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Glenville State College Honors Bluegrass Pioneers with Honorary Degrees

On Friday, February 01, 2019, six legendary figures in bluegrass music were presented with honorary doctoral degrees by Glenville State College at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee.

The ceremony began with a rendition of Bill Monroe’s “Evening Prayer Blues” performed by Luke Shamblin, a former West Virginia mandolin champion and Glenville State College alumni, followed by an introduction given by Glenville State College Bluegrass Music Program Director, Dr. Megan Darby. “It’s an incredible honor to be gathered here and to be working alongside all of the folks that made today possible. Thank you all for sharing this memory with Glenville State College today,” said Darby. “I grew up going to bluegrass festivals and, as my dad always said, this music is in my blood.”

Those recognized included Buddy Griffin, Bobby Osborne, Sonny Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Mac Wiseman (accepted on his behalf by Ronnie Reno), and Jim McReynolds (accepted posthumously by his daughter, Jeanine McReynolds Reynolds, and grandson, James). Each received a diploma signifying their status as honorary degree recipients.

The Free Press WV
(seated, l-r) Buddy Griffin, Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne, Sonny Osborne, Ronnie Reno accepting on behalf of Mac Wiseman,
and Jeanine McReynolds Reynolds and James Reynolds accepting on behalf of Jim McReynolds
(standing, l-r) GSC Board of Governors Vice Chair Tim Butcher, GSC Board of Governors Member Mike Rust, GSC President Dr. Tracy Pellett,
GSC Provost Dr. Victor Vega, GSC Bluegrass Music Program Director Dr. Megan Darby,
GSC Board of Governors Member Dr. Bill Deel, and GSC Board of Governors Chair Greg Smith


The Glenville State College bluegrass band entertained the audience with their renditions of “Dear Old Dixie” and “Can’t You Hear Me Calling,” featuring Rebekah Long on bass, Derek Vaden of The Larry Stephenson band on banjo, Luke Shamblin on mandolin, Buddy Griffin on fiddle, and Megan Darby on guitar and lead vocals.

Following the performance, Glenville State College President, Dr. Tracy Pellett, addressed the audience. “We are here to recognize six distinguished legends of bluegrass music,” said Pellett. “The confirmation of these honorary doctorates is about the recognition of the lifelong contributions to traditional bluegrass music and the seen and unseen influence on Glenville State College and one of the only bluegrass education programs in the county. These gentlemen are known and respected by so many across the nation and they are living testaments to the tradition of bluegrass music.”

Pellett detailed the influence that the honorees have had on the bluegrass industry and the time that they have dedicated to advancing and enhancing bluegrass education for generations to come. “[Bluegrass music] is the creation of something special that speaks to us – that shared experience – that strengthens the thread of human connection itself,” said Pellett.

The Larry Stephenson Band was welcomed to the stage to perform an Osborne Brothers classic, “Give This Message to Your Heart” and “Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes,” a big hit for honorees, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, as a tribute to the honorees. In a final number, all performers returned to the stage for a moving performance of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.”

Glenville State College is proud to honor these legendary figures who have acted as pioneers in bluegrass music and inspired countless individuals along the way. Their contributions to bluegrass music are deeply appreciated and will continue to inspire future students in Glenville State College’s four-year bachelor’s degree in bluegrass, available both in-person and online.

For more information about the bluegrass program at Glenville State College, contact Darby at 304.462.6347.

Glenville State College to Present Honorary Degrees to Bluegrass Pioneers

Officials at Glenville State College are planning a special recognition ceremony to honor several outstanding bluegrass music masters.

On Friday, February 10 GSC will present honorary doctorates to Mac Wiseman, Bobby and Sonny Osborne, Buddy Griffin, Jesse McReynolds, and Jim McReynolds who will be recognized posthumously.

The hooding ceremony will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Mac Wiseman


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Bobby and Sonny Osborne


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Buddy Griffin


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Jesse and Jim McReynolds


In late 2018, GSC Assistant Professor of Music and Bluegrass Music Program Director Dr. Megan Darby traveled to Nashville to hand-deliver letters announcing the honor to several of the musicians and their families.

“The first generation of bluegrass masters have left such a legacy for us to study, and it was an honor to be given the opportunity to hand deliver the invitations to participate,” said Darby. “The most powerful thing for me about bluegrass music is that I have memories of watching and sharing the stage with many of these pioneers. Our students still have an opportunity to meet and learn from this amazing generation.”

