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Music

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.

The Free Press WV
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.

The Free Press WV


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.

Popular Television Series Explores Bluegrass Music with GSC Alumni, Students

Several current students, graduates, and mentors with Glenville State College’s Bluegrass Music Program were recently featured in an article and accompanying video produced by CNN for Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown series.

Earlier this month the video crew trailed several musicians in order to see a glimpse into Appalachian culture through the lens of bluegrass music. Throughout the interviews featured in the article, readers are introduced to the various ways someone traveling through the West Virginia hills might come into contact with bluegrass music; from local radio station programming and informal jam sessions to full-scale concerts with an admission fee.

The Free Press WV
In a screen capture from the video, GSC’s Dr. Megan Darby speaks about bluegrass music during an interview filmed for the Parts Unknown series


GSC’s Director of Bluegrass Music Dr. Megan Darby serves as the narrator for the feature video that accompanies the piece.

“I’m very pleased with how the story and video turned out. We were honored to be a part of it and hope that people who read the article or watch the video learn a little something about traditional and bluegrass music,” Darby said. “We would love to see someone be motivated to take a road trip of their own because of seeing this video and want to join us at one of the various performances. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the joy and history of bluegrass music spread to new ears.”

GSC’s Bluegrass Program Founding Director Buddy Griffin and renowned regional musician and square dance caller Mack Samples are featured in the video along with GSC bluegrass alumni Laiken Boyd, Luke Shamblin, and Trisha Anderson. Additionally, current student Josh Pitcock was highlighted during a portion of the video that was filmed at the Alpine Theatre in Ripley, West Virginia.

 

The Free Press WV
his still shot from the Parts Unknown video shows current GSC student Josh Pitcock on stage at the Alpine Theatre

Click here to read the article and view the video.

In the video Darby mentions GSC’s traditional on-campus degree that it has offered for many years. Glenville State College also recently announced that it will begin offering a four-year bluegrass music degree online.

“We’re trying to preserve bluegrass music but at the same time we know that you have to be innovative to better serve students. We can utilize technology in ways that wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago and, to me, that’s truly exciting. I invite anyone who wants to know more about bluegrass to consider signing up for our in-person or online courses for the fall,” Darby said. “Our program teaches students about bluegrass music directly from the masters. That is so unique for a program like ours and, in my opinion, is the only way to learn.”

For more information about the Bluegrass Music Program at GSC, contact Darby by e-mail at ‘Megan.Darby@glenville.edu’ or call 304.462.6347.

Music Education Students Hold Senior Recital at GSC

Glenville State College music education students Morgan Dolly and Faith Smith, both from Petersburg, West Virginia, held their joint senior recital on Saturday, April 07 in the Fine Arts Center Auditorium. Dolly performed on the trumpet and Smith on the baritone saxophone.

Outside of the classroom Dolly serves as the President of the GSC’s chapter of the National Association for Music Education and is a member of the GSC marching band and the jazz combo. After graduation from GSC, she plans to pursue a career in teaching and obtain a master’s degree in conducting. She is the daughter of Dale and Marlene Dolly.

The Free Press WV
(l-r) Morgan Dolly and Faith Smith


“I can’t thank the outstanding faculty at Glenville State College enough - especially Mr. [Harry] Rich and Dr. [Lloyd] Bone for helping me excel in my studies, become a better musician, and making Glenville feel like home my first day on campus. I will cherish my time at GSC forever and the many memories that I’ve made here,” said Dolly.

“Morgan Dolly was, and is, a very focused musician, she grew tremendously as a performer, as a musician, and as a professional. Her work ethic is to be admired. Her recital went very well and I am very proud of her. I have every reason to believe that she will be an excellent music teacher—dedicated, smart, and with a curiousness to continually improve professionally,” said GSC Professor Emeritus Harry Rich.

Smith is also a member of the GSC marching band and after graduation she plans to begin work on her master’s degree and become an elementary school principal. She is the daughter of Jamie Cook and Tammy Eckard.

“I began playing the baritone saxophone only a year ago, and with taking off a year I essentially started playing the baritone saxophone with minimal saxophone knowledge. My recital showcased the many hours and all of the hard work that I put into learning a new instrument,” said Smith.

“Faith is one of the hardest working and most dedicated students I have ever had the pleasure of teaching.  She worked incredibly hard for this recital and played as well as she did because she does not accept mediocrity.  She sets a very high bar for herself and does not give up easily,” said GSC Assistant Professor of Music Jason Barr.

For more information about these recitals or the Department of Fine Arts at Glenville State College, visit www.glenville.edu or call 304.462.6340.

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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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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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