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Contest, Competition

First Lady Cathy Justice Seeks Entries in Valentines to West Virginia Contest

The Free Press WV

First Lady Cathy Justice and her Student Artist Series announced the new “Valentines to West Virginia” contest Friday. All students in the 6th grade are invited to submit a Valentine to West Virginia that shows or tells what they love most about the Mountain State.

“I look forward to seeing all the creative entries and learning more about what makes our state so special to the students,” First Lady Cathy Justice said.

Students may use writing, photography, painting, drawing, and other art mediums to describe a favorite place, memory, or moment in West Virginia. Valentines must be at least two-dimensional and no larger than 5x7 inches.

They can be created using a variety of materials. Students are encouraged to take their time and be creative!

This contest is the third installment of the First Lady’s Student Artist Series initiative.

On special holidays, she will host different art competitions or projects for students to participate in, encouraging creativity and promoting the importance of the arts within schools throughout West Virginia.  

Students may mail their Valentines to West Virginia to:
The Governor’s Mansion
1716 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, WV 25305.

With each submission, students MUST include their name, phone, email, county, school name, teacher name, and teacher email. Valentines will not be returned. Valentines must be received by February 1, 2019. Winners will be announced by Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2019.

Prizes will be awarded to winning valentines.

For questions, please contact the First Lady’s Special Assistant Katie Speece at 304.558.3588 or ‘kate.e.speece@wv.gov’.

Second Annual Commissioner of Agriculture for a Day Contest

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) has announced the start of the second annual Commissioner of Agriculture for a Day competition.

Students ages 9-18 are eligible to enter.

Those selected will serve as honorary Commissioners of Agriculture during the State Fair of West Virginia.

The contest will run from May 1st through July 18th.

“We have lost half our farmers in the last twenty years. At the same time, the average age of the farmer continues to increase,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “We hope to inspire the next generation of producers that our country desperately needs.”

To enter the contest, students can submit their presentations to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture website or to ‘jensmith@wvda.us’.

The theme for this year’s contest is “The Future of Agriculture: Ideas for Feeding the World”.

Acceptable forms for entry include: audio visual presentations such as photography or videos and written essays and poems, short stories and academic papers. All submissions must be received by July 18th.

“The hope is, if students see all the aspects of agriculture first hand, it may open up their eyes to careers they never knew existed,” stated Department of Education Agriculture, Science and Natural Resources Cluster Assistant Director Jason Hughes. “This is a great opportunity and I hope our students, especially FFA and 4-H members, take advantage of it.”

Those students who are chosen to serve as an Honorary Commissioner of Agriculture, will be given an encompassing tour of the State Fair of West Virginia, meet with Commissioner Kent Leonhardt, take part in events during the fair and meet various staff from every division of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. Additionally, any winning submissions will be showcased in the September edition of the Market Bulletin.

For more information or to submit an entry, contact Jennifer Smith ‘jensmith@wvda.us’ or 304.558.3708

Burnsville Lake Spoocktacular Pumpkin Decorating Contest Winners

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GCHS Land Judging Team Qualified for National Competition

The Gilmer County High School land judging team secured a 4th place finish at the State FFA Convention and has qualified to compete at the national land judging competition in Oklahoma City, OK in May 2018. 

The team has been working since early May perfecting their land judging skills. On May 11, the team went to a practice competition in Jane Lew where they placed second in home site evaluation and third in land judging with a combination score that put them in first place for the two contests. Individually, in home site, students placed third through sixth, which gave them a starting point to improve upon. 

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Members of the GCHS land judging team are (L to R):
Jaccob Klapka, son of Jeanette Klapka and John Klapka; Evan Jedamski, son of Melissa and Bert Jedamski; Ashlee White, daughter of Tina and Nelson White; Zane Cogar, son of Sherry and Thomas Cogar; and Marshall Cottrill, son of Dendra Miller and Steve Cottrill; Mr. Nick Cox, GCHS Vo-Ag teacher.


At the regional contest held on June 15 in Flatwoods, the team won both land judging and home site contests.  In land judging, the team had individuals place first, third, fourth and seventh with a total score of 1062 of 1200 possible points. In the home site competition, individuals placed first, second, third and seventh for a total score of 1270 of 1344 possible points.  Winning both of these contests qualified the GCHS team for the state contest.

At the state level held on July 14 in Ripley, WV, the team placed fourth in the home site and land judging contests. With a score of 1016 of 1200 possible points in land judging, and a score of 1198 of 1344 possible points in home site, GCHS team took fourth place and qualified them to compete at the national competition. Ashlee White placed tenth individually in home site and Zane Cogar placed seventh individually in land judging at the state competition.

“I am extremely proud of the effort this team put forth,“ said GCHS teach Mr. Nick Cox.  “The students set high expectations for themselves, and have worked diligently to achieve their goals.  I knew from the first day that this team was special, and that they could qualify for national competition.  They are right where I wanted them to be in their preparation for regional and state competitions.  Now, the real work begins to prepare to compete against hundred of other teams from across the nation.“

Broadside Writing Contest

The Free Press WV

HeartWood Literary Magazine & West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Program seek to honor the writing practice with an annual broadside series and contest. The winning entry will be printed on a limited-edition letterpress broadside designed by West Virginia letterpress company Base Camp Printing.  The contest began April 1 and will run through midnight on June 01, 2017.

Those interested must anonymously submit one poem of any form or flash prose piece in fiction or nonfiction of 200 or fewer words to www.heartwoodlitmag.com/submit, along with a $15 entry fee.  Mail or email submissions will not be accepted.  Previously published entries cannot be submitted for this contest, however simultaneously submitted work is accepted as long as the MFA program is notified if the work is accepted elsewhere before the close of the contest.  There is no limit on the number of entries.

The first round of judging will be performed by HeartWood editors, and approximately twenty poems and/or flash prose pieces will be chosen as finalists and forwarded to author Maggie Anderson, contest judge, for the final round of judging.

