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Program | Travel | Tour

Program, Travel, Tour

GSC Students and Faculty Travel Abroad

GLENVILLE, WV—Some studies have found that less than 10% of higher education students in the United States travel abroad at some point prior to their graduation. Through several initiatives, Glenville State College is aiming to provide more opportunities for our students to experience the cultural exchange that happens when learning is explored on a global scale. In addition to new projects like Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) courses where students get to interact with their peers in other countries, GSC students are also participating in traditional study abroad trips.

Just this summer a group of students and faculty traveled to London for a study abroad experience. Members of the GSC Honors Program had discussed the idea of such a trip and worked hard to make it a reality. They talked about who would go and what they would do while they were there, but first they had to raise the money to cover the travel expenses. They held spaghetti dinners, basket raffles, and collected donations to pay for the travel expenses of the trip.

The Free Press WV
(L-R) Melissa Davis, Morgan Allen, Dr. Jonathan Minton, Dr. Sallie Anglin, Larisa Gordon,
and Nancy and Dennis Wemm pose for a photo in front of London’s Tower Bridge


The students who attended were Morgan Allen, Larisa Gordon, and Melissa Davis. They agree that the ability to see another culture firsthand was truly unique. “I have a newfound respect for how different cultures interact all living together as one,” said Allen. “I enjoyed seeing the sights of London and the history behind them. After my study abroad experience, I have gained confidence and drive to continue traveling in the future,” added Gordon. Allen and Gordon are both Honors Program Students and Davis is a Hidden Promise Scholar.

While in London the group toured art museums, castles, and Stonehenge. They also took part in a theater class and visited sites where popular movies like the Harry Potter series had been filmed. In addition to the students, GSC Professor of Communications Dennis Wemm and his wife Nancy, GSC associate Professor of English Dr. Jonathon Minton, and former professor Dr. Sallie Anglin took part in the trip.

“Employers throughout the U.S. consistently emphasize the advantages of global competencies in the hiring process. These competencies may be acquired through education abroad, which now includes internships or service-learning projects. What this means for students is that, in addition to being fun, traveling is also an investment in one’s career after college. All other things being equal, Melissa, Morgan and Larisa may be offered jobs precisely because they participated in an education abroad experience,” said Dr. Megan Gibbons, GSC Assistant Professor of Spanish and Director of International Programs.

In a world where nearly every occupation is untouched by globalization, experiences like these are very valuable for students. Plans are being made for other study abroad trips specifically for criminal justice and environmental science students as well as trips to World War II battle sites. Currently, eleven students have signed up for the criminal justice in London trip being offered in May 2016.  Other destinations available to students next year include Canada, Germany, and Mexico.

Students in the Honors Program extend their thanks to community members who donated to their fundraisers and specifically to the Corner Stone Café, Waco Oil and Gas, Flying W Plastics, Glenville Advance Auto Parts, Joe and June Evans, the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department, Watch Me Grow Daycare, the Glenville State College Office of Admissions, and the GSC Foundation for helping make their trip possible.
For more information about programs such as these, contact Gibbons at or 304.462.6328.

Troy Elementary ABBITs Trip

The Troy Elementary ABBITs(a’s and b’s because I try) traveled to
Blennerhassett Island in Parkersburg on May 28, 2015.

Students took the ferry to the island.

They received a tour of the mansion and a horse drawn carriage around the island.

The following students participated:
Tierra Law(6), Ally Frymier(6), Ty Wellings(6), Jo Lilly (5) and Zack Collins(6).

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

Wild, Wonderful West Virginia (GoToWV) Unveils 2015 Official State Travel Guide

Wild, Wonderful West Virginia (GoToWV), joined by the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, local businesses, and travelers, unveiled the 2015 Official State Travel Guide at the I-77 South Welcome Center in Williamstown, West Virginia.

“This year’s travel guide provides folks with everything they need to plan a fun and exciting getaway with friends and family.  Combined with recommendations from our knowledgeable and friendly staff at our Welcome Centers, this guide can help you map out your wild, wonderful West Virginia adventure,” Commissioner of Tourism Amy Shuler Goodwin said.

The Gilmer Free Press


Mark Lewis, President and CEO of The Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said he was pleased to assist in hosting the official debut of the 2015 Official State Travel Guide. He went on to say, “The guide showcases all the gems that make West Virginia shine. Here in the Greater Parkersburg area, that includes a variety of unique attractions, from the 19th century elegance of Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park to the promise of outdoor adventure on the North Bend Rail Trail.”

