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New History Channel series features West Virginia

The Free Press WV

The History Channel will premiere its new mini-series, Project Blue Book, on January 8th at 10 PM.

Based on previews, the series appears to kick-off with the story of the Flatwoods Monster sighting which took place in Braxton County, West Virginia in 1952.

Though some story details seem to have been shifted or combined in order to move the story along, the over-all series of events are true to life.

The Braxton County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) was contacted in July of 2018 by a writer for the History Channel’s website who was writing an article for History.com.

The article was on the Flatwoods Monster and acts as a companion piece to the new series.

At the time it was published it was the first companion piece written which was featured on the website.

Now it is one of many which suggests the series will cover a wide scope of incidences and subjects concerning the real-life Project Blue Book investigations which that took place in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Find those articles at history.com/shows/project-blue-book. Previews for the new series are available there as well.

The new series is produced and presented in a similar manner as History’s 2012 series, the Hatfields and McCoys.

In contrast to the documentary and reality style shows that History Channel has become known for, Project Blue Book is produced more like a high-budget film with a cinematic production and cast.

To learn more about the Flatwoods Monster stop by the Flatwoods Monster Museum located at 208 Main Street in Sutton, West Virginia.

Be sure to tune in to the premiere of Project Blue Book on the History Channel on January 8th at 10 PM.

Piano Recital Featuring Anita White Planned at GSC Tonight

The Free Press WV

Anita White, Glenville State College Adjunct Instructor of Piano and Department Accompanist will hold a piano recital in the GSC Fine Arts Center Auditorium on Monday, December 03 at 7:00 p.m. The recital, featuring Christmas music and hymns, is free and open to the public.

“I’ll be playing favorites such as Carol of the Bells, Joy to the World, Angels from the Realms of Glory, and a few songs that some people won’t know, such as the beautiful Austrian carol Still, Still, Still. There are so many wonderful Christmas tunes to choose from and I love them all,” said White.

White earned her bachelor’s degree from the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music. She has many years of experience as a piano recitalist, organ recitalist, and a teacher of music theory, voice, piano, organ, and related subjects. White has taught, directed, and been accompanist at numerous churches and public schools. The Gassaway, West Virginia native also has been involved in the planning and performing of many community and church cantatas and oratorios.

For more information, contact the GSC Department of Fine Arts at 304.462.6340.

Jessica Lilly to Present at GSC

The Free Press WV

On Thursday, November 15 Jessica Lilly will visit Glenville State College as a part of the ongoing “We, too, are Appalachia” project. The series of performances and presentations, made possible by Glenville State College and the West Virginia Humanities Council, are an exploration of identity and place regarding rural West Virginia.

Lilly covers southern West Virginia for West Virginia Public Broadcasting and is the host and co-producer of Inside Appalachia. She can also be heard weekdays on West Virginia Morning, WVPB’s daily radio news program. Lilly graduated from Concord University in 2007, where she was named Concord University’s Reporter of the Year and Producer of the Year. Concord chose her as their Alumnus of the Year in 2015. She was instrumental in launching Concord’s first FM radio station, WVCU-LP FM in 2015. Born in Bluefield, West Virginia, she grew up in the coalfields of Wyoming County.

The event is free and open to the public and will take place beginning at 1:30 p.m. at The Pioneer Stage, GSC’s Bluegrass Music Education Center located at 10 East Main Street in Downtown Glenville.

The “We, too, are Appalachia” project is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations do not necessarily represent those of the West Virginia Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information about the presentation or the “We, too, are Appalachia” project, call 304.462.6328.

WV House Speaker’s race is on again

The Free Press WV

This week’s election has reopened debate over who should be the Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates.

Last summer, Kanawha County Delegate Tim Armstead resigned his seat in the Legislature to run for the State Supreme Court, opening up the Speaker’s position.  After some jockeying and a closed-door caucus, Republicans chose Roger Hanshaw from Clay County.

