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Education

Spring Interns Complete Student Teaching for GSC

The Free Press WV

Ten students have completed their student teaching internships for Glenville State College and participated in GSC’s 143rd Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 06, 2017.


The Free Press WV
Kaitlyn Bircheat of Chapmanville, WV completed her student teaching in Music Education (PreK-adult) at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Robert L. Bland Middle School, and Jane Lew Elementary School with Jeremiah Smallridge and Tracy Alfred.

Dr. David Lewis and Dr. John Taylor were her GSC supervisors.

She is the daughter of Steve and Dewana Bircheat of Chapmanville, West Virginia.


The Free Press WV
Brittany Burdette of Ripley, WV completed her student teaching in English Education (5-adult) at Robert L. Bland Middle School and Lewis County High School with Lesley White and Grace Harris.

Dr. John Taylor and Dr. Melody Wise were her GSC supervisors.

She is the daughter Julie Burdette and Alex Buchanan of Evans, West Virginia.

She is engaged to be married to Spencer Steele, who is a recent GSC graduate.


The Free Press WV
Meghan Harubin of Normantown, WV completed her student teaching in Elementary Education (K-6) and Early Education (PreK-K) at Davis Elementary School with Melissa Duckworth and Paula Frame.

Dr. Shelly Ratliff was her GSC Supervisor.

She is the daughter of Chuck and Kathy Harubin of Normantown, West Virginia.


The Free Press WV
Jerrica Hilbert of Saint Albans, WV completed her student teaching in Music Education (PreK-adult) at Williamstown High School with Chris Hodges and at Mineral Wells Elementary with Beth Buskirk.

Dr. David Lewis and Dr. Shara Curry were her GSC supervisors.

She is the daughter of Jerry and Sherry Hilbert of Saint Albans, West Virginia.


The Free Press WV
Charles ‘Chuck’ Lynch of Sissonville, WV completed his student teaching in Biological Science (9-adult) and General Science (5-adult) at Gilmer County High School with Travis Fisher and Monica Haley.

Dr. Shara Curry and Dr. Jeff Hunter were his GSC supervisors.

He is the son of Dana and Tami Lynch of Sissonville, West Virginia.


The Free Press WV
Jonathan Reid of Clear Creek, WV completed his student teaching in Music Education (PreK-adult) at Gilmer County Elementary School and Doddridge County High School with Judy Leggett and Shaylyn Dabbs.

Dr. David Lewis and Dr. Shelly Ratliff were his GSC supervisors.

He is the son of Randall and Kathy Reid of Clear Creek, West Virginia.


The Free Press WV
Sara Rollins of Macfarlan, WV completed her student teaching in Music Education (PreK-adult) at Williamstown High School, Pleasant Hill Elementary School, and Arnoldsburg Elementary School with Chris Hodges and John Bugby.

Dr. David Lewis and Dr. Shara Curry were her GSC supervisors.

She is the daughter of Terry and Vicki Rollins of Macfarlan, West Virginia.

Rollins was also named Outstanding Student Teacher of the spring semester by the education honor society Kappa Delta Pi.


The Free Press WV
J’Aime Shearer of Weston, WV completed her student teaching in Elementary Education (K-6) and Early Education (PreK-K) at Gilmer County Elementary School with Amber Frashure and Lora Stump.

Dr. Shara Curry and Connie Stout-O’Dell were her GSC supervisors.

She is the daughter of Jim and Beth Barnes of Horner, West Virginia.

She currently resides in Weston with her husband William and daughter Madison.


The Free Press WV
Kimberly Smith of Harrisville, WV completed her student teaching in Music Education (PreK-adult) at Lewis County High School, Leading Creek Elementary School, and Roanoke Elementary School with Whitney Ballard and Allen Heath.

Dr. David Lewis and Dr. John Taylor were her GSC supervisors.

She is the daughter of Amy Floyd of Coxs Mills, West Virginia.


The Free Press WV
Tiffany (Young) Somerville of Linn, WV completed her student teaching in Elementary Education (K-6) and Early Education (PreK-K) at Leading Creek Elementary School with Debbie Adams and Debbie Moss.