“Honorary doctorates are among the highest accolades that an institution can bestow upon individuals. We need to take the time to properly honor those who have done outstanding things for society and the greater good. These degree presentations are Glenville State’s way of showing our gratitude to these bluegrass masters for all they’ve done for the genre and, by extension, our former and current bluegrass students,” said Glenville State College President Dr. Tracy Pellett.

The event will take place at the Ford Theater inside the Country Music Hall of Fame beginning at noon on February 01.

For more information, contact Darby at 304.462.6355.

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.

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.

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.

Annual GSC Bluegrass Concert

The Free Press WV

The annual Glenville State College Bluegrass Concert will be held on Saturday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the GSC Fine Arts Center Auditorium, which is located on GSC’s main campus at 200 High Street in Glenville, West Virginia. The concert will feature The Grascals and the GSC Bluegrass Band.

The Grascals make music that is entirely relevant to the here and now, yet immersed in traditional values of soul and musicianship. It’s a unique sound that has earned two Entertainer of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association and three Grammy® nominations. They have appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox & Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and CBS’ The Talk along with over 150 performances at the Grand Ole Opry.

Their self-titled debut album featured guest vocals from Dolly Parton on their cover of Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas.”

General admission to the concert is $15 and free for children five and under. Tickets include admission to a late night after party at the Pioneer Stage at 10 East Main Street in downtown Glenville.

For tickets and more information, e-mail or call 304.462.6340.

GSC’s Pioneer Stage in Downtown Glenville to hold Grand Opening

The Free Press WV

The Glenville State College Bluegrass Program has recently relocated to The Pioneer Stage at 10 East Main Street in downtown Glenville. The Pioneer Stage will serve as the Bluegrass Music Education Center for GSC and will be open to the public after the grand opening. Student hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. by appointment. Public hours will be Monday through Friday 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.

A grand opening celebration for The Pioneer Stage will take place throughout the day on Saturday, September 22. The GSC Bluegrass Band will host a showcase of bluegrass music starting at 10:00 a.m. followed by a lecture on bluegrass history from Buddy Griffin and Dr. Megan Darby. From 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. there will be a workshop on the early influences of women in Appalachian music followed by a flatfoot dancing workshop starting at 1:00 p.m. GSC bluegrass alumni will be on hand hosting another bluegrass music showcase starting at 2:00 p.m.

GSC student Jacob Stover will hold his Senior Recital at 3:00 p.m. as part of the requirements for his four year degree emphasizing bluegrass music. That will be followed by dinner on your own. Following the supper break, the GSC Bluegrass Band will hold a community bluegrass jam. Visitors are also encouraged to bring their instruments to play along with the band and a folding chair to relax between jams. At 8:00 p.m. a square dance will take place on Main Street. Jesse Milnes and Friends will provide the music and the legendary Mack Samples will serve as caller. The square dance is sponsored by Bryan Groves and Central WV Real Estate.

A Cruise-In sponsored by the Appalachian Cruisers will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in front of the Pioneer Stage. Prizes will be given away every half hour by announcement from the Pioneer Stage during the Cruise-In. For more information about entering any vehicle in the Cruise-In, call 304.462.8898.

“I would like to thank Dr. Tracy Pellett, and our administration for supporting this opportunity for the program and bluegrass music as a whole. Also a big thank you to the GSC family including employees, students, Mayor Fitzpatrick, and the community for donating their time, talents, and artifacts to help us make this new space feel like home. The Glenville community is always so supportive of us and we hope to make this new space an attraction. Everyone’s contributions have helped us transform this space into a place where students can learn, showcase their skills, and be involved with the community; I also encourage everyone to make plans to attend our grand opening,” said GSC Director of Bluegrass Music Dr. Megan Darby.

Visit http://www.glenville.edu to view upcoming events that are being planned for the Pioneer Stage.

For more information about The Pioneer Stage grand opening, contact or call Darby at 304.462.6355.

GSC Marching Band to Perform at Band Bash

The Free Press WV

The Glenville State College ‘Wall of Sound’ Marching Band will have a feature performance at the Glenville Presbyterian Church ‘Band Bash’ on Friday, August 17. The event will take place from 5:00-7:00 p.m. with the band performance beginning at 6:30 p.m.