However, the caucus vote was close.  Hanshaw bested Kanawha County Delegate and House Finance Committee Chairman Eric Nelson by just two votes.

Republicans lost five seats in Tuesday’s election, and there are 17 new faces on the GOP side that could change the dynamic in another Speaker’s race.

Hanshaw wants to hold on to the position, while Nelson would like to try again to ascend to the Speaker’s office.  The two have a friendly relationship and they are expected to meet to try to resolve the leadership question without dividing the caucus again.

The election cost Hanshaw his wing man.  Jefferson County Republican Riley Moore lost his bid for re-election Tuesday.  Moore rounded up votes for Hanshaw in the Speaker’s race last August and was rewarded with the position of Majority Leader in the House.

Hanshaw, if he retains the Speakership, will have to choose a new Majority Leader. I’m told that Nelson is not interested in that position, but there will be no shortage of House Republicans who covet the post.

Meanwhile, some House Republicans are still stewing over outside efforts to influence the Speaker’s race the last time.  The 1863 PAC ran advertisements on broadcast media (including West Virginia Corporation stations) and on social media supporting Hanshaw for the position.

Veteran Republican Delegate John Overington said at the time, “In all my years, I cannot recall any time we had radio ads or newspaper ads in favor of one candidate over another.”

MetroNews’ Brad McElhinny reported that Bob Murray, CEO of the coal company Murray Energy, hosted a fundraiser for the 1863 PAC.  Murray is no fan of Nelson because the House Finance Committee chairman opposed a plan by Governor Jim Justice (and supported by Murray) for a sliding scale of severance taxes—lowering the tax during a soft market, but raising it during boom times.

The stakes are high in this post election scrum over the House leadership.  The Speaker appoints committee chairs and has final say on the legislative agenda. A Speakers race may be the ultimate in political inside baseball, but the outcome is significant in public policy for the state.

Glenville State College Professor Releases Poetry Book

Glenville State College Associate Professor of English Dr. Jonathan Minton has released a book of poetry entitled Technical Notes for Bird Government. The October 2018 release consists of poems written over the past decade.

“All of these poems had been previously published individually in various journals, so I decided to see how they would work as a book. It meant doing extensive revisions to make them fit together, and culling it all down the standard 75 page length for a single volume of poetry. While revising I noticed my recurring obsession with birds, as well as the idea of the absurdity of controlling the world around us, so I came up with the title. I didn’t intend to nod to Chaucer, but when someone pointed out that it was similar to “Parliament of Fouls,” I wrote a poem in direct response to that,” Minton explained.

The Free Press WV


Several fellow writers praised the book in an announcement from the publisher. “Testing the language of myth, the naturalist, and the historian, Jonathan Minton’s Technical Notes for Bird Government taps into a vast, skeletal architecture underpinning ‘the hugeness of the world, and its wounded places where we vanish.’ Mapping its rifts and junctures, these poetic sequences emerge in surprising ways, at times coiling into themselves and at times unfurling fast to the edge of ‘another sentence full of horizons and strange creatures.’ It’s a remarkable book. Reading it, one is in the presence of an electric, relentless intelligence,” said James Capozzi, author of Country Album and Devious Sentiments.

In addition to teaching literature at Glenville State, Minton also serves as advisor for GSC’s literary journal Trillium. His chapbooks include Lost Languages (Long Leaf Press) and In Gesture (Dyad Press). He also edits the journal Word For/Word (www.wordforword.info). In 2015 he received GSC’s prestigious Faculty Award of Excellence.

Minton and fellow GSC professors Dr. Fred Walborn and Dr. Marjorie Stewart will all be featured at an upcoming campus event, A Celebration of Words. The event is scheduled for Thursday, November 8 at 4:00 p.m. in the Robert F. Kidd Library. The event is free and open to the public. Minton will read from Technical Notes for Bird Government, Walborn will read from his recent book, Two Days at the Asylum, and Stewart will recite poetry. Guests are also invited to participate in an open stage following their readings.