The 2015 Official State Travel Guide, produced by Miles, features whitewater rafting on the cover. The guide is divided into nine geographic travel regions and offers suggestions for outdoor recreation; craft beer, wine and spirits; dining; entertainment; and more. A 2015 calendar of events is listed in the back of the guide.

Request your free copy of the 2015 Official State Travel Guide online, from a member of the GoToWV Team at 800.225.5982 or pick up one at one of the many Welcome Centers and tourist attractions in West Virginia.

Find your adventure in West Virginia at www.GoToWV.com or by calling 800.225.5982.

You can also join the conversation and share your wild, wonderful stories on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoToWV or on Twitter and Instagram @GoToWV with #GoToWV.

Annie’s Project to Be Offered Again by WVU Extension Service - Deadline Approaching

The Gilmer Free Press


Annie’s Project, the popular program which provides risk management education for women in agriculture, is coming back to our local area through the West Virginia University Extension Service.

An advanced level is being added for participants who completed the original training.

Annie’s Project provides training, resources and networking opportunities to help West Virginia women build viable, efficient and sustainable farm businesses.

The first courses cover everything from business planning, finances and marketing to food safety and insurance.

The second level teaches business, estate, retirement and succession planning.

Both groups can expect meaningful networking opportunities that extend well beyond the course.

The program will be offered in Sutton, WV as well as other locations around state during the winter and spring months.

The fee for the course is $25, and includes materials and refreshments.

Some financial aid is available for those who find the cost prohibitive.

Classes are scheduled to start January 20, 2015, at 6:00 PM at the Braxton County High School.

Please register by January 16, 2015 by contacting one of the following WVU Extension Offices- Gilmer, Braxton, or Lewis.

For questions contact one of the following WVU Extension Agents, Daisy Bailey at 304.462.7061 (Gilmer County), Debbie Friend at 304.765.2809 (Braxton County), Bruce Loyd at 304.269.4660 (Lewis County)

By using local experts to provide instruction, Annie’s Project has built a solid track record of success in more than 34 states.

The WVU Extension Service is partnering with the WVU Small Farm Center, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NESARE), West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition (WVFFC), West Virginia Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit of the Virginias and Farm Service Agency to provide the training in West Virginia.

Boeing 797

Get Ready It’s Almost Here

BOEING 797 It can comfortably fly 10,000 Miles (16,000 km) at Mach 0.88 or 654 mph (1,046 km/h) with 1000 passengers on board! They have kept this secret long enough. This shot was taken last month.


The Gilmer Free Press


The BOEING 797 Boeing is preparing this 1000 passenger Jet Liner that could reshape the Air Travel Industry. Its radical “Blended Wing Fuselage” design has been developed by Boeing in cooperation with NASA Langley Research Centre. The mammoth aircraft will have a wing span of 265 feet compared to 211 feet of its 747, and it’s been designed to fit within the newly created Air Terminals for the 555 seat Airbus A380, which is 262 feet wide.

The new 797 is Boeing’s direct response to the Airbus A380, which has racked up orders for 159 already. Boeing decided to kill its 747X Stretched Super Jumbo in 2003 after little interest was shown for it by Airline Companies, but continued to develop its “Ultimate Airbus Crusher”, the 797 at its Phantom Works Research Facility in Long Beach, California. The Airbus A380 had been in the works since 1999 and has accumulated $13 Billion in development costs, which gives Boeing a huge advantage. More so because Airbus is thus committed to the older style tubular structure for their aircraft for decades to come.


The Gilmer Free Press


There are several big advantages in the “Blended Wing Fuselage” design, the most important being the “Lift to Drag” ratio which is expected to increase by an amazing 50%, resulting in an overall weight reduction of the aircraft by 25%, making it an estimated 33% more fuel efficient than the A380, and thus making the Airbus’s $13 Billion Dollar investment look pretty shaky.“High Airframe Rigidity” is another key factor in the “Blended Wing Fuselage” technology. It reduces turbulence and creates less stress on the airframe which adds to fuel efficiency, giving the 797 a tremendous 10,000 Mile range with 1,000 passengers on board cruising comfortably at Mach 0.88 or 654 MPH, which gives it another advantage over the tube-and-wing designed A380’s 570 MPH.