In addition to the band performance there will be a picnic and games – all for free and open to the public.

The band began using the field adjacent to the Presbyterian Church for their pre-season camp several years ago which has led to a successful partnership. “We could not have held these camps without the Glenville Presbyterian Church, Pastor Kinney, and their many hard working members. They’ve been incredible providing us with both a location and meals. They are truly a blessing and are hugely appreciated,” said Dr. Lloyd Bone. Bone is the marching band director and also serves as the college’s Department of Fine Arts Chair.

The Glenville Presbyterian Church is located at 1172 WV Highway 5, about one mile from the stoplight toward Grantsville just past the Gilmer County Fire Department. Event organizers encourage attendees to bring a lawn chair to better enjoy the outdoor festivities.

During football season the Marching Band performs a halftime show at Morris Stadium during every home football game.

For more information about the ‘Band Bash’ event, contact Pastor Karen Kinney at 304.462.7239.

For more information about the Marching Band or other Department of Fine Arts programs and events, call 304.46.-6340.

Hacker to Serve as Field Commander for GSC’s Marching Band

The Free Press WV

Glenville State College student Garrett Hacker will be serving as the field commander for the Pioneer ‘Wall of Sound’ Marching Band this semester. The music performance major hails from Burnsville, West Virginia. He is the son of Becky Jackson and Lee Hacker.

“I am very excited for this opportunity with the band. I am used to being at the back of the band with the drumline, so it’s really cool to be at the front and to hear everything. It’s an honor to serve the band as field commander,” Hacker said.

He says that his inspiration for music comes from two places, his older brother and video games. “There’s so much cool music in the video games I played, and I still listen for the music even now. My older brother also did band and I think that made me want to try it fifth grade,” he said.

Hacker is trained as a percussionist and says his favorite to instrument to play is marimba but notes that his specialty is Timpani, due to its role in the band and orchestra. He also plays guitar, some bass and piano, and sings in the GSC Choir.

“I’m looking forward to stepping up into a role model figure for the band – it’s more than just waving my arms around. I think it’s about being a leader and being able to help the band in any way and spending as much time as possible to help anyone out. I really enjoy being able to help a group or ensemble,” Hacker said.

“I’m very excited for the season and I think it will be a great one for the band as well GSC Athletics,” he said. “We hope that fans will enjoy this year’s performances; the pregame show consists of the National Anthem, Come Home to West Virginia, and the GSC Pep Tune. Our halftime show will feature some musical theatre selections as well the drumline throwing it down at the fence.”

After graduating from GSC in May 2019, he intends to go to grad school for a master’s in music performance and music theory while also completing a graduate assistantship.

“This year’s field commander tryouts were some of the most competitive in my 15 years at GSC. Mr. Hacker is a top-notch young musician who brings a wealth of talent, care, passion, and drive to the Pioneer Marching Band. I am excited to see all the ways he will contribute to what is going to be an excellent season,” said Marching Band Director Dr. Lloyd Bone.

After expressing interest in serving as field commander, applicants take part in an audition day where they try out in front of a guest adjudicator. Candidates are expected to conduct a prepared piece and also to answer questions in regard to band leadership.

Mike Morningstar Documentary at GSC Fine Arts Building

Gilmer Public Library, in cooperation the GSC Fine Art’s Glenville State College NAfME, will be showing the documentary film, “Mike Morningstar: Here’s to the Working Man” on Friday, August 03 at 6 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Fine Arts Building. This movie by Richard Anderson, a Baltimore filmmaker, is about the life and music of this well-known West Virginian songsmith.

Morningstar retired a few years ago because he developed neuropathy and lost the feeling in his fingers required to hold the pick when playing. This condition was the result of pancreatic failure from exposure to Agent Orange in Viet Nam. For two years after his retirement he was so frustrated about not being able play guitar as he had, that he virtually quit trying. Then realizing he still had his creative drive, he started developing a completely different style of playing just picking with his fingers.

Morningstar, an original native of Parkersburg, has played all over West Virginia but especially the Ohio Valley for over fifty years. He now lives on a farm in Gilmer County with his wife, Donna, where most of the film was shot.