A $500 cash prize and 25 copies of the limited-edition letterpress broadside will be awarded to the winner, and all entrants will receive a copy of the winning print.  The winner and honorable mentions will be publicly announced in the October 2017 issue of HeartWood. All entries will also be considered for publication in HeartWood.  The winner’s broadside will be printed and mailed in October, as well.

Maggie Anderson is the author of five books of poems, most recently Dear All, (Four Way Books, 2017) and five edited or co-edited volumes of poetry. She was the founding director of the Wick Poetry Center and founder and editor of the Wick Poetry Series of the Kent State University Press. Anderson was also the Director of the Northeast Ohio MFA in creative writing from 2006-2009 and is the recipient of two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as grants from the Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania Councils on the Arts. She is Professor Emerita in English of Kent State University and currently lives in Asheville, NC.

Additional questions may be directed at Jessie van Eerden, MFA director, at .

Pearl S. Buck Writing Contest Open To High School, College Students

The Free Press WV

All students attending a West Virginia high school or college are invited to compete in the annual Pearl S. Buck writing contest.

Dr. Melanie Page, West Virginia University’s Vice President for Creative Programs, announced the contest. Awards of $1,000 each will be given to an undergraduate and graduate student winner, and a high school winner will receive $250 and a scholarship to the WVU English Department’s Summer Scholars program, which has a $600 value.

Applicants must submit an original writing in any literary genre (e.g., fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, essay, children’s literature, playwriting, blog, etc.) no later than April 15, 2017. Word maximum is 10,000.

Contest details and submission portal can be found HERE .

The late Miss Buck is one of only two American women to win both the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes for Literature. In 1892, she was born in her mother’s ancestral home, now a museum complex, in Hillsboro in Pocahontas County. Later, she wrote over 100 books dealing with both the Eastern and Western cultures and their peoples, and have been translated into 60 foreign languages.

This contest and other related Pearl Buck activities are a joint project of the West Virginia University Libraries-Pearl Buck Manuscripts Advisory Committee, in conjunction with the Pearl Buck Birthplace Foundation and WV Wesleyan College.

High School Students Win State Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management Competition

The Free Press WV

CHARLESTON, WV – ProStart teams from James Rumsey Technical Institute and Carver Career Center placed first at the 2016 Hospitality Cup - West Virginia’s State ProStart Competition - in culinary arts and restaurant management, respectively. Students competed March 2-3, in Morgantown, WV, to win scholarships, honors and the opportunity to compete against the best teams from other states at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s National ProStart Invitational, April 29 – May 1, 2016, in Grapevine, Texas.

Fifteen ProStart teams gathered from throughout West Virginia to compete in either the culinary arts or restaurant management divisions. Culinary teams prepare a three-course meal in 60 minutes, without access to running water or electricity using only two butane burners, and management teams present a business proposal for an original restaurant concept to a panel of industry judges.

“These students practice all year for this competition,” said Tami Maynard, Hospitality, Education and Training Coordinator, WVDE Office of Career & Technical Instruction. “They come in early, after school and on weekends, because this is what they’re passionate about and they want to do their very best.”

Ten post-secondary institutions and organizations presented the top three teams in each category with scholarships and tuition waivers that totaled almost one million dollars.

The 2016 West Virginia ProStart Competition team winners are:

First Place Management: Carver Career Center
First Place Culinary: James Rumsey Technical Institute

Second Place Management: Buckhannon Upshur High School
Second Place Culinary: Putnam Career & Technical Center

Third Place Management: Wheeling Park High School
Third Place Culinary: Wheeling Park High School

ProStart is a high school career and technical education program focused on teaching culinary skills and restaurant management fundamentals. Administered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, ProStart is available in all 50 states, Guam and Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe and Asia. Nearly 120,000 students are enrolled in the industry-driven program that offers a hands-on and group-learning based curriculum as a platform where students also learn employability skills such as teamwork, workplace communication, professionalism and time management.

“The students who compete here are determined,” said Michael Martirano, West Virginia state Superintendent of Schools. “Determined to win, determined to succeed – and not just here in this moment, but for the rest of their lives. ProStart reinforces the relationship between industry and the classroom, resulting in a workforce who understands what the industry is about and all of the opportunities it has to offer.”

West Virginia State Bar Video Contest Winners Announced

The Free Press WV

CHARLESTON, WV - West Virginia students have used their creativity and knowledge to win a video contest about the Magna Carta and how that document influenced the writing of the U.S. Constitution.

With the support of the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia State Bar sponsored a contest that rewards students for the best creation of a video with the theme, “The Magna Carta: What It Means Today.” First place winners received $500 and second place finishers received $250.

“This contest allowed students to understand the underpinnings of our government and the underlying conflicts which existed around the execution of the first Magna Carta,” said Burton Hunter, a member of the West Virginia State Bar.

Students in grades 6-12 applied to compete in the annual competition. Videos were required to meet certain guidelines, such as adherence to this year’s theme and a less-than-three-minute length requirement.

“I am extremely proud of the effort each student who competed in the competition put forth,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano. “I believe it is necessary to have an understanding of the history of our nation’s founding principles, and these students have demonstrated the highest levels of learning and creativity. I’m very pleased that the State Bar continues to hold this competition in partnership with the West Virginia Department of Education.”

Judging for the competition was broken into high school and middle school levels.

Jill Goben, a 12th-grader attending Washington High School in Jefferson County, took home the first place prize while ninth-grader Lhasa Peak, a homeschool student in Morgan County, finished in second place in the high school division.

In the middle school division, seventh-grader Mychal Boggs from Ravenswood Middle School in Jackson County won first place, and Asa Hammer, a sixth grade student from Shepherdstown Middle School in Jefferson County, was second.

The first place winners have also been invited to attend the annual State Bar meeting being held this year at Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, where they will be recognized for the originality, creativity and quality of their videos.

To view all winning videos, visit wvde.state.wv.us/wvstatebar/.