The Gilmer Free Press


The exact date for introduction of the 797 is as yet unclear, but the battle lines are clearly drawn in the high-stakes war for future civilian aircraft supremacy.

The Gilmer Free Press

Annie’s Project to Be Offered Again by WVU Extension Service

The Gilmer Free Press


Annie’s Project, the popular program which provides risk management education for women in agriculture, is coming back to our local area through the West Virginia University Extension Service.

An advanced level is being added for participants who completed the original training.

Annie’s Project provides training, resources and networking opportunities to help West Virginia women build viable, efficient and sustainable farm businesses.

The first courses cover everything from business planning, finances and marketing to food safety and insurance.

The second level teaches business, estate, retirement and succession planning.

Both groups can expect meaningful networking opportunities that extend well beyond the course.

The program will be offered in Sutton, WV as well as other locations around state during the winter and spring months.

The fee for the course is $25, and includes materials and refreshments.

Some financial aid is available for those who find the cost prohibitive.

Classes are scheduled to start January 20, 2015, at 6:00 PM at the Braxton County High School.

Please register by January 16, 2015 by contacting one of the following WVU Extension Offices- Gilmer, Braxton, or Lewis.

For questions contact one of the following WVU Extension Agents, Daisy Bailey at 304.462.7061 (Gilmer County), Debbie Friend at 304.765.2809 (Braxton County), Bruce Loyd at 304.269.4660 (Lewis County)

By using local experts to provide instruction, Annie’s Project has built a solid track record of success in more than 34 states.

The WVU Extension Service is partnering with the WVU Small Farm Center, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NESARE), West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition (WVFFC), West Virginia Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit of the Virginias and Farm Service Agency to provide the training in West Virginia.

Calling All Bird Lovers! January 16-18, 2015, Is “For the Birds”

Calling All Bird Lovers! North Bend State Park’s Winter Wonder Weekend
January 16-18, 2015, Is “For the Birds”

Bird lovers and other winter outdoors enthusiasts are invited to flock to the 2015 Winter Wonder Weekend at North Bend State Park January 16-18, 2015.

The theme for this annual event is “For the Birds” and will feature bird-related programs, crafts and activities.

Outdoor opportunities will include sleigh riding (weather permitting) and hikes.

The weekend begins Friday afternoon, January 16, and concludes Sunday, January 18, 2015.

Featured guest Bill Beatty of Wellsburg, West Virginia, will provide interesting theme-related programs throughout the weekend.

The Gilmer Free Press
Winter Wonder Weekend 2014


Friday evening features dinner, a family dessert contest and hot beverage bar. Saturday offers a winter bird hike, crafts, a trip to Harrisville, and post-dinner entertainment by Stepping Stone Band.

Sunday is wrap-up day with a morning devotional and final programs.

Games, crafts and other activities will be available at various times.

Reservations for rooms, cabins and meals should be made by January 09, 2015.

Reservations are honored on a first-come, first-served basis. Weekend information is online at www.northbendsp.com under the “events” tab or by calling Wendy Greene at 304.558.2754.

The weekend cost will be $145 per person based on double occupancy. Single occupancy reservations are $170. The rate includes two nights lodging in either the lodge or a cabin, five meals and registration fee, which includes a craft, door prizes and all weekend activities. Lodging for children ages 12 and younger is free. Family rates for cabin occupancy are available.

North Bend State Park is located in Ritchie County near Cairo and Harrisville.

The park is open year-round and is known for its hospitality, service and family oriented atmosphere.

The park hosts Winter Wonder and Nature Wonder weekends annually in addition to multiple special weekend and overnight packaged rates.

To learn more, visit www.northbendsp.com or call 304.643.2931.

“First Day” Hikes at West Virginia State Parks in 2015 - Resolve to Get Outdoors

West Virginia – It’s never early to think about New Year’s resolutions. A healthy outlook combined with getting outdoors more is a good 2015 combo. At least five areas in the West Virginia state park system will offer First Day Hikes January 01, 2015

Participating in the First Day Hikes challenge will be Kanawha State Forest, Blackwater Falls State Park, Cacapon Resort State Park, Pipestem Resort State Park and Twin Falls Resort State Park.