Dr. Shelly Ratliff was her GSC Supervisor.

She is the daughter of Larry and Robin Young of Sand Fork, West Virginia.

She currently resides in Linn with her husband Taylor.


Senior teacher education students take part in an internship during their final semester at GSC. At the conclusion of their internship students must complete a presentation illustrating their mastery of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards as well as the standards of their particular area of study.

For more information about the Teacher Education Program at Glenville State College, contact 304.462.4119.

West Virginia CTE Students Receive Inaugural Governor’s Workforce Credential

80 Career Technical Education (CTE) students from across the state received recognition by earning the inaugural Governor’s Workforce Credential (GWC). Students were honored for meeting or exceeding rigid criteria that measures applicable real-world and work-readiness skills in their CTE programs.

Governor Justice’s office, along with West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steven Paine, recognized the students from 15 high schools and career technical education centers during a ceremony at the West Virginia State Capitol.

“I commend our students for working hard within their CTE programs,” Justice said. “Earning this credential will promote the quality of West Virginia’s workforce and benefit employers in our state.”

The Free Press WV


The GWC was created to ensure that West Virginia’s developing workforce has industry-ready skills to meet high-quality business and industry expectations. Earning a GWC will allow employers to quickly identify potential employees for a variety of skilled job openings.

“West Virginia’s Governor’s Workforce Credential verifies students’ work readiness to potential employers and demonstrates their commitment to success,” Paine said. “Students who earn this credential will be incredibly valuable to potential employers.”

Twenty-four states throughout the United States have implemented a Workforce Credential to promote the quality of their respective workforces. However, most states rely on a single metric to determine their Workforce Credential. West Virginia’s Credential is more comprehensive and looks at five criteria. To achieve the GWC, students must successfully meet the all of the following criteria:

i. Complete the four required state-approved CTE Program of Study courses, and achieve a minimum of 95% Portfolio score;

ii. Have a verified minimum attendance rate of 95%;

iii. Achieve a minimum of Level 3 on the Math and ELA categories of the WV Summative Assessment or Level 5/85% on a Career Readiness Assessment (ACT Work Keys, ACT Key Train, or WIN) or 15% above the NOCTI criterion-referenced cut score;

iv. Earn a nationally recognized Industry Credential that coincides with a state-approved program of study (i.e., NCCER Core, WV Welding, ASE-student, ServSafe, C.N.A.);

v. Obtain a Drug-free Certification – Participate/Pass a minimum of 2 mandatory drug screenings.

Bone Receives GSC Faculty Award of Excellence

Glenville State College’s newest Faculty Award of Excellence recipient is Associate Professor of Music Dr. Lloyd Bone. He received the award at the 143rd Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 06, 2017.

“Receiving this award is truly an honor. The GSC faculty ranks are full of so many talented people who have been recognized nationally and internationally in their fields. There are so many deserving faculty and I am honored to represent all of them. However, it must be stated that awards like this do not happen in a vacuum. I would never have gotten to this point without the help of so many people. I first must thank my incredible wife of 22 years Susan and my children Casey, Tobias, and Phineas. They have sacrificed hundreds of hours of me being away. They are the ultimate blessing. Also, my previous teachers R. Winston Morris and Timothy Northcut and the fantastic mentorship from colleagues and friends. Also, our students and alumni. I would have never received this award without all of their hard work, care, passion, and love. Lastly, my mother and father who sacrificed so much for me to be in music; I will never be able to thank them enough,” Bone stated.

The Free Press WV
GSC President Dr. Peter Barr with Dr. Lloyd Bone (right)


A nomination from a current student called Bone, “the most influential and passionate instructor I have ever had” and noted that he, “loves and supports his students 100%, every day.” Another student said, “you will rarely find someone as open, accepting, warm, or inviting as Dr. Bone – he always has something encouraging to say to everyone.”