2016 Video Competition

The WV State Bar and the WV Department of Education are proud to announce the results of their collaborative 2016 Video Competition. This year, there were 23 entries (12 middle school and 11 high school). The topic was “Magna Carta, Its Significance in its 800th Anniversary Year.” The winners in each category will attend the State Bar’s 2016 Annual Meeting, where their winning videos will be shown. The videos of the two winners and the two runners-up in each category are below. Special thanks to J. Burton Hunter III, who coordinated the competition for the State Bar and to Brad Mills, of the Department of Education.

High School



Middle School

Petty Wins Culinary Contest

The 3rd Annual Gingerbread House Contest sponsored by First Neighborhood Bank was held at the Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg on December 12, 2015.

Sixty houses were entered and displayed in the contest.

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There were seven divisions and $7,000 in awards.

Analysse “Annie” Petty placed first in the school division.

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Gabriel Devono (Gilmer County Schools Superintendent),
Analysse Petty, Chef Annette Benson (instructor)


A $200 check was awarded to Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center and her class will receive a pizza party to celebrate her accomplishment.

Annie attends the ProStart/Culinary Arts and Health Occupations programs at the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center.

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She is a TASC completer through the Option Pathway and will be a 2016 graduate of Gilmer County High School in May.

Annie is the niece of Danielle Cottrill of Rosedale Road, Normantown, WV.

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2015 Marching Band Invitational Winners Announced

The Free Press WV

CHARLESTON, WV –  Thirty-five high school bands from around the state showcased their talents in the 4th annual West Virginia Marching Band Invitational at the University of Charleston Stadium at Laidley Field on Saturday, October 24. The Hurricane Middle School Band and the Bethany College Percussion Ensemble also performed. A complete list of winners is included.

Cabell Midland High School won the Overall “Honor Band” Award as well as the State Champion Award for Division AAA schools, Philip Barbour High School won the State Champion Award for Division AA schools and Gilmer County High School won the State Champion Award for Division A schools.

Bands were judged on general effect, marching and maneuvering, music, music effect,  percussion, drum major, color guard, majorettes and feature twirler.

Participating bands were Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Buckhannon, Upshur County; Buffalo High School, Buffalo, Putnam County; Cabell Midland High School, Ona, Cabell County; Calhoun Middle/High School, Mt. Zion, Calhoun County; Chapmanville Regional High School, Chapmanville, Logan County; Doddridge County High School,  West Union, Doddridge County; Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville, Fayette County;  Gilmer County High School, Glenville, Gilmer County; Greenbrier East High School, Lewisburg, Greenbrier County; Huntington High School, Huntington,  Cabell County; Hurricane High School, Hurricane, Putnam County; Lewis County High School, Weston, Lewis County; Lincoln County High School, Hamlin, Lincoln County; Magnolia High School, New Martinsville, Wetzel County; Martinsburg High School, Martinsburg, Berkeley County; Nitro High School, Nitro, Kanawha County;  Oak Hill High School, Oak Hill, Fayette County; Paden City High School, Paden City, Wetzel County; Petersburg High School, Petersburg, Grant County; Philip Barbour High School, Philippi, Barbour County; Pikeview High School, Princeton,  Mercer County; Poca High School, Poca, Putnam County; Richwood High School,  Richwood, Nicholas County; Ripley High School, Ripley, Jackson County; Ritchie County High School, Ellenboro, Ritchie County; Shady Spring High School, Shady Spring, Raleigh County; Sissonville High School, Sissonville, Kanawha County;  St. Albans High School, St. Albans, Kanawha County; St. Marys High School, St.  Marys, Pleasant County; Tug Valley High School, Williamson, Mingo County; Tyler Consolidated High School, Sistersville, Tyler County; Wahama Junior/Senior High School, Mason, Mason County; Wayne High School, Wayne, Wayne County; Webster County High School, Upperglade, Webster County; and Wirt County High School, Elizabeth, Wirt County.

The winners of the Marching Band Invitational are as follows:


Overall Awards (Honor Band)
  West Virginia State Honor Band: Cabell Midland High School
  1st Runner-up: Hurricane High School
  2nd Runner-up: Ripley High School
  3rd Runner-up: Philip Barbour High School
  4th Runner-up: Martinsburg High School


Division AAA
  State Champion: Cabell Midland High School
  1st Runner-Up: Hurricane High School
  2nd Runner-Up: RipleyHigh School


Division AA
  State Champion: Philip Barbour High School
  1st Runner-Up: Wayne High School
  2nd Runner-Up: Poca High School


Division A
  State Champion: Gilmer County High School
  1st Runner-Up: Tyler Consolidated High School
  2nd Runner-Up: Richwood High School


Miss Majorette
  1st Place:Kendra Amick,  Richwood High School
  2nd Place: Cassidy Myers, Webster County High School


Division 1A Band Awards
  1st Place: Gilmer County High School
  2nd Place: Paden City High School
  3rd Place: Wahama Junior/Senior High School


Division 2A Band Awards
  1st Place: Tyler Consolidated High School
  2nd Place: Richwood High School
  3rd Place: Magnolia High School


Division 1AA Band Awards
  1st Place: Poca High School
  2nd Place: Sissonville High School
  3rd Place: Petersburg High School


Division 2AA Band Awards
  1st Place: Philip Barbour High School
  2nd Place: Wayne High School
  3rd Place: Webster County High School


Division 1AAA Band Awards
  1st Place: Nitro High School
  2nd Place: Lincoln County High School
  3rd Place: Lewis County High School


Division 2AAA Band Awards
  1st Place: Ripley High School
  2nd Place: Saint Albans High School
  3rd Place: Huntington High School


Division 3AAA Band Awards
  1st Place: Cabell Midland High School
  2nd Place: Hurricane High School
  3rd Place: Martinsburg High School


Division 1A Percussion Awards
  1st Place: Buffalo High School
  2nd Place: Gilmer County High School
  3rd Place: Wirt County High School