“It is West Virginia’s invitation to get outdoors as one of the 50 state park systems participating in America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative. Hiking or walking at a state park or forest is an activity open to anyone who comes to visit,“ said West Virginia State Parks Programming Coordinator Sissie Summers. “Parks and forests operated by the West Virginia state park system do not charge an admission fee, so it’s fun exercise, hiking beautiful trails at no cost.“

The Gilmer Free Press

“We’re venturing out again the first day of the year in 2015,“ said Kevin Dials, assistant superintendent of Kanawha State Forest, which is near the state capitol in Charleston. Dials led a 3-mile First Day Hike January 01, 2012, with more than 120 people participating. In 2013 and 2014, Dials had close to 200 people hiking and walking. “It’s a great day and we’re looking forward another First Day Hike event at Kanawha State Forest,“ Dials said.

Massachusetts state parks began offering First Day Hikes more than 23 years ago. The National Association of State Park Directors issues a challenge to all park directors nationwide to establish similar First Day hikes.

“Hiking is a year-round activity and the experience is different each time, depending upon the seasons and temperatures,“ said Paulita Cousin, naturalist at Blackwater Falls State Park. The Jan. 1 departure times are 10 AM at Blackwater Falls, 2 PM at Kanawha State Forest, 10 AM at Cacapon Resort, and 1 PM at Pipestem Resort.

“The First Day Hike is open to anyone and leaders will provide hiking program information to those enjoying the first day of the year outdoors,“ Summers said.

Hikers must participate in one the five scheduled hikes to receive a First Day Hike patch. The log card supplied by the hike leader is for recording the hiked distance. Miles are tallied and reported to the national organization and West Virginia patches, new for 2015, will be mailed following the event upon receipt of the log card.

The First Day Hike is one of the special hikes on the West Virginia State Park Hiking Program. However, unlike other special hikes, it is not necessary to be enrolled in the Hiking Program to receive the First Day Hike patch. The Hiking Program is a nominal-fee-based, self-directed outdoor pursuit that logs miles hiked and includes a walking stick reward and cane shields for various mileage plateaus. “Special hikes” are also recognized by cane shields.

Individuals planning to participate in a First Day Hike should arrive at least 15 minutes before the starting time. Hikers should bring water and wear layers of clothing and sturdy, warm hiking boots or shoes, as well as hats and gloves. Hikes will depart on time and return to the starting point. Additional information and other areas providing guided First Day Hikes will be posted on www.wvstateparks.com

Annie’s Project to Be Offered Again by WVU Extension Service

The Gilmer Free Press


Annie’s Project, the popular program which provides risk management education for women in agriculture, is coming back to our local area through the West Virginia University Extension Service.

An advanced level is being added for participants who completed the original training.

Annie’s Project provides training, resources and networking opportunities to help West Virginia women build viable, efficient and sustainable farm businesses.

The first courses cover everything from business planning, finances and marketing to food safety and insurance.

The second level teaches business, estate, retirement and succession planning.

Both groups can expect meaningful networking opportunities that extend well beyond the course.

The program will be offered in Sutton, WV as well as other locations around state during the winter and spring months.

The fee for the course is $25, and includes materials and refreshments.

Some financial aid is available for those who find the cost prohibitive.

Classes are scheduled to start January 20, 2015, at 6:00 PM at the Braxton County High School.

Please register by January 16, 2015 by contacting one of the following WVU Extension Offices- Gilmer, Braxton, or Lewis.

For questions contact one of the following WVU Extension Agents, Daisy Bailey at 304.462.7061 (Gilmer County), Debbie Friend at 304.765.2809 (Braxton County), Bruce Loyd at 304.269.4660 (Lewis County)

By using local experts to provide instruction, Annie’s Project has built a solid track record of success in more than 34 states.

The WVU Extension Service is partnering with the WVU Small Farm Center, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NESARE), West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition (WVFFC), West Virginia Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit of the Virginias and Farm Service Agency to provide the training in West Virginia.

UHC and Core to Dedicate a Rose for Inclusion on Donate Life’s Float in 2015 Rose Parade

The Gilmer Free Press

United Hospital Center and Center for Organ Recovery & Education to Dedicate
a Rose for Inclusion on Donate Life’s Float in 2015 Rose Parade

Each New Year’s Day, the world focuses its attention on Pasadena, California, home of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game: a festival of flowers, music and sports unequaled anywhere in the world. A tradition dating back to the 19th century, the Tournament of Roses Parade is America’s New Year Celebration®.