Bone has been a faculty member at GSC since 2004. In addition to his teaching duties, he also directs the Pioneer ‘Wall of Sound’ Marching Band, the Brass Ensemble, and the Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble. He has published the world’s first guide book for the euphonium, led several groups of GSC students around the world to meetings of the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference, and was nominated for a Music Educator Award by the Grammy Foundation®. He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in Euphonium Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2015. Shortly after arriving at GSC, Bone began the GSC Honor Band and Honor Choir Festival which will enter its tenth year this coming spring. The event has become very popular and attracts students from all over West Virginia.

Bone has led the Glenville State College Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble to five straight invitations and performances to the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference. Something that, in the history of the conference, only a small number of schools around the world have accomplished. He also was personally invited as a guest artist to these conferences in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2013. The Ensemble also performed at the 2007 United States Army Band Tuba and Euphonium Conference in Washington, D.C., the 2013 Midwest Tuba and Euphonium Conference at Illinois State University, as well as several West Virginia state music conferences.

Due largely to his efforts, the GSC Brass Ensemble is invited annually to perform on the busiest shopping day of the year (the Saturday before Christmas) at the Town Center Mall in Charleston. The yearly repeat performances have garnered a popular following from shoppers all over the Charleston region who come out to hear the band perform.

During his years at GSC, Bone has been involved in numerous campus committees and social organizations such as the Music Educators National Conference (now the National Association for Music Education), Baptist Campus Ministry, and as and a Cheerleading advisor. Along with members of the marching band, Bone has been to all home football games and GSC Homecoming Parades over the past 13 years, including when two of his children were born during the week of Homecoming. He directed GSC’s Pep Band for seven years, attending numerous men’s and women’s basketball games. However, according to Bone, his favorite part of being involved is through recruiting for the whole of GSC. “When I go out to speak to a high school band I am talking to potential students for all departments and often much more so than music as most bands usually only have a few students looking to major in music. I love representing the campus in this regard as my fellow faculty are so very easy to brag about with potential students!” he added.

“My favorite thing about teaching at GSC is hands down the students. We have the best students. They are some of the hardest working, determined, and caring individuals I have ever known. What many of them overcome to attain their education is just awe-inspiring. In short, our students are just blessings!” he said.

Each spring, the campus community is invited to nominate an outstanding faculty member for this award. Faculty Award of Excellence recipients must be full-time and have taught at GSC for at least two years to be eligible. Names of the honorees are displayed on a permanent plaque in the Heflin Administration Building.

Canfield Receives Student Leadership Award at GSC Commencement

Samuel Canfield, a 2017 Glenville State College graduate, was presented with the Student Leadership Award at GSC’s Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 06. He is the son of Patty Wilson and Jerrell Canfield of Cowen, West Virginia.

In nominations for the award, faculty members called Canfield “a natural leader” with “the qualities and self-confidence to lead” adding that he, “wears his many personal and intellectual virtues lightly, remaining always a humble and likable young man.” Another nomination called him, “the exemplar of the great things about Glenville State College students.” Yet another faculty member praised his, “impeccable work ethic.”

The Free Press WV
GSC President Dr. Peter Barr presents Sam Canfield (right) with the 2017 Student Leadership Award


“I am truly blessed to receive this award and am so happy that my professors thought so highly of me to recommend me for the award,” Canfield said. “It was awesome to have my name called at the ceremony…I had chills.”

For the future, Canfield plans to obtain a Ph.D. in ecology and continue into a career related to ecology or the environment.

During his time at GSC, Canfield served as president of the Alpha Iota chapter of the science and math honorary society Chi Beta Phi. “Being president allowed me to organize scholarship fundraisers and showed me that I have leadership potential,” he said. Canfield also participated in Bible Centered Ministries (BCM) and the Wesley Foundation; both of which, he said, provided a space and direction for him to develop his relationship with Jesus Christ. He also was involved in Student Support Services and GSC’s Hidden Promise Consortium. “Those programs have given me so much guidance and support over these four years that I will not forget about,” he added.

In his spare time he enjoys nature hikes, playing card and video games, hunting and fishing, and different sports.