For more information about Minton’s poetry book, which is available on Amazon, contact him at or call 304.462.6322.

One Book One West Virginia returns for 2018-19

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Library Commission and the West Virginia Center for the Book has announced the One Book One West Virginia selection for 2018-19. 

Each year, one book by an Appalachian author is selected for this prestigious honor, and this year’s honoree is Water Street by Crystal Wilkinson. 

A Long List Finalist for the Orange Prize for Fiction and a Short List Finalist for The Hurston-Wright Legacy Award,  Water Street examines the lives of neighbors and friends who live on Water Street in the small town of Stanford, Kentucky.  On Water Street, every person has at least two stories to tell, and the book is comprised of 13 short stories that tell those tales.  A native of Indian Creek, KY, Wilkinson offers a glimpse into small town Appalachia in a book dealing with love, loss and tragedy.

The Free Press WV


One Book One West Virginia is West Virginia’s most important statewide book discussion group, and it allows readers across the state to read the same book and take part in detailed group conversations about the book’s unfolding storyline.  Now in its 14th year, this literary project helps support the Appalachian Heritage Writer-In-Residence Project developed by Shepherd University.  West Virginia readers are urged to join book discussion groups and attend related events, such as meeting the author, character portrayals, movies, and workshops.

To join a book group discussion, readers may contact their local library, or they can connect with others through the WVLC statewide Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1763136937263032/).For more information on Crystal Wilkinson and the One Book One West Virginia program, visit the WVLC website (https://librarycommission.wv.gov/What/wcftb/Pages/One-Book,-One-West-Virginia.aspx).

West Virginians share a proud literary history, and it is the goal of the One Book One West Virginiaproject to share not only a story, but a story that promotes our rich Appalachian heritage.

The Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence Project is made possible with financial support from the West Virginia Humanities Council, in partnership with the Shepherd University Foundation, the West Virginia Center for the Book, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the Shepherdstown Public Library, the Scarborough Society, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

West Virginia Library Commission encourages lifelong learning, individual empowerment, civic engagement and an enriched quality of life by enhancing library and information services for all West Virginians. The WVLC sponsors the WV Center for the Book and urges state residents to explore, discover, and create in West Virginia libraries.

To learn more about the WVLC, please visit www.librarycommission.wv.gov or call us at 304.558.2041.

GSC Senior to Hold Art Show Opening

The Free Press WV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information call 304.462.6340.

Paine: Plan to improve math scores to focus on algebra where a third of teachers aren’t certified

The Free Press WV

The state Department of Education has finalized a plan to address the poor scores in math and student attendance issues that showed up against on the first-ever Balanced Scorecard released earlier this school year.

Mathematics performance, particularly at the middle school and high school levels, is low system wide. Only 37 percent of students tested proficient in math, 45 percent in English/Language Arts.

“The math plan is done,” state School Superintendent Dr. Steve Paine said Wednesday during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline.”

The plan has been vetted by national experts on math student achievement, according to Paine.

Its emphasis is on addressing the classrooms where algebra and geometry are taught. Paine said up to 30 percent of those algebra classrooms in West Virginia are taught by non-certified teachers.

“They have not received the formal math content training to be able to teach the subject of algebra. It’s no fault of their own,” Paine said. “We try to support them but they don’t have the formal training.”

It’s all connected to the qualified teacher shortage issue in several subjects that numbers approximately 700 statewide.

According to Paine, the plan to improve math scores includes Memorandums of Understanding signed with all 55 school districts.

“For all of those folks that are not certified (in algebra or geometry), we want to get them formal training immediately, as soon as we possibly can,” Paine said. “We’re going to do that in a combination of face-to-face training or virtual training or both so immediately we can give them the support that they need.”

Paine said the additional professional development, which could also include additional training classes for non-certified teachers, will be paid for by the state.

A second part of the plan will be to contract with what Paine called “exceptional master teachers” to teach children algebra by video stream.