Division 2A Percussion Awards
  1st Place: Magnolia High School
  2nd Place: Tyler Consolidated High School
  3rd Place: Saint Marys High School


Division 1AA Percussion Awards
  1st Place: Poca High School
  2nd Place: Sissonville High School
  3rd Place: Ritchie County High School


Division 2AA Percussion Awards
  1st Place (Tie): Wayne High School/Philip Barbour High School
  3rd Place: Pikeview High School


Division 1AAA Percussion Awards
  1st Place: Nitro High School
  2nd Place: Lincoln County High School
  3rd Place: Lewis County High School


Division 2AAA Percussion Awards
  1st Place: Ripley High School
  2nd Place: Huntington High School
  3rd Place: Saint Albans High School


Division 3AAA Percussion Awards
  1st Place: Hurricane High School
  2nd Place: Cabell Midland High School
  3rd Place: Martinsburg High School


Division 1A Drum Major Awards
  1st Place: Buffalo High School
  2nd Place: Gilmer County High School
  3rd Place: Paden City High School


Division 2A Drum Major Awards
  1st Place: Tyler Consolidated High School
  2nd Place: Magnolia High School
  3rd Place: Saint Marys High School


Division 1AA Drum Major Awards
  1st Place: Poca High School
  2nd Place: Petersburg High School
  3rd Place: Sissonville High School


Division 2AA Drum Major Awards
  1st Place: Wayne High School
  2nd Place: Philip Barbour High School
  3rd Place: Pikeview High School


Division 1AAA Drum Major Awards
  1st Place: Lincoln County High School
  2nd Place: Nitro High School
  3rd Place: Lewis County High School


Division 2AAA Drum Major Awards
  1st Place: Ripley High School
  2nd Place: Saint Albans High School
  3rd Place: Huntington High School


Division 3AAA Drum Major Awards
  1st Place: Cabell Midland High School
  2nd Place: Hurricane High School
  3rd Place: Greenbrier East High School


Division 1A Color Guard Awards
  1st Place: Wahama Junior/Senior High School
  2nd Place: Wirt County High School
  3rd Place: Paden City High School


Division 2A Color Guard Awards
  1st Place: Magnolia High School
  2nd Place: Fayetteville High School
  3rd Place: Richwood High School


Division 1AA Color Guard Awards
  1st Place: Petersburg High School
  2nd Place: Sissonville High School
  3rd Place: Poca High School


Division 2AA Color Guard Awards
  1st Place: Wayne High School
  2nd Place: Philip Barbour High School
  3rd Place: Pikeview High School


Division 1AAA Color Guard Awards
  1st Place: Shady Spring High School
  2nd Place: Nitro High School
  3rd Place: Lincoln County High School


Division 2AAA Color Guard Awards
  1st Place: Ripley High School
  2nd Place: Buckhannon-Upshur High School
  3rd Place: Saint Albans High School


Division 3AAA Color Guard Awards
  1st Place: Cabell Midland High School
  2nd Place: Hurricane High School
  3rd Place: Martinsburg High School


Division 1A Soloist Award
  1st Place: Gilmer County High School


Division 2A Soloist Award
  1st Place: Tyler Consolidated High School


Division 1AA Soloist Award
  1st Place: Poca High School


Division 2AA Soloist Award
  1st Place: Philip Barbour High School


Division 1AAA Soloist Award
  1st Place: Lincoln County High School


Division 2AAA Soloist Award
  1st Place: Ripley High School (Duet)


Division 3AAA Soloist Award
  1st Place: Cabell Midland High School


Twirler Awards
  1st Place: Lincoln County High School
  2nd Place: Richwood High School
  3rd Place: Cabell Midland High School


Majorette Awards
  1st Place: Richwood High School
  2nd Place: Philip Barbour High School
  3rd Place: Webster County High School


Best Dressed Director
  Brian Dunfee, Wayne High School


The West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) also inducted two band directors into the Marching Band Directors Hall of Fame. Honorees included Greg James of Richwood High School, Nicholas County and Timothy James of Cabell Midland High School, Cabell County. Together they have spent more than 70 years inspiring young students with a love of music and teaching spectacular performance skills that the audience can celebrate and enjoy. The inductees were selected from a list of nominations submitted to the WVDCH.

The West Virginia Marching Band Invitational was sponsored by the WVDCH in participation with the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, the Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Department of Education and The Arts.  The Marching Band Invitational helps to promote, encourage and celebrate arts education throughout West Virginia.

For more information about the Marching Band Invitational, contact Caryn Gresham,  deputy commissioner of the division, at 304.558.0220 or at “caryn.s.gresham@wv.gov” .

GCHS Marching Band Titans, THE CLASS A STATE MARCHING BAND CHAMPIONS

The Free Press WV

The Gilmer County High School Marching Titans competed Saturday October 24, 2015 in Charleston WV and brought home the Class A State Champ win.

WAY TO GO MARCHING TITANS!!!

They also placed in other areas as well.

2nd Place Class 1A Percussion

2nd Place Class 1A Field Commander

Class 1A Most Outstanding Soloist

Class 1A FIRST PLACE Band


And…..


CLASS A STATE MARCHING BAND CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!

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First Lady Encouragrs Student Participation In Annual Children’s Ornament Competition

Kindergarten through 12th grade art students urged to
create “candy” themed ornaments for Capitol Christmas Tree

The Free Press WV

CHARLESTON, WV -  First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin is encouraging all students - kindergarten through 12th grade - to create a “candy” themed ornament to be displayed on the State Capitol Christmas Tree, which will be located in the Capitol Rotunda.

“I look forward to continuing this wonderful tradition and hope to increase participation to make this year’s contest the biggest one yet,“ First Lady Tomblin said. “The Governor and I invite all kindergarten through 12th grade art classes to join in the holiday festivities and submit ornaments to help us decorate our Capitol Christmas tree.“

In order to give sufficient time for the winning class to be notified, each decorated ornament must be received no later than Friday, November 06, 2015. For submission information, contact Beth Hughes at 304.558.2440 or by email at .