Bruce Carter, president of United Hospital Center recently signed a Rose Vial with a dedication message for a rose that will appear on the Donate Life Float in the 2015 Rose Parade. The Donate Life Float is sponsored by Organ Procurement Organizations across the country including CORE, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education, the not-for-profit organ procurement organization that covers West Virginia.

“By participating in this event we are honoring those who have donated life to others,” said Carter.  “Donated tissue is transplanted at UHC, which enhances the lives of many North Central West Virginians.”

Each dedicated rose is placed in a vial that carries a unique, personal message of hope and remembrance to honor organ donors, recipients and those touched by organ, tissue and cornea donation. Altogether, these roses create a Dedication Garden that is a featured design element on the Donate Life float each year.

“We are happy to celebrate with the nation, West Virginians who have donated life,” said Juanita Alfred, RN, critical care educator/supervisor at UHC. “It is with deepest gratitude that we honor these families and celebrate the gifts of life given.”

The theme of the 12th annual Donate Life Rose Parade float is “The Never-Ending Story,” featuring butterflies emerging from storybooks to symbolize the enduring power of organ, tissue and cornea donation and transplantation.

The Gilmer Free Press
Standing is Michelle Lester, RN, BSN, professional services liaison with Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE);
Juanita Alfred, RN, clinical educator and supervisor of critical care at United Hospital Center (UHC)
and seated is Bruce Carter, president of UHC signing a rose vial that will appear
on the Donate Life Float in the 2015 Rose Parade.
Each dedicated rose is placed in a vial that carries a unique, personal message
of hope and remembrance to honor organ donors, recipients and those touched by organ,
tissue and cornea donation. Altogether, these roses create a Dedication Garden that is
a featured design element on the Donate Life float each year.
The theme of the 12th annual Donate Life Rose Parade float is
“The Never-Ending Story,” featuring butterflies emerging from storybooks to symbolize
the enduring power of organ, tissue and cornea donation and transplantation.


The purpose of the multifaceted national campaign is to extend the impact of the Rose Parade participation to all corners of the country and ensure a once-in-a-lifetime guest experience, including:

• An effective national and regional PR campaign that places hundreds of stories each year

• Special events for float participants, sponsor representatives and their guests

• Float and floragraphs decorating operations, supplies and volunteer support

• Support for more than 60 local floragraph finishing media events nationwide

• Thousands of dedicated roses that honor donors, recipients and transplant candidates nationally

Each and every New Year, the Donate Life Rose Parade float’s universal, emotional message and the float participants’ moving stories of hope in the face of adversity communicate an uplifting message that inspires people worldwide to donate life. Visit the official Donate Life Float website: www.DonateLifeFloat.org

The 2015 Donate Life Rose Parade Float will be seen by 800,000 spectators, up to 40 million U.S. television viewers, and tens of millions more through news coverage inspired by the deeply meaningful purpose of our parade participation:

• 114 float participants (30 recipient riders, 12 living donor walkers and 72 floragraph honorees) sponsored by organ, eye and tissue donation and transplant organizations inspire news stories that air and publish throughout the three-month season of giving.

• Thousands of roses dedicated by families, hospitals and advocates fill the float with personal messages of love, hope and remembrance.  These roses help to rally communities to remember and honor donors and their living legacies.

• 1,500 volunteer float decorators bring the float to life in front of TV cameras. Parade and Float Theme Each and every year, the Donate Life Float Committee draws upon the Rose Parade theme for inspiration as we craft our float theme, design and national media campaign.

The 2015 Rose Parade theme, Inspiring Stories, is a natural starting point for the Donate Life float, which from the beginning has been about people and their courage in the face of adversity.

Personal Hygiene To Be Donated to Local Elementary Schools

Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital Chief Financial Officer Dodie Arbogast had a terrific idea several months ago.

She realized that there were many young students in Lewis County who might not have accessibility to personal hygiene products.

The Gilmer Free Press
SJMH staff members who participated in stuffing the hygiene bags
(L-R) Kristi Gannon, Peggy Burkhammer, and Tiffany Lowther


Consol Energy was kind enough to provide a grant to make up plastic bags which contain soap, shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, dental floss, and tooth brushes provided by dental hygienist Tammy Thomason.

In the next few weeks close to 1200 students will be receiving these bags.