“I hope that we can create a network so that we find and identify these masterful teachers of algebra and we can figure out a network where we can stream the live instruction to remote areas and a I would like to do it in every non-certified classroom,” Paine said.

A separate certification for algebra and geometry is also under consideration. Currently, math teachers are certified all the way through calculus. According to Paine, 92 percent of employers say all they need is for workers to know algebraic concepts.


Attendance

The plan to address poor attendance remains in its early stages, Paine said.

It’s starting out with a survey of parents, guardians and teachers to find out why kids aren’t in school and why they are tardy.

Paine said the southern coalfields area shows the most attendance problems. He said a lot has to do with the opioid crisis. He said it’s a complex issue. A Blue Ribbon panel is working to identify the problem and propose solutions.

Paine said student achievement must improve.

“Governor Justice has placed his confidence in educators and those in the system (proposing another 5 percent pay raise). Now it’s up to us to give him something back. We have to improve results,” Paine said.

~~  Jeff Jenkins ~~

West Virginia’s only Shakespeare Troupe to Perform Hamlet at GSC on Sunday

The Free Press WV

Vintage Theatre Company’s Founding Producer and Artistic Director Jason A. Young cordially invites audiences to attend a performance of The Rustic Mechanicals’ Antic Disposition Tour of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Their season of performances will make a stop at Glenville State College on Sunday, October 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Auditorium. Admission is free. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The performance is provided free courtesy of GSC’s Theater Department and the Student Activities Office.

Hamlet has the world at his feet: He is young, wealthy, and living a hedonistic life studying abroad. Then word reaches him that his father is dead. Returning home, he finds his world is utterly changed, his certainties smashed, and his home a foreign land. Struggling to understand his place in a new world order, he faces a stark choice of submitting or raging against the injustice of his new reality. As relevant today as when it was written, Hamlet confronts each of us with the mirror of our own morality in an imperfect world.

The Rustic Mechanicals, co-founded by Young and Celi Oliveto, is the state’s only professional Shakespeare troupe. Now in their fifth season, The Rustic Mechanicals have grown from a troupe of seven actors to this year boasting a roster of nearly thirty West Virginia artists.

Daniel Crowley headlines the production in the eponymous role of Hamlet.

“This is the most challenging role I have ever tried to wrap my mind around,” said Crowley. “Every time I encounter the text I discover a new motive, tactic, double entendre, or meaning. I completely understand why it is the Holy Grail for young actors.”

Audiences will also see Sarah Smith as Ophelia, Josh Brooks as King Claudius, Cassandra Hackbart as Queen Gertrude, John O’Connor as the doting Polonius, and Sean Marko as his son Laertes. Justin Grow and Kyle Stemple will appear as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as well as Marcellus and Barnardo. James Matthews is taking on the roles of the Ghost, the Player King, and the Gravedigger while Sarah Young will appear as Horatio. Rounding out the cast is Samantha Huffman as the Player Queen and a servant.

Young directs the production with Technical Direction by David Byard, Costume Design by Jason Noland, Fight Choreography by Millie Omps, Dramaturgy by John Shirley, and with Tommy Schoffler serving as the production’s Movement Coach and Celi Oliverto serving as the troupe’s Acting Coach.

“It’s an honor to work with such talented, dedicated individuals,” said Young. “This show requires actors to put themselves in really difficult situations emotionally. To tell this story, people need to perform outrageous, almost fantastical situations but root all their emotional content and behavior in reality. It’s a challenging piece, and I’m grateful that these Mechanicals are more than up to the challenge.”

For more information about The Antic Disposition Tour of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, email or call 1.855.VTC.8588.

“Touring Shakespeare is a 400-year-old-tradition,” said Young. “These troupe members understand the nobility of the work and the heritage that they are a part of. I fully expect this tour to be a labor of love for us all.”