First Lady Tomblin added, “This competition has become a winter tradition and a huge part of Joyful Night, the state’s annual holiday celebration. It gives us the chance to showcase the talent of students from all across the Mountain State.“

During the past ten years, students have been asked to create decorations representing everything from snowflakes and stockings to natural resources and teachers.

Every art class in the state is invited to submit an ornament that reflects or represents “candy” in some way.  The ornaments will be classified in four divisions according to grade: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.  Each ornament will be individually judged, and four winners will be selected, one from each division.

The ornaments and Christmas tree will be unveiled in conjunction with Joyful Night, the annual holiday celebration at the State Capitol, which will be held on Tuesday, December 1, 2015. The winning classes will receive a $125 gift certificate for art supplies and will be recognized by the Governor and First Lady during Joyful Night festivities.

The winning ornaments will be displayed in the Capitol Rotunda throughout the holiday season, and in January 2016, they will be donated to the West Virginia State Museum for their permanent collection.

4th Annual High School Marching Band Invitational

The Free Press WV

CHARLESTON,  WV – On Saturday, October 24, 35 high school marching bands from across the state will compete in Charleston at the University of Charleston Stadium at Laidley Field for the 4th annual West Virginia Marching Band Invitational.

The West Virginia Marching Band Invitational is sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) in participation with the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, the Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Department of Education and The Arts. The Marching Band Invitational helps to promote, encourage and celebrate arts education throughout West Virginia.

The day’s activities begin at 10:30 a.m. with the Hurricane Middle School Band’s performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” and Sissonville High School’s JROTC posting of the colors. The competition begins at 10:45 a.m. and will continue throughout the day.

Bands will be judged on general effect, marching and maneuvering, music, music effect, percussion, drum major, color guard, majorettes and feature twirler.

Tickets are $7 for adults and children 12 years of age and older; $5 for children under 12 years of age. Programs will be sold for $4.

The complete performance schedule:

10:30 a.m.    Hurricane Middle School Band and Sissonville High School JROTC
National Anthem and Posting of Colors

10:45 a.m.    Wirt County High School (1A)
Elizabeth, Wirt County

11 a.m.        St. Marys High School (2A)
St. Marys, Pleasants County

11:15 a.m.    Lincoln County High School (1AAA)
Hamlin, Lincoln County

11:30 a.m.    Calhoun County Middle/High School (1A)
Mt. Zion, Calhoun County

11:45 a.m.    Fayetteville High School (2A)
Fayetteville, Fayette County

Noon           Poca High School (1AA)
Poca, Putnam County

12:15 p.m.    Pikeview High School (2AA)
Princeton, Mercer County

12:30 p.m.    St. Albans High School (2AAA)
St. Albans, Kanawha County

12:45 p.m.    LUNCH

1:30 p.m.      Lewis County High School (1AAA)
Weston, Lewis County

1:45 p.m.      Buffalo High School (1A)
Buffalo, Putnam County

2 p.m.          Tyler Consolidated High School (2A)
Sistersville, Tyler County

2:15 p.m.      Sissonville High School, (1AA)
Sissonville, Kanawha County

2:30 p.m.      Chapmanville Regional High School (1AA)
Chapmanville, Logan County

2:45 p.m.      Doddridge County High School (2A)
West Union, Doddridge County

3 p.m.          Martinsburg High School (3AAA)
Martinsburg, Berkeley County

3:15 p.m.      Percussion Exhibition    
Bethany College Percussion Ensemble
Bethany, Brooke County

3:30 p.m.      Paden City High School (1A)
Paden City, Wetzel County

3:45 p.m.      Ritchie County High School (1AA)
Ellenboro, Ritchie County
               
4 p.m.          Tug Valley High School (2A)
Williamson, Mingo County

4:15 p.m.      Webster County High School (2AA)
Upper Glade, Webster County

4:30 p.m.      Oak Hill High School (1AAA)
Oak Hill, Fayette County

4:45 p.m.      Buckhannon-Upshur High School (2AAA)
Buckhannon, Upshur County

5 p.m.        Shady Spring High School (1AAA)
Shady Spring, Raleigh County

5:15 p.m.      Majorette Competition
Miss Majorette

5:45 p.m.      Wahama Junior/Senior High School (1A)
Mason, Mason County

6 p.m.          Magnolia High School (2A)
New Martinsville, Wetzel County
               
6:15 p.m.      Petersburg High School (1AA)
Petersburg, Grant County

6:30 p.m.      Philip Barbour High School (2AA)
Philippi, Barbour County
               
6:45 p.m.      Nitro High School (1AAA)
Nitro, Kanawha County

7 p.m.          Hurricane High School (3AAA)
Hurricane, Putnam County
       
7:15 p.m.      Gilmer County High School (1A)
                  Glenville, Gilmer County

7:30 p.m.      Richwood High School (2A)
Richwood, Nicholas County
       
7:45 p.m.      Wayne High School (2AA)
Wayne, Wayne County
               
8 p.m.          Huntington High School (2AAA)
Huntington, Cabell County

8:15 p.m.      Greenbrier East High School (3AAA)
Lewisburg, Greenbrier County

8:30 p.m.      Ripley High School (2AAA)
Ripley, Jackson County

8:45 p.m.      Cabell Midland High School (3AAA)
Ona, Cabell County

9 p.m.        Awards              
Awards Presentations

Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Business Class Students Attend the FBLA National Leadership Conference

C-GCC Game Design Team made it to Chicago for the FBLA NLC June 29-July 02, 2015 and participated in the national competition.

It was a very stiff competition with competitors from all over the country, but Alec Richards and Thomas Eakle worked hard and did a very good job.

The boys also got a chance to visit several places while in Chicago and received valuable knowledge about the area.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in any of our fund raisers and/or donated funds for our trip, we couldn’t have done this without you.