“My favorite part about being a student at GSC was that the classes were small and I could get to know my professors really well. I will miss all my friends and professors…we have had a lot of laughs,” he said. “The most important lessons I have learned at Glenville are to be confident in your abilities, as a student and person, and to be humble. If you do not have confidence in what you do or say, then it is a lot harder to succeed. However, if you are not humble alongside your confidence, then your confidence causes you to fail as well.”

Canfield joins 43 other graduates who have received the Outstanding Student Leadership Award at GSC since 1977. Names of the honorees are displayed on a permanent plaque in the Heflin Administration Building.

Head Start Continues to Serve in Gilmer County

The Free Press WV

Did you know that all of Gilmer County’s Pre-K classrooms include Head Start services?

Any eligible 3-5 year old child can be enrolled, and Head Start staff work with the school and the family to make sure each child can be successful.

It’s a terrific partnership between Central WV Community Action, Inc. and the Gilmer County Board of Education.

Head Start is more than 50 years old, and many things have changed during that time. 

West Virginia now offers free preschool to all four year olds.

Teachers must have a Bachelor’s degree and Teacher Assistants must be certified.

The required hours and minutes of the school year have lengthened.

The cost of operations has grown significantly, yet the amount of the Head Start program grant has increased little in recent years. 

To be more efficient with the Head Start program resources, the agency will shift services this fall by closing its Gilmer County Parks and Recreation site.

The Parks Board has been a terrific friend to the program over the years, and we’re incredibly thankful for their support.

And now, as pre-K education continues to evolve in West Virginia, we’re proud to work even more closely with the Board of Education in support of our Head Start families.

For more information or to enroll a child in the Head Start program, please call 304.622.8495 x1.

Shannon Cunningham

Executive Director

Central WV Community Action, Inc. 

Student Leaders To Tackle Higher Education Issues, Strengthening Campus Communities

The Free Press WV

College students from across West Virginia are meeting this week at Jackson’s Mill to tackle issues facing the state’s higher education system and learn new ways to strengthen their campus communities.

More than 75 student government representatives from West Virginia’s public two-year and four-year colleges and universities are participating in the annual West Virginia Student Leadership Conference, which kicks off Monday and continues through Wednesday.

The conference is sponsored by the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS), the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Shepherd University.

During the conference, students will attend sessions to help them understand higher education policies and governance. Students also will work together to identify the unique needs facing their campuses and share ideas for addressing these issues.

“Leadership and problem-solving skills are essential for both meeting the needs of our state’s communities and succeeding in today’s workforce,” Dr. Sarah Tucker, WVCTCS chancellor said. “These students are gaining real-life experience that will not only prepare them for future employment but also empower them to make their campus communities a better place to live and learn.”

“Strong higher education systems are built on collaboration among students, faculty and administrators,” Dr. Paul Hill, HEPC chancellor said. “I look forward to hearing the ideas our students offer and to working with them over the coming year as they fulfill their leadership roles on campus and within their communities.”

The conference agenda is available HERE .

DeVono Hopes To Use Prior Experience In Gilmer County To Solve Problems In Randolph County

The Free Press WV

In the middle of declining revenue and population, staffing cuts, and the looming threat of a state takeover, the Randolph County Board of Education is hoping their choice for the county’s next Superintendent of schools will right the ship.

But that won’t be easy–and Gabriel Devono knows that.

“There’s some situations with personnel that we’ll have to look at,” the outgoing Gilmer County Superintendent said. “Maybe do some attrition or some vacancies that are there that we won’t hire back teachers, which will help us in personnel.”

That’s one of many difficult choices the new Randolph County Superintendent will face when he assumes that role on July 1 later this year. Outgoing Randolph County Superintendent Pam Hewitt already made recommendations for major staffing cuts, a majority of which were approved by the Board of Education last month, that could trim close to $875,000 off the budget.

But Devono is accustomed to difficult choices, he said. He joined the Gilmer County school system in 2014, appointed by the State Board of Education to try and steer Gilmer County back into local control.