WV’s New Partnership with Bethesda Softworks

Tourism Office announces plan to promote the highly-anticipated Fallout 76, an upcoming West Virginia-based video game

The Free Press WV

Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Tourism Office today announced a partnership with award-winning video game publisher Bethesda Softworks® for promotion of its upcoming release of Fallout® 76, an online open world video game set in post-nuclear West Virginia.

The video game, which was announced in June via a trailer set to a 1940s- inspired version of John Denver’s famous “Country Roads,” is the latest game in the iconic Fallout series and will be the largest and most ambitious yet.

“It’s finally time the rest of the world sees what a gem West Virginia is,” said Gov. Justice. “For years, I’ve been saying we have it all: beautiful scenery, the best people you could ask for and more. And now, we get to share a piece of that with people all over the world through the unique lens of this video game.”

The Tourism Office, in partnership with Bethesda, will be creating advertising strategies to both educate players about West Virginia’s unique landscape and culture, as well as offer them an open invitation to visit the state over the coming months. The game promises to be an international sensation for players, and the Tourism Office is capitalizing on the opportunity to reach a new, engaged audience.

“I think the world was caught by surprise when Bethesda released the trailer with an eerily beautiful post-apocalyptic West Virginia set to a slightly more futuristic version of our state’s anthem,” said Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby. “In just a matter of hours, the internet was abuzz with West Virginians excited to see a glimpse of home and gamers excited to learn more about their new, beautiful virtual destination.”

Since the trailer’s release in June, Fallout fans all over the world have been strategizing for the highly anticipated November release of the game. Many have spent countless hours watching the trailer and speculating about which parts of the state will be featured, with dozens of locations and folklore monsters already named.

“Our goal is to welcome each and every one of the game’s players to Almost Heaven,” said Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby. “Bethesda has been a terrific partner since day one. They’ve really embraced West Virginia and its beauty. We believe this unique partnership has tremendous potential to bring folks to visit the Mountain State.”

More details on the promotional partnership will be announced in the coming weeks. Cross promotion will include advertising and touring opportunities.

For more information, visit WVtourism.com/Fallout76.

Fallout 76 launches November 14, 2018 on Xbox One, PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system, and PC. For more information, visit http://www.fallout.com.


AboutZeniMax Media Inc.


ZeniMax Media is a privately owned media organization headquartered outside Washington DC with international publishing offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Eindhoven, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Sydney. Through its subsidiaries, ZeniMax Media creates and publishes original interactive entertainment content for consoles, PCs, and handheld/wireless devices. ZeniMax Media divisions include Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane Studios, Tango Gameworks, MachineGames, ZeniMax Online Studios, ZeniMax Europe Ltd., ZeniMax Asia K.K., ZeniMax Asia Pacific Limited, and ZeniMax Australia Pty Ltd. For more information on ZeniMax Media, visit www.zenimax.com.


AboutBethesdaSoftworks


Bethesda Softworks, part of the ZeniMax Media Inc. family of companies, is a worldwide publisher of interactive entertainment software. Titles featured under theBethesdalabel include such blockbuster franchises as The Elder Scrolls®, Fallout®, DOOM®, QUAKE®, Wolfenstein®, Dishonored®, The Evil Within™, Prey® and RAGE®. For more information on Bethesda Softworks’ products, visit www.bethsoft.com.


AboutBethesdaGameStudios


Bethesda Game Studios is the award-winning development team known around the world for its ground-breaking work on The Elder Scrolls series and the Fallout series. Creators of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®, the 2006 ‘Game of the Year’; Fallout® 3, the 2008 ‘Game of the Year’; The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim®, the 2011 ‘Game of the Year’; Fallout® 4, the winner of more than 200 “Best Of” awards including the 2016 BAFTA and 2016 D.I.C.E. Game of the Year; and Fallout Shelter™, the award-winning mobile game with more than 100 million users. Bethesda Game Studios has earned its reputation as one of the industry’s most respected and accomplished game development studios. For more information on Bethesda Game Studios, visit www.bethesdagamestudios.com.