Many of Mike’s songs are in celebration of the working man. Mike considers himself to be one with them saying simply “I made my living with my hands” hence, the title of the movie. In his long career, Mike Morningstar played his music in local nightclubs, pubs and fairs, “where the working folks gathered. “  Over the years, he was the opening act for many artists including: Doc Watson, Marshall Tucker Band, Vince Gill, “Spider John” Koerner, Paul Geremia, Pure Prairie League, Tom Wopat, Dan Seals, John Hartford, Heart, the New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Goose Greek Symphony. He was also on compilation environmental recordings with Hazel Dickens, The Del McCoury Band, Kathy Mattea, The Lilly Family and others. Mike also played on stage several times with the Davisson Brothers Band, played with John Hammond on Mountain Stage and with Jorma Kaukonen at the Fur Peace Ranch.

This movie came about because of two of Mike’s friends and fans, Rowland and Marcie Hill of Harrisville. They had gone to hear him play over the years and hired him several times to entertain at their farm gatherings and parties. They decided that since Morningstar was no longer performing that it would be nice to have a documentary about his life and music as a legacy to his long career. They contacted Richard Anderson, a photographer/filmmaker and longtime friend they knew since their college years in Maryland. Richard was familiar with some of Mike’s music from listening to Rowland’s CDs and said “I liked his music.” So at their request, he came to West Virginia to meet Mike. “I took an instant liking to him”, Anderson said of Morningstar. “I realized he had a compelling story. He was an interesting guy, with lots of stories.”  The Hills formed “Laffin’ Rivers films”, named after one of Mike’s songs, and produced the movie.

The film had its opening in Parkersburg, Mike’s hometown, and sold out the Smoot Theater. It was a feature film at The West Virginia International Film Festival in Charleston and had the largest attendance of all the films. It was selected for The Workers Unite Film Festival in New York City. This was a three week festival that showed hundreds films all over NYC. They gave a “Best” and “Honorable Mention” in each category. Out of eighty movies in the “Documentary Feature” category, the film “Mike Morningstar: Here’s to the Working Man”, won “Honorable Mention”.

Steven Morningstar, Mike’s brother, sent a copy of the movie to Dr. Gary Gillespie, a retired professor from Glenville State College and Marshall University. His Doctorate is in Comparative Arts and he taught Humanities, Art History and English courses. After viewing the movie, he sent Steve the following email:

“The DVD arrived this morning and Anna Belle and I enjoyed the whole video. Not only does it showcase Mike’s songs but also it chronicles important WV history. It encapsulates central WV lifestyles in all its variations – social, political, family life, religious, patriotism, mountain heritage. For all of these reasons I urge you and Mike to send a copy to The Division of Culture and History Capitol Complex. This needs to be preserved and available to researchers of this type of music and WV life.”

Mike Morningstar Documentary at GSC Fine Arts Building

Gilmer Public Library, in cooperation the GSC Fine Art’s Glenville State College NAfME, will be showing the documentary film, “Mike Morningstar: Here’s to the Working Man” on Friday, August 03 at 6 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Fine Arts Building. This movie by Richard Anderson, a Baltimore filmmaker, is about the life and music of this well-known West Virginian songsmith.

Morningstar retired a few years ago because he developed neuropathy and lost the feeling in his fingers required to hold the pick when playing. This condition was the result of pancreatic failure from exposure to Agent Orange in Viet Nam. For two years after his retirement he was so frustrated about not being able play guitar as he had, that he virtually quit trying. Then realizing he still had his creative drive, he started developing a completely different style of playing just picking with his fingers.

Morningstar, an original native of Parkersburg, has played all over West Virginia but especially the Ohio Valley for over fifty years. He now lives on a farm in Gilmer County with his wife, Donna, where most of the film was shot.


Many of Mike’s songs are in celebration of the working man. Mike considers himself to be one with them saying simply “I made my living with my hands” hence, the title of the movie. In his long career, Mike Morningstar played his music in local nightclubs, pubs and fairs, “where the working folks gathered. “  Over the years, he was the opening act for many artists including: Doc Watson, Marshall Tucker Band, Vince Gill, “Spider John” Koerner, Paul Geremia, Pure Prairie League, Tom Wopat, Dan Seals, John Hartford, Heart, the New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Goose Greek Symphony. He was also on compilation environmental recordings with Hazel Dickens, The Del McCoury Band, Kathy Mattea, The Lilly Family and others. Mike also played on stage several times with the Davisson Brothers Band, played with John Hammond on Mountain Stage and with Jorma Kaukonen at the Fur Peace Ranch.