Next years national conference will be in Atlanta, GA and hopefully our students will be able to attend it as well.

The Gilmer Free Press
NLC Opening Ceremonies in Chicago, Illinois
(L-R) Thomas Eakle and Alec Richards




The Gilmer Free Press
WV FBLA students getting pumped up for the conference



The Gilmer Free Press
Practicing for their Game Design Competition
The Gilmer Free Press

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Readers' Recent Comments

Progress is being made with writing up school board meeting minutes to keep citizens better informed.

For too long the State’s information embargo kept citizens in the dark because information releases of all types were sketchy by design to prevent accountability for officials in charge.

Because more information is being released to citizens there will be enhanced community support for activities in the County’s schools to get our kids career and college ready.

Thank you Gilmer County School Board members. Keep up your good work with making information access improvements.

By Kudos To School Board on 03.21.2019

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

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Thanks Mr. Boggs for bringing attention to the Rt 5 roller-coaster just west of Burnsville.
At least someone finally made an attempt to smooth it up a bit!  Good job that time.

By Gilmer on 03.21.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Big In-Justice Jim and his “roads to prosperity” program is high grade bs.
You all stole our money.  Fed us bs and lies.

Now Injustice Jim wants to repeat the deal he got away with once all ready!!??  That takes a lot of gall.

And the best is…..30% of road repair funds were not spent last year!!  Shame on the legislature for not being a watchdog.

Shame on Whopper Teller Jim too…for wanting more money!
Shame, shame, shame on Charleston inept management and politics.

By WV are tired of having the wool pulled over our ey on 03.21.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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“All of the research tells us that the formerly incarcerated do not commit violent crimes, or more workplace-related crimes, than people who have no criminal background,” he said.“

This is a patently false statement.  Heyman does this frequently.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 03.19.2019

From the entry: 'In Tight Labor Market, Some Major Companies to Drop Criminal Check'.

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So sorry Jerry. Would love to see you.  I am now at family farm.  Please stop by

By Phyllis Grove on 03.18.2019

From the entry: 'Doris “Geneva” Case'.

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We keep hearing exciting news about GSC’s opportunity for starting a new teacher education academy to train WV’s teachers.

The unique program would provide state-of-the-art preparation for classroom challenges WV’s teachers face.

Based on reported information the prestigious program would be designed to be a WV show piece and graduates would earn a master degrees after five years.

The program would be an Appalachian trend setter to benefit the College, Gilmer County, Central WV, the State, gifted students selected for the program, and most of all the State’s children.

What do you say GSC’s Board of Governors? Citizens want to hear from you. What does the College have to lose?

By GSC Teacher Ed. Academy Needed on 03.18.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Improving teacher quality in West Virginia'.

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After the ipads were purchased what measurable benefits resulted from having them at the GCHS to improve student learning? Does anyone know?

Was a formal plan followed to maximize benefits from the equipment to include provisions for measuring before-and-after results to evaluate if the equipment did any good?

Another case of throwing money at a problem and after spending it taxpayers have no idea if there were any meaningful benefits for students?

More than likely competitive bidding was not used to purchase the ipads to add another wrinkle.

By Did The ipads Improve Learning Results? on 03.13.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Where oh where did the 200 Gilmer County I-pads go?
Were they bought with federal money?
Attorney General Morrisey are you looking into this?
Someone should get the ball rolling?

By where oh where? on 03.12.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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They is not no flood plane there the water dont get up there i know i catch musk rats in the river

By THE TRUTH WATCHER on 03.08.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Gilmer County’s school board has full authority to demand a comprehensive accounting for every dime spent on everything leading up to site selection and construction of the LCES and the GCES.

Where did the money go and who got it to include naming names and companies on the receiving end?

Stop hiding behind the excuse that the State “did it to us” and assemble the true facts for taxpayers!

What is the defensible rational for failure of the school board to follow up on this?

By Disclose Financial Facts on 03.07.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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What was in the school board’s 451 resolution? As important as education is more effort should be taken to flesh out what actually happens at school board meeting. Bare minimum information and lack of transparency skirt accountability. Who is responsible for writing up the minutes?

By Transparency and Accountability Needed on 03.07.2019

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

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The new Gilmer County Elementary school was built
in a flood plane.  Education fail.

By YOU FORGET on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Roads are a mess.
Population continues the 50+ year decrease.

But for deep gas, no new employment.

Education system total failure.
Legislature impotent.

Grand finale in Charleston.
We have a brawl in the Capitol Building.

That out-of-control delegate needs to resign!

By WV continues the slow death on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Major Broadband Investment in West Virginia'.

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Broadband coming?  Think we heard this before?
How many times?  I’ve lost count.  You remember?

This will be like JimmyBoys “roads to prosperity” program?
Take the citizens money?  Give ‘em nothing.

Republicans. Democrats. All the same political bs from both.
Voters believe them.  Keep bringing back the old mules so they can give us a repeat performance.

By Just More Dog n Pony Show 4 U on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Major Broadband Investment in West Virginia'.

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Jimmy D, Gilmer County needs a full accounting for every dime spent on school site planning and studies, site preparation, all school construction work, and purchases while the State had us intervened.

For one example of many we do not have an itemized accounting for how our funds were spent on the botched LCES project.

How much more was wasted on the auction barn site, the dropped Cedar Creek site, and the GCES in comparison to what could have been done with our money with full transparency, competent planning, competitive bidding, and proper project oversight?

The fact that the GCES was built too small and the LCES was built too large is one facet of the waste and mismanagement that occurred.

Do not expect valid investigations because WV’s standard approach is cover up when the State is involved.

By Jimmy D--Don't Expect Sunshine on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Saw the GFP video (citizens refer to it as the ambush video) at the school board meeting at which the pitch was made for the new computers.

The GCHS principal and staff talked about wonders to expect if the 200 computers would be purchased.