The Elder Scrolls, Skyrim, Oblivion, BethesdaGameStudios, Dishonored, Arkane, The Evil Within, PsychoBreak, Tango, Tango Gameworks, MachineGames, Prey, Nuka Cola, Bethesda Softworks,Bethesda, ZeniMax and their related logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of ZeniMax Media Inc. in the United States and/or in other countries. Fallout and its related logos (including Vault Boy) are registered trademarks or trademarks ofBethesdaSoftworks LLC in the United States and/or in other countries. id, id Software, id Tech, DOOM, QUAKE, Wolfenstein, RAGE and their related logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of id Software LLC in the United States and/or in other countries. Other product and company names referenced herein may be trademarks of their respective owners. All Rights Reserved.

Music Fest at Glenville State is October 16

The Free Press WV

Glenville State College’s annual Music Fest concert is scheduled for Tuesday, October 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Auditorium.

This concert, with a history going back decades, is one of the most popular of the year. It features nearly all of GSC’s ensembles in a potpourri of musical genres and styles.

Featured performances include: concert choir, chamber singers, flute trio, clarinet ensemble, saxophone ensemble, brass ensemble, trumpet ensemble, trombone ensemble, tuba and euphonium ensemble, percussion ensemble, jazz band, jazz combo, bluegrass band, drum line, and the “Wall of Sound” Pioneer Marching Band.

General admission is $10, public school students and GSC faculty and staff can enjoy the event for $5, and GSC students with a valid student ID are admitted for free. All proceeds will benefit the Bertha Olsen Scholarship Fund, which assists music majors at Glenville State.

For more information call 304.462.6340.

GSC Theatre Schedules Production of ‘Boeing Boeing’

The Free Press WV

Students in Glenville State College’s theater program will be performing ‘Boeing Boeing’ by Marc Camoletti as their first production of the fall semster. The nightly performance will run from Thursday, September 27 through Saturday, September 29 and will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Boeing Boeing is a classic bedroom farce. It tells the story of Bernard, a Parisian who lives near Orly Airport, who has interesting living arrangements. He is engaged to Gloria, Gabriella, and Gretchen, all of whom are stewardesses and none of whom know about one another. Bernard keeps everything straight by following airline timetables and gifted improvisation. His grouchy maid, Berthe, is in on the scam and helps him keep the apartment straight.

However, when new, faster Boeing jet planes come on the scene all of Bernard’s timetables start to unravel along with everyone’s nerves. Soon, all three stewardesses are in the apartment at the same time and chaos ensues.

The cast of Boeing Boeing includes Jacob McLaughlin as Bernard, Brittany Benson as Gloria, Victoria Guillory as Berthe, Brandon White as Robert, Anna Childers as Gabriella, and Rune Clutter as Gretchen. The play is designed and directed by GSC Professor of Communication Dennis Wemm. The stage crew includes Jasmine Tarman operating the lights and scenery by Wemm, Jasime Tarman, Nic Duffield, and Justin White. Stage managers are Chase Rakes and Bradley Benson along with makeup by Ceara Scott. The constumes were supplied by Norcostco Atlanta Costumes.

The original play by Marc Camoletti premiered in Paris in 1961. An English translation by Beverly Cleary appeared in London the next year with a Broadway adaptation by Francis Evans in 1965. It was revived in London and New York in 2008, where it won the Tony Award for best revival. It was also made into a movie starring Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis.

The play will be presented in the President’s Auditorium in the Heflin Administration Building. The performance has a ‘PG’ rating. Admission is free for students and $5 for the general public.

For more information about the performance, contact Wemm at or 304.462.6323.

Glenville State Professor Pens Novel

The Free Press WV

A new book written by Glenville State College Professor of Psychology Dr. Fred Walborn is earning praise for its witty, insightful, and sometimes painful look into asylums nearly a half-century ago.

