trimper) Johnson on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'Ronald J. Vanskiver'.

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West Virginia’s educational failures is NOT because of classroom teachers.

It IS because of the WV Board of Education’s failures of the past 20-30 years.

That 9 member, lopsided governor board is a crime against children and education in WV as a whole.

It needs 3 teachers, 3 general public parent members, and 3 governor appointees.

Until that governors click gang is broken up, you simply see repeats of the past.  NO progress in education.

It will take the legislature to fix it, but they are too busy with the legislature created court system failure, while trying to line pockets with gas and oil money.

By Tell It Like It Is ! on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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What is the plausible rationale for Gilmer not disclosing detailed facts similar to what Superintendent Hosaflook did?

Wood County reported 11,176 students in its 27 schools for the full FY 2018 school year.

In comparison Gilmer had 734 reported students in our two schools for the full FY 2018 school year.

Wood County had 15 times more students than Gilmer and it is reasonable to assume that it was 15 times more demanding to administer with its 27 schools.

If Wood County could get detailed facts out to the public with its significantly higher work load what keeps tiny Gilmer from doing the same?

By Why Gilmer BOE? on 09.18.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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We have not had a responsible, functioning, WVBE for 20 years.
Not one that would accept any responsibility.

They just keep changing ‘score keeping’ so there can be no accurate tracking of student progress.

State ranks 48th or 49th on educational outcomes. Still.
Colleges still have to give remedial classes.

The ONLY thing that changes are the names of the governor appointed players.
And just look at the ‘cost-per-pupil’ spending!
We are about the highest in the nation.

West Virginia State Board of Education = complete failure.  Nothing less.

By just more smoke and mirrors on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released for Public Schools in West Virginia'.

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Never could figure out why working people, retirees, volunteers are picking up trash left by adults?

Not when we have the numbers of bored prisoners we have locked up doing nothing??

By No solution here- on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Adopt-A-Highway Fall Statewide Cleanup Set for September 29'.

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Go to http://www.mywvschool.org to access more official State information about Gilmer’s schools. There are serious red flags in need of immediate corrective attention.

If you access Lewis County schools on the same web site you can review info for LES. Look at the red flags there. Worse than GES.

Instead of using the info to criticize it can be useful in seeking out opportunities for making immediate improvements.

For those who take apologetic stands that Gilmer is doing as well as some other WV counties and everything is fine, it does not mean that inferior educations for our children are acceptable.

By Look At Red Flags on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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Who is responsible for Gilmer’s oversight of the LES?

If you access the State’s website you will learn that math and reading is red flagged for the LCES to be as bad as it can get.

Why is it that nothing is reported in Gilmer County about how that school is doing when we know that our sixth grade finishers from over there will go to the GCHS to finish their educations? 

It is like our students who attend LCES are forgotten about. Someone needs to be watching out for them.

By Who Minds The Store on 09.15.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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The really sad stories are left out.
The students who accrue debt and for whatever reasons, drop out of school after a year or two.

They have little hope of improving incomes, but still have debt.
More of them than you think.

By More sad ones to be told. on 09.14.2018

From the entry: 'Student-Loan Debts a "Loss of Freedom" for Some in WV'.

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Information made ‘public’ forces accountability.
Do not hold your breath lest you turn blue.

‘They’ want elected. Get their place at the trough.
Then discover ‘exposure’ makes their work more difficult.

Informed citizens make informed decisions.
Why do we see the same names being elected over and over and over?

By WHEN we're allowed to see it......? on 09.14.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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Lots of work to be done with schools in Gilmer County. 2017-2018 Summative Assessments out today for student achievement.

Gilmer County High School.

For Math
*Exceed or Meet Standards=40% of Students.
*Fail to Meet Standards=60% of Students

For Reading
*Exceed or Meet Standards=36% of Students
*Fail to Meet Standards=64%

The scores speak volumes. What was done to accurately determine causes of failures and what will be done about it? BOE, the public has a right to know answers.

By Public Demands Answers on 09.13.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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The Founding Fathers screwed up, we should not have to work and pay our bills. Let that man behind the tree work and pay for it all.
Free education should be a right.
Free food should be a right.
Free healthcare should be a right. 
Free transportation should be a right.
Free entertainment should be a right.

By Smart Feller on 09.13.2018

From the entry: 'Student-Loan Debts a "Loss of Freedom" for Some in WV'.

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Thank you BOE members and Mrs. Lowther. Let’s work together at all community levels to make Gilmer County an educational power house in West Virginia. We can do it as an effective team and provision of information will be the key to success.

By Better Times On The Way on 09.12.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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Accountability - good point - and across Gilmer County.  We’ve seen glimpses and pieces of news WHEN we’re allowed to see it, mere mortals that we are. But never any follow up.  And the information come in bits and pieces (remember when we actually got to SEE what the Gilmer County Commission was up to?)  My question is, why do we never see the accountability or repercussion for actions of current Gilmer ‘elite’??

By Transparency matters on 09.12.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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Encouraging news that the superintendent will present her goals for Gilmer Schools on 9/10.

We assume that there will be a commitment for specific goals to achieve, measurable outcomes, completion dates for different steps and final goal achievement, and a meaningful monitoring program to determine if we are on track or there is need for mid-course fine tuning.

If any of this is missing there will not be meaningful accountability. Excellent business plans have all the components addressed above.

By Waiting To See on 09.09.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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