“I came in 2014 and set four goals to myself and accomplished all four goals,” he said. “On January 9 of this year, they gave us control back, and that was the last goal.”

Devono has a long history in education. He spent 14 years in Virginia, but returned to West Virginia as an assistant principal in the early 2000’s. He served in a stint as assistant Superintendent in Lewis County before eventually taking over as the director of the state’s largest Regional Education Service Agency (R.E.S.A. 7). With a number of teachers in the family, a brother who is the Superintendent in Monongalia County, and a nephew on the Harrison County Board of Education, Devono said it was fair to call public education the “family business.”

“The big thing our parents always made sure that we had the education,” he said. “That’s one thing they always told us. They can take anything away from you, but they can’t take away your education from you. That’s something that my brother and I and my sister instilled within our kids.”

Unlike his time in Gilmer County, Devono hasn’t yet set a specific list of goals for his future in Randolph County. Rather, he wants to start by reviewing the budget and spending time with the school system’s most important resource: the staff.

“I told them in my interview, if you want a Superintendent that deals with text messages and e-mails then you don’t want me because I don’t like to sit behind a desk,” he said. “I want to be out supporting my staff and my teachers along with getting to know my kids.”

Randolph County faces a number of serious issues. The county failed to carry over the standard amount of cash reserves from the previous fiscal year. Mixed with serious damage to Homestead Elementary School, voters failing to pass a levy on three different occasions in less than 12 months, and the overall declining enrollment, budgetary concerns reign supreme.

“I’ll look at the budget,” Devono said. “I’ll work with Brad Smith there. He’s an excellent treasurer and see where we need to go and how we can do some cuts.”

His experience in Gilmer County in bringing the school back to local control is one potential asset he can bring to Randolph County. But, he said, the other asset he’ll bring is his penchant for transparency.

“I went out in the community,” Devono said. “I had community meetings and got to know the people in the community and always kept them abreast. That’s something that I feel like I need to do when I get to Randolph County too.”

Devono said he expects to begin a tour of the school system next month.

~~  Alex Wiederspiel ~~


05.13.2017
EducationNewsWest VirginiaRegionGilmer CountyGlenville(11) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Sadly this gent lives in some alternate universe?
Claims to be transparent?  BS Does not know the meaning of the word.

Going to work with his new employer on finance?  He sure didn’t work with the board in Gilmer County on finance.  They could not even get a simple school equipment inventory listing.
Never mind financial info.

Even after repeated requests to Charleston from his handlers. 

The honeymoon in Randolph will be short.  The spots will show through in six months.  Hewitt will start looking good again.

By L.L. Pantsafire  on  05.13.2017

It is difficult to express how to feel about Gabriel’s departure.  But one thing can be said, he knows how to blow his own horn.

Given that on every occasion he informed the OEPA that Gilmer was not ready for return of control.
Given there are many, many video tapes of meetings where Board members begged for transparency, accountability and honesty from his office.
Given that Gilmer County had a 2 million dollar surplus at the start of intervention which no longer exists and is now a million in debt.
Given Devono’s multiple statements in the newspapers and public meeting insisting Gilmer’s Board should extend his contract.
And given the only way jobs were saved at the end of his time here was for the Gilmer County Board of Education having the backbone to say NO to his “penchant” for RIF without reason.

Given

By Gilmer's Truth Set Him Free  on  05.14.2017

If he’s not in the office and you can’t get him by email or text you might find him at the golf course with your transportation director or you might not find him at all.  At least that’s been the Gilmer experience.
Or, he might be watching your county truck haul a pool filter. Find the truth of who winds up with it. If you need pictures they’re around. Not everyone approves corruption.
Hard to tell you Randolph, what perk do you have to keep him busy?  Maybe a spa package at the lodge that never ends? 
Better buy a couple black trench coats. Flunkies required to dress to match.  Will soon find a couple of your office employees no longer stay in the office because this one is afraid to travel alone.Watch for three black crows entering your school buildings. It is the signature move.
Teachers and staff, get ready. The truth is not in your new super.

Folks here recognize who wrote this narcissistic claptrap.