UHC’s Holds Annual Celebration of Life for Cancer Survivors - 11.16.14

The Gilmer Free Press
12:30 PM, Sunday, November 16 at the Bridgeport Conference Center

From family members to friends, everyone knows someone whose life has been touched by cancer. At 12:30 PM, on Sunday, November 16, 2014, at the Bridgeport Conference Center, the Cecil B. Highland, Jr., & Barbara B. Highland Cancer Center at United Hospital Center will hold its 15th annual Celebration of Life.

Since the events inception in 1999, cancer survivors, their family members and close friends, along with physicians, nurses, social workers and other cancer caregivers at UHC have helped to raise awareness about the battle against cancer.

“This poignant event allows those living with cancer an opportunity to share their stories, learn from oncology experts at UHC and spend time discovering how to enjoy life after the diagnosis of cancer,” said Linda Carte, RN, MSN, AOCN, director of cancer services.  “At the same time we will be honoring these cancer survivors, patients and their guests with the inspiration that truly there is life after a cancer diagnosis—and it’s worth celebrating.”

Cancer survivors and cancer patients from UHC are invited to attend with a guest this event that is held in their honor.  The complimentary program of information, inspiration, laughter, brunch and fellowship will feature Hampstead Stage Company, a national touring theatre company from New Hampshire.  They will be performing Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. 

Each year the cancer center recognizes an individual at Celebration of Life with the Guardian Angel Award.  This is a person who provided significant support to a cancer survivor throughout the survivor’s diagnosis and treatment.

“The Guardian Angel Award has become a cherished, annual honor. It is the one day each year that we pause to recognize that special person who has helped a family member, friend, neighbor or coworker,” said Carte.  “A nominee is someone who has provided significant support throughout the survivor’s diagnosis and treatment.”

If you would like to nominate someone, please send a description of the nominee’s qualifications.  The nomination should be 250 words or less and should reflect how the nominee comforted, uplifted and supported someone who has battled cancer.  Be sure to include your name and a daytime phone number, as well as the full name of your nominee.  Send nominations to Public Relations, United Hospital Center, 327 Medical Park Drive, Bridgeport, WV 26330.  The deadline for entries is Wednesday, November 12, 2014.

Both the event and award provides an opportunity for cancer survivors to connect with other survivors, celebrate milestones and recognize the healthcare providers, family, and friends who have supported them along the way. It is a day for cancer survivors to stand together and show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be meaningful, productive and even inspiring.

Cancer survivorship is an important issue as it affects nearly 14 million people in the United States.  An individual is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnoses, through the balance of his or her life.  “Celebration of Life ‘puts a face’ on cancer, while at the same time providing hope to all that fight it,” Carte said. “No longer do we need to think the worst when we hear the word ‘cancer’, but rather we need to remember that more people are living longer and better quality lives after cancer than ever before.” 

Active Shooter Mock Drill at Gilmer County High School

Gilmer County First Responders
Hold Emergency Drill at Gilmer County High School

The Gilmer Free Press

It was a cold morinig when three teen shooters at Gilmer County High School caused the school officials call for help in a really bad situation.

How fast could police, fire department respond and medics help the victims? How quickly they could spot and arrest the shooters? That was the focus of a mock drill at Gilmer County High School last Saturday.

Glenville City Police, West Virginia State Police, and the Gilmer County Sheriff officers were the first to respond when the call for help was announce by Lewis-Gilmer E-911 center. Shortly after Glenville State College Campus police responded and kept the cars and parents from entering the school area.

The screams were the first thing officers heard when they entered the high school. They were coming from all directions.

Police officer soon learned four students were shot and three teen gunmen were on the loose. Shooters were not together which made the search more difficult.

It was a mock drill where every minute counted. It was staged by request of Gilmer County Schools Superintendent Gabe DeVano from RESA VII, Gilmer County High school Principal Nasia Butcher, City of Glenville Police and Glenville K-9 unit, Gilmer County Sheriff, West Virginia State Police,  GSC Campus Police, Gilmer County Fire Department, Gilmer County EMS, and Gilmer County Office of Emergency Management in case the real thing strikes.

“Even though we may have seen it before and we have acted upon it, we can always learn from our lessons and our mistakes,” said Gilmer County Sheriff Larry Gerwig who was the incident commander for this drill.

This simulation came at a time when there have been several school shootings in the nation.

The officials succeeded in stopping the shooting. All three shooters were shot and killed.