This movie came about because of two of Mike’s friends and fans, Rowland and Marcie Hill of Harrisville. They had gone to hear him play over the years and hired him several times to entertain at their farm gatherings and parties. They decided that since Morningstar was no longer performing that it would be nice to have a documentary about his life and music as a legacy to his long career. They contacted Richard Anderson, a photographer/filmmaker and longtime friend they knew since their college years in Maryland. Richard was familiar with some of Mike’s music from listening to Rowland’s CDs and said “I liked his music.” So at their request, he came to West Virginia to meet Mike. “I took an instant liking to him”, Anderson said of Morningstar. “I realized he had a compelling story. He was an interesting guy, with lots of stories.”  The Hills formed “Laffin’ Rivers films”, named after one of Mike’s songs, and produced the movie.

The film had its opening in Parkersburg, Mike’s hometown, and sold out the Smoot Theater. It was a feature film at The West Virginia International Film Festival in Charleston and had the largest attendance of all the films. It was selected for The Workers Unite Film Festival in New York City. This was a three week festival that showed hundreds films all over NYC. They gave a “Best” and “Honorable Mention” in each category. Out of eighty movies in the “Documentary Feature” category, the film “Mike Morningstar: Here’s to the Working Man”, won “Honorable Mention”.

Steven Morningstar, Mike’s brother, sent a copy of the movie to Dr. Gary Gillespie, a retired professor from Glenville State College and Marshall University. His Doctorate is in Comparative Arts and he taught Humanities, Art History and English courses. After viewing the movie, he sent Steve the following email:

“The DVD arrived this morning and Anna Belle and I enjoyed the whole video. Not only does it showcase Mike’s songs but also it chronicles important WV history. It encapsulates central WV lifestyles in all its variations – social, political, family life, religious, patriotism, mountain heritage. For all of these reasons I urge you and Mike to send a copy to The Division of Culture and History Capitol Complex. This needs to be preserved and available to researchers of this type of music and WV life.”

GSC Bluegrass Music Education Center to hold Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The Glenville State College Bluegrass Program has recently relocated to The Pioneer Stage at 10 East Main Street in downtown Glenville. The Pioneer Stage will serve as GSC’s Bluegrass Music Education Center.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the center to mark its opening and to help kick-off the West Virginia State Folk Festival. During Folk Festival weekend, the Pioneer Stage will be the site of a Youth Bluegrass Camp (Saturday, June, 23 and Sunday, June 24), the second series of youth camps sponsored by the GSC Bluegrass Program this summer.

Additionally, visitors can enjoy the first ‘We, too, are Appalachia’ events at The Pioneer Stage during the West Virginia State Folk Festival; the Festival takes place Thursday, June 21 through Sunday, June 24. A photography exhibit, including items from the GSC Robert F. Kidd Library Archives Fern Rollyson Collection, will be on display Thursday, June 21 beginning at 4:00 p.m. at the Pioneer Stage. Buddy Griffin’s presentation on the influence of Appalachian music will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, also at the Pioneer Stage. Complementary bottled water will be available throughout the festival while supplies last.

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Bluegrass Students during an informal jam session at The Pioneer Stage


“I can’t express my gratitude to the students and parents from Normantown Christian Academy who have volunteered countless hours helping us prepare the center for this opening. I would also like to thank Glenville Foodland and everyone in the community who donated bottled water for us to distribute during the Folk Festival. In bluegrass music, we share many of the Folk Festival values such as preserving old time and cultural traditions,” said GSC Director of Bluegrass Music Dr. Megan Darby.

For more information about the ribbon cutting ceremony or any of the events taking place at The Pioneer Stage during the West Virginia State Folk Festival weekend, contact Darby at or 304.462.6347.

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.

Youth Bluegrass Camps Sponsored by GSC Bluegrass Program

This summer, the Glenville State College Bluegrass Program will be sponsoring several Youth Bluegrass Camps throughout the United States. The Bluegrass Day Camps are open to all skill levels (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) and are intended to enrich the lives of children who have a passion for traditional bluegrass music. Those with a strong desire to learn not only how to play the music, but also the history of the music, vocals and harmonies, instrument care, stage presence, jamming etiquette, and more are encouraged to attend. The camps are designed for students 6-18 years old who are interested in learning the great American tradition of bluegrass music.