The book, Two Days at the Asylum, is set four days prior to the moon landing in 1969. The novel takes readers on a tour of an asylum. Day One is ‘community day’ when the public was permitted to visit the facility for a small fee and witness the patients’ bizarre, manipulative, sexual, and religious themed behaviors. Day Two is when the doors are closed to the public and the reader may witness the bizarre, manipulative, sexual, and religious themed behaviors of the professionals - the psychiatrists, psychologists, administrators, nurses, and social workers.

Walborn drew on a brief stint working at an asylum for some of the content for the book. “I had over 70 pages of notes from my time working on the Admissions Unit with the goal of eventually writing a novel. It is an Archie Bunker version of mental health. It is not politically correct,” Walborn said.

“There is a real stigma against asylums. What people forget is that the word means sanctuary or a safe place, which is what people with severe and chronic mental disorders need the most. Following the closing of the munificent asylums, one-third of our homeless people are suffering from schizophrenia. The American Psychiatric Association estimates that one in five of prisoners in our expensive prisons are seriously mentally ill,” he said. Walborn advocates for the reviving of the asylums and he highlights how there is a movement among some Pennsylvania psychologists who are also advocating reopening some of the asylums. Walborn summarized, “People with severe and chronic mental disorders have no place to go. They end up in the streets or they end up getting into trouble and are imprisoned. Contemporary mental hospitals, like the Sharpe Hospital in Weston that replaced an old asylum, offer numerous services and patient advocates to verify that patients are not mistreated.”

Ten percent of the author’s proceeds goes to the Visionary Grants Program of the American Psychological Association to help fund efficacious mental health services.

Two Days at the Asylum earned a runner-up award in the fiction category at the 2018 Hollywood Book Festival in addition to receiving a General Fiction Honorable Mention Award at the 2018 San Francisco Book Festival, an Honorable Mention Award at the 2018 New York Book Festival, and an Honorable Mention at the 2018 Beach Book Festival. Two Days at the Asylum recently won a Readers Favorite Award. Additionally, the publisher, Headline Books, Inc., won 2017 and 2018 Independent Publisher of the Year awards.

In 2014 Walborn wrote Religion in Personality Theory and in 1986 he wrote a graduate-level textbook for psychotherapists titled Process Variables. All three of his books are available on Amazon.

The Free Press WV

G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages

The Free Press WV
The Free Press WV

Initial scores for the West Virginia General Summative Assessment show Wood County Schools exceeding state averages in both reading and math at every grade level.

Superintendent Will Hosaflook presented a brief overview of the scores during Tuesday’s Wood County Board of Education meeting. Hosaflook said while he was given the green light on releasing the overall scores Tuesday, the state will not release a full report, including accountability scores, until noon Thursday.

“The state superintendent has embargoed those results until the state school board meets” Thursday morning, he said.

Hosaflook said the scores show Wood County Schools above state proficiency averages, but added he believed much more work needed to be done.

“There is success at every one of our schools, and it’s important to be celebrating that success,” he said. But, “I’m not satisfied, because there is always room for improvement.”

In third-grade math, 48 percent of West Virginia students were proficient, while 51 percent of Wood County Schools students were proficient. For fourth-grade, the state scored 45 percent and Wood County scored 51 percent. In fifth-grade, the state scored 40 percent and Wood County was 52 percent.

The numbers for elementary school reading were similar. In third-grade, the state scored 47 percent, while Wood County scored 52 percent. In fourth-grade, the state scored 45 percent and Wood County was 47 percent. In fifth-grade, the state scored 44 percent and Wood County was 53 percent.

Middle school proficiency rates were lower for both the state and the county. In math, sixth-graders scored 34 percent at the state level and 36 percent locally. In seventh-grade, the state scored 35 percent and Wood County scored 38 percent. In eighth-grade, the state scored 32 percent and Wood County scored 36 percent.

In sixth-grade reading, the state scored 43 percent and Wood County scored 46 percent. In seventh-grade, the state scored 44 percent and Wood County scored 46 percent. In eighth-grade, the state scored 41 percent and Wood County scored 47 percent.