By AW SHUCKS ON YOU  on  05.14.2017

LOL HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA LOL

By WEINERSPEIL, WORDS FAIL US  on  05.14.2017

Gilmer County wanted you to go out the door with a whisper. Just keep still and let him go was the word. Let him tell them what he wants to believe. And that’s how it was going.
Now he uses this free press to exit with fabrication and seeking personal glory for what was done here in the name of intervention?
Listen up Randolph County, the only community Gabe Denono ever talked to here is the one that runs the town.You’ll get the same thing.
Read the exit report of the WVOEPA.  He did not bring us back to local control.  Our board fought for it.
This is the man who was going to sue the State Board if they didn’t give him a two year contract.

You can tell how much he thinks of you by how your financial plight is laid out here for all to know. There’s 13 county school systems under fund balance watch right now. The State Board will have no interest in taking over a broke county and yet he threatens you.

Bad enough the local paper has spread his and the BBB (Bill- Bo Buddies) lies. Does he expect the voice of free people, the GFP, to do that too?

When this guy Gabe goes on his tour of your county next month, does he expect to be paid by our district to go tour yours? Whose going to mind the store?  Nothing new about that but you will get used to it.

By Luck and Love to Randolph BOE  on  05.14.2017

Alex Weiderspiel has been “used” by Superintendent User.  The list is long of Gilmer people who also got drawn in.  Now it appears Randolph will be added to the list of victims?

By Randolph Gets Hot Potato  on  05.15.2017

Gilmer County is positioned for a new start for our school system.

We have suffered badly from raw politics, betrayal, back door deals, control by the elites, and harmful effects from conflicts of interest.

We need the highest quality administrator we can get to take over for a fresh start to never again permit what the County experienced during intervention.

GCBOE, it is up to you now. Keep ugly politics and other side issues out of it. If you do you will get firm backing of Gilmer County to include better chances of us voting for more money to fund the schools.

By Citizens Want GCBOE To Do Its Job  on  05.15.2017

The GCBOE has members with tight ties to some school system employees.

When decisions of any kind are being made which involve those employees the community expects board members in those situations to remove themselves from all involvement.

Appearances and public perceptions are important and the community expects the highest of standards to be followed for ways school board business is conducted.

Is this an unreasonable expectation for elected officials who are supposed to have the public’s trust?

By Nuff Said  on  05.15.2017

So long as board members aren’t taking a profit renting their real estate to the superintendent or raking it in by selling their various wares to employees. And, so long as they don’t vote illegally to hire somebody and follow the policies of the WVDE, THIS Gilmer board is doing just fine.

By More Than Nuff Said  on  05.16.2017

Conduct may not be technically illegal, but it could be unethical to fail the WV common sense smell test.

Good tests for anything going on would be being comfortable with reading about the details in the Charleston Gazette and getting an OK from the WV Ethics Commission.

One of the most common causes of ethical problems is when disgruntled job applicants file complaints after information leaks.

An ounce of prevention is always worth more that a pound of cure.

By Charleston DOE Employee  on  05.16.2017

What does not pass the WV Common Sense “Smell Test” is any employee basing a complaint on a one sided, sputtering, “leaker” with an ax to grind.  Always good advice to remember the court house door swings both ways.

Gilmer County employees are pretty wise folk and generally do not like being pulled into personal, panic mode nonsense. Don’t know how it works in Charleston.

So easy to get an opinion from an ethics commission attorney these days. Just a click of the mouse. Would not doubt responses to any question or accusation, no matter how uninformed,how ridiculous, are in the works.

By We've Been Threatened By Professionals  on  05.16.2017

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Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation Supports Gilmer County Elementary School

The Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation (LKACF) recently awarded a $400 grant to Gilmer County Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) to help purchase staff t-shirts that will help promote school unity and spirit. LKACF advisory board members Martha Haymaker and Bob Radabaugh attended the April 24 PTO meeting to present the grant.