This year the camps will be held in five locations across the country: Saturday, June 09 at Bill Monroe’s Bean Blossom Festival in Bean Blossom, Indiana; Saturday, June 24-Sunday, June 24 at the West Virginia State Folk Festival in Glenville, West Virginia; Friday, July 20 at the Big Horn Music Festival in Buffalo, Wyoming; Saturday, September 1 at the Sam Jam Bluegrass Festival in Piketon, Ohio; and Saturday, September 8 at the Furnace Town Living Heritage Museum Bluegrass Festival in Snow Hill, Maryland.

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The camp instructors are highly skilled and will be made up mostly of Glenville State bluegrass students and will feature GSC Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bluegrass Music Dr. Megan Darby and members of her family, founder of GSC’s Bluegrass Program Buddy Griffin, and select GSC bluegrass alumni.

“As a parent of two toddlers, I know that young children love sound. Music activities and experiences help children practice important skills including: thinking, motor coordination, and understanding emotions. Our bluegrass program and the West Virginia community recognizes that it is our duty to encourage children to be proud of their heritage, culture, and music – it’s more than mastering an instrument,” said Darby.

Admission to all of the camps other than the WV State Folk Festival is $30.00 per student which includes the admission of one adult. WV State Folk Festival camp admission is $60.00. That camp has a community concert on the second day that campers are invited to participate in. The camp fee includes six to eight hours of instructional time, small and whole group sessions, lunch, snacks, a guided tour of the festival, and a Youth Bluegrass Day Camp t-shirt. For a guaranteed spot in the camps and an event t-shirt students should register one month prior to the event.

Click the following links to view more information and to download a registration form.

For more information about the Youth Bluegrass Day Camps, contact Darby at ‘Megan.Darby@glenville.edu’ or 304.462.6347.

GSC Concert Band Wraps up Successful Semester

For students, faculty, and staff who perform with, direct, and organize Glenville State College’s Concert Band, the spring 2018 semester has been a busy one. For the first time since the 1970’s, the Concert Band went on tour, traveling to southern West Virginia. While visiting Logan County, the band performed two shows, a day concert for Chapmanville High School students and another in the evening for members of the community.

The Free Press WV
Daniel While ’97 conducting the 10th Anniversary GSC Honor Band


As part of the tour, band members served as guest clinicians for Chapmanville High School, Logan High School, and Lincoln County High School band members. GSC students held workshops and mentored the high school students on their concert band state ratings music.

Derrick Lowe, a senior instrumental music major at GSC and a 2013 graduate of Chapmanville High School, was one of the GSC students who served as a clinician and had a featured solo in each of the concerts. “Returning to my hometown and performing with possibly one of the top concert bands in the state was a great time and simply amazing. Now performing a solo – that was nerve-racking because two music teachers that I highly respect were right in front of me. Getting to work with the different high school bands was a day filled with good music and, for me, nothing beats that,” said Lowe.

Recently, the Concert Band hosted the 10th Anniversary Honor Band at GSC which featured 100 middle and high school students from fifteen schools throughout West Virginia. Most of the bands that participated in the event were directed by Glenville State alumni. This year’s honor band was conducted by Daniel White, a December 1997 GSC graduate, and Director of Bands at Parkersburg High School in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

The Free Press WV
GSC Concert Band during a performance at Chapmanville High School


“Conducting the Glenville State College Honor Band was an honor and a privilege. GSC is an excellent place to hone one’s musicality and, as an alumnus, I hope each student who participated will seriously consider Glenville to further their education,” said White.

“Our annual Honor Band is not only an educational experience for those who participate, but it also serves as a major recruiting event for GSC. It has become very popular and is a wonderful way for us to introduce GSC to students from around West Virginia. The many Glenville alumni that come back to campus with their students is truly remarkable and it creates a sense of pride for them,” said Department of Fine Arts Chair and Associate Professor of Music Dr. Lloyd Bone.

For more information about the GSC Concert Band or Honor Band, contact the Department of Fine Arts at 304.462.6340.

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Readers' Recent Comments

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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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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