“We were above the state in every category,” Hosaflook said. “Still, being above the state average is not good enough for me, nor is it good enough for the students, teachers and everyone in this room. We will improve.”

This marked the first year where the national SAT exam was used by West Virginia as a statewide exam for 11th-grade students.

Hosaflook said the county’s three high schools all scored around the state math average of 465 and exceeded the state average of 460 in reading with scores ranging from 485-493. Overall, the state SAT average was 942, and Hosaflook said the high schools were right around that average, with Parkersburg High School being the highest in the county with an overall score of 958.

Hosaflook cautioned the county’s accountability scores, which will not be made public until Thursday, would not be as good, as the test scores were only part of the formula used to determine those numbers. Hosaflook said the main area of concern is attendance, and only one school in the district met those requirements.

Hosaflook said federal changes to the state’s accountability system count almost all days missed by students, even those due to illness or death in the family, as absences, which count against the school’s overall attendance score, even if they are considered excused absences by the school system.

Hosaflook said attendance is an area of concern for Wood County Schools, with about 14 percent of the district’s students considered “chronically absent,” and will be a major part of what he will focus on in the coming months. Board members agreed.

“If kids aren’t in school, they’re not learning,” said board member Justin Raber. “I really feel we need to focus on attendance whole-heartedly. I think it really places accountability on parents and guardians to make sure their children are in school.”

Glenville State Bluegrass Student Nominated for IBMA Award

The Free Press WV

The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has nominated Glenville State College student Alan Tompkins as a contender for its Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year award. He was previously nominated for the award in 2016 and 2017. Tompkins is enrolled in GSC’s new and one-of-a-kind online bluegrass music degree program.

You can currently hear Tompkins on the air as he hosts the Bluegrass Heritage Radio Show, a two-hour bluegrass music program on the air every Sunday on KHYI-FM 95.3 in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

“I’m honored to be nominated for this award by the IBMA. Being included on a list of talented bluegrass broadcasters such as Steve Martin, Kris Truelsen, Michelle Lee, and Larry Carter is humbling,” Tompkins said.

A western Kentucky native, Tompkins grew up steeped in the sounds of classic country, gospel, and bluegrass music. He moved to Dallas in 1983, where he earned an MBA and a law degree from Southern Methodist University. His career kept him busy for the next two decades, but the musical fire never burned out. His love of bluegrass, the music of his home state, motivated him to learn banjo, upright bass, and other instruments used in traditional bluegrass, eventually releasing his own album, No Part of Nothin’.

Tompkins holds an associate’s degree as a Professional Studio Artist (with high distinction) along with a Certificate in Audio Recording from the Kentucky School of Bluegrass & Traditional Music. He is also a graduate of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Leadership Bluegrass program of 2009, served on the Leadership Bluegrass Planning Committee from 2010-2018, and served as the Committee Chair from 2011-2014. He was previously honored by the IBMA, receiving their Momentum Award for Industry Involvement in 2015. He presently serves on the IBMA board of directors and the board of the Foundation for Bluegrass Music. Tompkins is also the founder and President of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of bluegrass music in America.

“I’m excited to be a part of the Bluegrass Music Program at Glenville State College. I’ve always enjoyed learning, and there’s nothing that I enjoy learning about more than bluegrass music. What Dr. [Megan] Darby and the faculty at Glenville are doing to make bluegrass music education available to students nationwide - especially those who aren’t able to attend traditional classes - is thrilling.  I’m looking forward to gaining a greater understanding of bluegrass music through the Glenville State College program,” he added.

The IBMA award winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday, September 27 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The following day, GSC’s Bluegrass Band has been invited to perform at the IBMA World of Bluegrass Festival. Bluegrass Music Program Director Dr. Megan Darby says that the event gives GSC students and alumni an opportunity to share their talents and mission of preserving and promoting traditional bluegrass music.

For more information about the traditional or online bluegrass music education programs at Glenville State, contact Darby at or call 304.462.6347.

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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'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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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