Since the shooters were at random locations at school making it more difficult. One of the shooter looked and acted suicidal before he was shot.

The shooters also manage to shoot a State Trooper. It was not life threatening since he was shot in the leg. He managed to stop the bleeding himself and was right back to search.

Two parents managed to get in school from side door. No one was supposed to cross the line established by the first responder. They were spotted by police and escorted out of school. They were lucky, they could have gotten arrested.

Shooters also managed to shoot containers with chemicals in a lab which resulted in calling the Hazmat unit as well.

Once the scene was cleared by the police, and all the shooters taken care of, the medics arrived to help the injured student and to remove the three students who got killed by the shooters.

“Doing it at a school…it’s a different element, everyone did a great job. There are always some improvements. But if I were to give them a grade it would be an A” said School Safety official Bill Beakstaff from RESA VII.

And that’s why drill organizers say doing this simulation inside a school is important, because in a real-life situation, long halls can turn into what officers call “fatal funnels.” It’s just one exercise in this drill that first responders must master.

“I like to thank the students, teacher, superintendent, principal and all the staff for this drill”, said Sheriff Gerwig.

During the mock drill principal was on the phone calling the responders. Cameras in school were great help for finding the shooters.

Saturday was chosen because the school was closed and in case the parents did not know this was a mock drill, they would not be stressed because their kids were already at home.

Sheriff Gerwig also mentioned all the sheriffs in the state have signed so in case of an emergency they can cross county line to help with emergencies.

Martin Hess, the Gilmer County Fire Chief said: “I am very thankful for the drill and if there is ever a real emergency all the unit will be there and work together. A lot to learn and a lot were leaned. If there was a mistake to be made not was the time, because in real emergency we cannot afford it.”

At this point no one knows about the motive, but it is under investigation.

44 students, 11 teachers and staff, principal; assistant principal, transportation director, and superintendent were involved in the drill.

Close to 100 police officers, medics and volunteers worked on the simulation.

They did a great job.

 

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GSC Forest Technology Students Help at Bulltown

Students, faculty, and staff in the Timber Harvesting Techniques class at Glenville State College recently performed community service by removing declining white ash trees at Burnsville Lake’s Bulltown Campground.

The class was invited to conduct the work by Benjamin Coulter who is a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a graduate of the Forest Technology and Natural Resource Management programs at GSC.

“This community service was a great experience for the students. It allowed them to utilize their forestry skills that they have developed in our program. They also saw the effect that the Emerald Ash Borer is having on our ash trees throughout the state,“ said Assistant Professor of Forestry Dr. Brian Perkins.

The Gilmer Free Press
Members of the GSC group who recently helped removed trees at Bulltown campground
(L-R) Tiffany Jarrett, Mr. Tom Snyder, Holly Crider, Joshua Kaplan, Christina Hensley,
Casey Brown, Danial Finney, Dr. Brian Perkins, Andrew Bailes, and Kyle Troutman


The Emerald Ash Borer is a non-native invasive beetle that kills white ash trees and other native ash species. It was first discovered in West Virginia in Fayette County in 2007 and has since spread to numerous counties. While removing the white ash trees at the campground, students learned about internship opportunities with the Corps of Engineers.

“I am proud to be an alumnus of Glenville State College and I greatly appreciate the group from the Timber Harvesting Techniques class for coming out to remove the white ash trees from the campground,“ said Coulter who graduated with degrees from GSC in 2007 and 2011.

“Our trip to the Bulltown campground was a very good learning opportunity. It provided excellent hands-on experience for safe timber harvesting techniques and work practices. Plus the class got to speak with a Corps of Engineers representative who gave us a lot of great information about internships and future job opportunities,“ said Casey Brown who is a GSC junior and a forest technology and natural resource management major from Valley Fork, West Virginia.

For more information about the Department of Land Resources at GSC, contact 304.462.4135.

Gilmer Public Library: WE LOVE PUZZLES! - Today

The Gilmer Free Press

WE LOVE PUZZLES! And that’s what we’re doing for our November First Friday.

Would you like to improve ~memory~coordination~critical thinking~visual perception~creativity?

Then puzzles are for you! Visit us on Friday, November 07, 2014 and learn about different kinds of puzzles.

We will be offering a puzzle swap for those that would like to share puzzles.

With the cold and blustery days of winter just ahead, why not make plans for an inexpensive family night of puzzles and popcorn?

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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'.

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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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