The Free Press WV
(L-R) Vickie Allman, Tanya Stewart, Bob Radabaugh, and Sharon Jones


The role of the Gilmer County Elementary School’s PTO is to build strong working relationships among parents, teachers and the school to maximize student’s experiences.  Having recently opened its doors for the first time, the new school’s PTO recognizes that now is the time to unify and celebrate. 

“The staff members really appreciate the unity the t-shirts have created,” said Shelly Mason, Assistant Principal and PTO member.  “Staff wear the t-shirts on Fridays and the students’ haven taken note.  Recently, a first grade student happily said, ‘All the teachers are dressed the same—everyone is a twin!“

The Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation (LKACF) works with charitable individuals to make a positive and permanent commitment for the future of Wirt, Calhoun, and Gilmer counties in West Virginia. LKACF is an affiliate of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF). PACF is a single 501(c)(3) public charity that manages a philanthropic endowment of more than 350 funds amounting to nearly $34 million in assets, each representing a unique giving partnership with an individual, a family, or a business, civic or non-profit organization. Since 2004, the Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation has helped local citizens support the causes that are most important to them and touch every aspect of life in our communities in a wide variety of significant and lasting ways. For more information about PACF and its affiliate, LKACF, or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, visit www.pacfwv.com or call 304.428.4438.

Spring Interns Complete Student Teaching for GSC

Ten students have completed their student teaching internships for Glenville State College and participated in GSC’s 143rd Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 06, 2017.

The Free Press WV
Glenville State College 2017 student teacher interns (L-R) Brittaney Burdette, J’Aime Shearer, Jon Reid, Tiffany Somerville, Jerrica Hilbert, Meghan Harubin, Chuck Lynch, Kim Smith, Sara Rollins (not pictured: Kaitlyn Bircheat)


Kaitlyn Bircheat of Chapmanville completed her student teaching in Music Education (PreK-adult) at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Robert L. Bland Middle School, and Jane Lew Elementary School with Jeremiah Smallridge and Tracy Alfred. Dr. David Lewis and Dr. John Taylor were her GSC supervisors. She is the daughter of Steve and Dewana Bircheat of Chapmanville, West Virginia.


Brittany Burdette of Ripley completed her student teaching in English Education (5-adult) at Robert L. Bland Middle School and Lewis County High School with Lesley White and Grace Harris. Dr. John Taylor and Dr. Melody Wise were her GSC supervisors. She is the daughter Julie Burdette and Alex Buchanan of Evans, West Virginia. She is engaged to be married to Spencer Steele, who is a recent GSC graduate.


Meghan Harubin of Normantown completed her student teaching in Elementary Education (K-6) and Early Education (PreK-K) at Davis Elementary School with Melissa Duckworth and Paula Frame. Dr. Shelly Ratliff was her GSC Supervisor. She is the daughter of Chuck and Kathy Harubin of Normantown, West Virginia.


Jerrica Hilbert of Saint Albans completed her student teaching in Music Education (PreK-adult) at Williamstown High School with Chris Hodges and at Mineral Wells Elementary with Beth Buskirk. Dr. David Lewis and Dr. Shara Curry were her GSC supervisors. She is the daughter of Jerry and Sherry Hilbert of Saint Albans, West Virginia.


Charles ‘Chuck’ Lynch of Sissonville completed his student teaching in Biological Science (9-adult) and General Science (5-adult) at Gilmer County High School with Travis Fisher and Monica Haley. Dr. Shara Curry and Dr. Jeff Hunter were his GSC supervisors. He is the son of Dana and Tami Lynch of Sissonville, West Virginia.


Jonathan Reid of Clear Creek completed his student teaching in Music Education (PreK-adult) at Gilmer County Elementary School and Doddridge County High School with Judy Leggett and Shaylyn Dabbs. Dr. David Lewis and Dr. Shelly Ratliff were his GSC supervisors. He is the son of Randall and Kathy Reid of Clear Creek, West Virginia.