Promises were made that if the kids got them they would learn to do advanced math and to make other marvelous learning advances. Any evidence of the promises being kept?

Were the computers purchased through competitive biding? Wanna bet that they were not?

Is this another example of throwing money at technology with no meaningful plan for how to use the equipment to maximize learning benefits without evidence of any before-and-after testing to accurately determine if they did any good?

Could the 200 computers be located and what condition are they in if they could be found?

The new school board is encouraged to check on the issues and to report on the findings.

By Accountability For New GCHS Computers on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Since the local prosecutor is good for nothing, why doesn’t the federal prosecutors look into all the theft by Gabe DeVano and his buddies during the time Gilmer county was under state control? They stole money, equipment from schools which closed, as well as technology equipment. for example where did the 200 iPads go which gilmer county paid for?

By Jimmy D on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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A major cause of WV’s dismal record with K-12 education is the lack of choice regarding a parent’s right to decide on the school for a child to attend.

The elite get around that by using private schools for their kids.

Under existing conditions what chance do the rest of us have? The answer is none!

Our kids are victimized because competition and accountability do not exist and that is exactly what WV’s entrenched education establishment and the unions want.

By Save WV's School Children on 03.02.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Pennybaker is correct.
WV educators keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Whats the definition of insanity?

By Gilmer on 03.02.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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An off grid system works great if you want to live like a hippie. One can cover their entire roof and it will barely power your lighting and a few electronics, let alone our transportation and industrial needs. The humaniacs now complain that the giant windmill blades kill the little birdies, and they have never solved the overpass problem in putting windmills on out autos.

By Vern Windsong on 03.01.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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It amazes me that the so-called “experts” think more and more centralization will improve anything.  Public school education is in terrible condition and doing more consolidation will only make it worse and more expensive.  With all the technology today, there is NO reason for busing children for miles and miles, spending more and more hours under the control of public schools.  The idea that parents are not capable of deciding how to educate their children is insulting.  There was never any good reason for governments to get involved in education.

By Karen Pennebaker on 02.28.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Pat, your information is outdated. Solar and wind are increasingly outcompeting fossil fuels, despite the heavy subsidies fossil fuels (and nuclear power) get. They also are getting steadily cheaper, while fossil fuels can be expected to rise as supply diminishes—the pipelines are going in so fast because of the NEED of the gas companies to get their product out to where they HOPE to find better prices—the drillers have been steadily losing money for the whole decade of the fracking “miracle.“ Wall Street is becoming skeptical. The thing about solar and wind is that once they’re built, the fuel keeps arriving, free. Of course, there isn’t much of a wind resource in our area. But there is in the mountain heights, and off the Virginia coast. And solar works fine here—I’ve had an off-grid system for ten years, works great.

By Mary Wildfire on 02.28.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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Yes, West Virginia spends a LOT of money on education.
But where does it go?  Is it wasted?  Down the drain hole of bureaucracy?

We spend 7th highest per student and what to show for it?
Being 49th or 50th in ratings?

By where does the money go? on 02.27.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Seeing the president of the WV AFT shaking his raised clinched fist in disrespect for the WV legislature tells it all.

WV’s teacher unions are allowed to function as separate branches of government with veto power over WV’s elected officials and their only role is to get more benefits for their members.

Where is the evidence that unions have done anything recently in any WV school system to help create an educational show piece? Can anyone cite an example?

Furthermore what have unions done to develop innovative plans for moving the State’s k-12 education system forward to pry us off our bottom rung rankings? The answer is—nothing exists. 

Conditions will not change for the better until the day our legislators quit pandering to unions to end k-12 decision-making driven by mob rule and raw emotions.

By Unions Failed WV's Children on 02.26.2019

From the entry: 'In West Virginia, the Politicians Fail, and the Teachers Rise'.

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The principal reason for opposition to 451 is fear by union chiefs that public charter schools could outshine performances of non-participating schools to embarrass WV’s entrenched K-12 education establishment.

To attempt to scare the public, there were claims that the underlying motive for opposition to charter schools is the sinister plan to privatize them to permit the rich and powerful to make money off education at the expense of WV’s children.

It is alarming that unions failed to propose comprehensive plans, inclusive of meaningful accountability mechanisms, designed to improve WV’s schools.

Their objective seems to be to protect the status quo instead of being effective partners in improving education for the State’s children.

There are examples in the USA where charter schools resulted in significant K-12 education improvements. Of course some failed.

Why is it irrational to establish a limited few charter schools in WV as demonstration projects to incorporate approaches applied in highly successful charter schools while avoiding mistakes of the schools that failed?

Nothing else has worked in getting WV out of being near the bottom with K-12 education quality—-so why continue with business as usual while expecting better outcomes?

By Unions Failed WV Education on 02.21.2019

From the entry: 'In West Virginia, the Politicians Fail, and the Teachers Rise'.

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If passed when will this take effect? I’m a single mother who has a drug felony from another state. I can’t get food stamps to help me because I a drug felon. I work so my income is to much for one person. I have a son whom him and I barley survive. Cause of my record. I’ve held the job I am at now for 5 years. But since they can’t use me. They use my income. But not me and doing it that way I make to much money.

By Kayla on 02.21.2019

From the entry: 'Bill to Let Drug Felons Get Food Stamps Passes WV Senate'.

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John & Family,  Sorry to hear of Nyla’s passing!  GOD will take care of you!!  GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU IN THIS SAD TIME !!!  RIP Nyla !

By Anita L. Adams - New Concord, Ohio on 02.15.2019

From the entry: 'Nyla Leah Frymier Poole'.

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“But Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said utility filings in those states now show the outlook has changed dramatically - in part because of competition from cheap, renewable energy.“

That is utter rubbish.  There is no “cheap, renewable energy.“  Solar and wind are more expensive, even taking subsidies into consideration.  Hydro is more expensive, nuclear is more expensive.

Claiming otherwise is at best fake news, and at worst deliberate misdirection and lying.  Merely claiming renewable energy is less expensive doesn’t make it so.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 02.15.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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It was brought to my attention there was an article published in the Gilmer Free Press under Reader’s Comments dated 2-11-19.
This was written by Tammy White which many think it was me (Tammy Foster).  Twenty years (or more) “White” was my last name.
My son does take daily medication at the high school (which somehow this is quite a coincidence).  I want to clarify that I DID NOT write that article!
Now that I have straighten this out….. please read what I have say about this situation at Gilmer County High School:
The secretary or secretaries that were mentioned have never been rude to me or my son in person or by phone.  It is actually the opposite!  They are kind, caring, professional and thorough with distributing my son’s meds.
Not only do they make sure he gets the correct dosage daily but they keep a close inventory on the meds and call me when I need to restock them.
It broke my heart to read the negative article written last week and I was appalled my (old) name was on it.
My son and I trust and depend on these wonderful ladies.  We would like to take this opportunity to THANK them for taking excellent responsibility and care of our child and other students.

By Tammy Foster (not White) on 02.13.2019

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

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I’m sorry for your loss.

By Danny Nicholson on 02.12.2019

From the entry: 'Vera Marlene Lyons'.

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There is some issues going on at GCHS. I’m starting here in Hope’s that it will be addressed and corrected.  The secretary was rude when I turned in medicine for my son to be taken on a daily basis. Nor is it her business why he takes it, or how often. Anyway, is she certified in giving meds out.  I thought that the school employed a nurse. Maybe she should answer the phone or should I say message on her cell. She had no idea how many I handed in she didnt count them. Talks about her co workers. Then she gets upset nobody talks to her. She is 2 face. Talking about them is very unprofessional.
I hope this is taken care of or my next step is to the state department. Your choice

By Tammy white on 02.11.2019

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

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It is welcomed news as reported in the Democrat that Gilmer’s GCES students are making progress in learning math and English Learning Arts.

The principal, teachers, and all staff deserve high praise for the progress. Let’s not forget efforts of students too plus their parents who encourage them at home.

In addition to rates of increase for learning progress it would be helpful to be informed of percentages of students in the different grades who are at grade level for math and ELA.

Nothing was reported about learning progress at the GCHS and the LCES bi-county school. When are reports for those schools going to be given?

By Positive School News on 02.08.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The lights are up at the Linn school.
Often flashing nights and weekends when NO ONE is on school property.

And you expect lights to work….???
when the WVDE, the WVBE built the school with FIVE TOO MANY CLASSROOMS !!??

*** The WVBE is incapable of meaningful education.
Why do you think the WV Legislature created the current ‘education overhaul’ bill without consulting the WV State Board of Ed? ***

By you are joking I guess? on 02.07.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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“The Environmental Protection Agency issued regular updates for about 100 water pollutants almost four years ago ... “

That would have been the Obama EPA, and the intention wasn’t to provide better water, it was an attempt to control business activity through the use of regulation.

In other words, a power-grab by a politician obsessed with it.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pay McGroyne on 02.06.2019

From the entry: 'One Charleston Manufacturer Pressing for Delay of Water Rules'.

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Would the County’s school board take action to help improve safety conditions at the LCES?

The way it is now it can be uncertain if children are present at the school to require a reduction of speed to 15 mph while on Rt. 33.

It would eliminate uncertainty if a flashing lights system were to be installed so the lights could be turned on when children are present.

By LCES Safety Concern on 01.31.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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Why is it that on Gilmer County’s school system web site biographical information including education backgrounds for all school board members and their pictures are not posted?

Other counties have the information. Why not us?

By School Board Member Backgrounds? on 01.23.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The only reason for our not using a version of the goal-driven Kentucky method would be a veto by controlling elitists opposed to establishing meaningful accountability for Gilmer County’s school system.

Without using the method it would be easier to continue to pawn off information that cannot be used to accurately document progress with student proficiencies for reading, math, science, and college and career readiness.

By School System Accountability Needed on 01.20.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The KY approach would be valuable to Gilmer County for use in disclosing progress of our two schools in contributing to better lives for our children.

For goals for which progress would be off schedule, the tracking approach would be an objective basis for making mid-course adjustments in our school system to get better results.

By using the approach school board members could be more effective with goal-driven governing, and getting results would be the responsibility of the County’s Superintendent of Schools and school principals.

Overall,the approach would establish meaningful accountability which is sorely lacking in WV’s school systems.

By Establish School System Accountability on 01.18.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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Accomplished communicators have a knack for reducing complex information to its simplest form for effectiveness in getting messages across.

WV’s convoluted strategic plans for schools must follow the State’s rigid guidelines. The plans are confusing and inadequately designed for establishing accountability for getting results.

Kentucky is making progress with improving K-12 education outcomes and one reason is the clarity of specific goals for its schools and the job being done with tracking results.

Google—-2018 Prichard Committee Update to glean what is being done in Kentucky. The approach could be used for Gilmer’s two schools with a single sheet of paper for each school.

The beauty of the Prichard approach is that instead of relying on confusing and lengthy written out material with undefined abbreviations, technical jargon, and head scratching generalities, specific goals and annual results in achieving them are presented graphically.

Perfect real world example of a picture being worth a thousand words.

Board of Education members why couldn’t the Prichard approach be used for Gilmer County? It would be inexpensive, it could be updated easily on an annual basis, and everyone in the County would know how the school system is being administered to achieve measurable results.

Perhaps Mr. David Ramezan could post Prichard material on the GFP to show its simplicity.

By Advocate For Clarity on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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The scandal of the too small school?
Don’t forget…
The scandal of the too big school is half of the whole state intervention mess.  FIVE rooms more than needed at the Linn, Lewis County school.

Results are from nepotism, cronyism, and educational stupidity….as well as scoffing at those who attempted to sound the alarm.

Bloated egos was the frosting on the Litter Box Cake Mix.

By School Truth is in the Litter Box on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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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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