Sara Rollins of Macfarlan completed her student teaching in Music Education (PreK-adult) at Williamstown High School, Pleasant Hill Elementary School, and Arnoldsburg Elementary School with Chris Hodges and John Bugby. Dr. David Lewis and Dr. Shara Curry were her GSC supervisors. She is the daughter of Terry and Vicki Rollins of Macfarlan, West Virginia. Rollins was also named Outstanding Student Teacher of the spring semester by the education honor society Kappa Delta Pi.


J’Aime Shearer of Weston completed her student teaching in Elementary Education (K-6) and Early Education (PreK-K) at Gilmer County Elementary School with Amber Frashure and Lora Stump. Dr. Shara Curry and Connie Stout-O’Dell were her GSC supervisors. She is the daughter of Jim and Beth Barnes of Horner, West Virginia. She currently resides in Weston with her husband William and daughter Madison.


Kimberly Smith of Harrisville completed her student teaching in Music Education (PreK-adult) at Lewis County High School, Leading Creek Elementary School, and Roanoke Elementary School with Whitney Ballard and Allen Heath. Dr. David Lewis and Dr. John Taylor were her GSC supervisors. She is the daughter of Amy Floyd of Coxs Mills, West Virginia.


Tiffany (Young) Somerville of Linn completed her student teaching in Elementary Education (K-6) and Early Education (PreK-K) at Leading Creek Elementary School with Debbie Adams and Debbie Moss. Dr. Shelly Ratliff was her GSC Supervisor. She is the daughter of Larry and Robin Young of Sand Fork, West Virginia. She currently resides in Linn with her husband Taylor.


Senior teacher education students take part in an internship during their final semester at GSC. At the conclusion of their internship students must complete a presentation illustrating their mastery of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards as well as the standards of their particular area of study.

For more information about the Teacher Education Program at Glenville State College, contact 304.462.4119.

The Soil Trailer Arrives at Gilmer County Elementary Grade School

The soil Trailer is a 16-ft trailer that serves as a soil, water, and agricultural mobile-learning unit.

As you enter the soil trailer you immediately see circular domes holding microorganisms that are lit up with glowing purple lights and roots coming down from the ceiling.

Looking around the trailer you see blue crayfish on the wall, or check out the three-eyed salamander in the polluted side of the pond.

There’s a turtle poking its head down from the center of the trailer, like it’s looking down on the kids (the turtle has become very popular with the students).

The sculptured interior walls and ceiling depict agricultural specialty crops, a water quality wall, the effects of litter and contamination on aquatic life, and much, much more.

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A carrot, onion, ginseng and other root vegetables are carved and painted to look real on the right-hand wall.

The left-hand wall holds many insects normally found in the ground, like a centipede, a cicada, and ants digging tunnels.

The Gilmer County Farm Bureau was able to rent this mobile unit for two days for all of the students attending Glenville Elementary School through a grant program from Wes-Mon-Ty RC&D.

The soil trailer is created and operated by Aimee Figgatt, District Manager of the Capitol Conservation District.

The day started off rainy but that did not stop each grade from doing an exercise inside the class room before making their way to the trailer, designed to feel as if you are underground.

Farm Bureau members Dr. Patrick Nestor, Ann Nestor, Chester Sholes, and Keith Cole volunteered for two days taking groups of students through the trailer, along with school volunteers Lula Godfrey and Tammy Foster.

Kelly Sponaugle, a soil scientist from Shady Springs, and originally from Cedarville, volunteered his time teaching some of the classes. Gilmer County Conservation Supervisors Larry Sponaugle and Jane Collins assisted with this event. It was a terrific day for the students to be able to have an educational, hands-on experience.

Thank You, Gilmer County Farm Bureau, for sponsoring this event!

Gilmer County High School Graduation 2017

At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 26th, Gilmer County High School’s Class of 2017 will take their next step into the journey to tomorrow as they receive their diplomas in the annual Commencement Ceremony. The Commencement Ceremony will be held at Glenville State College’s Waco Center, followed by a brief reception honoring the Class of 2017. The public is cordially invited to join the celebration to commemorate the achievement of this milestone in the lives of these students.

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This year’s Valedictorian is Brian Tyler Moore.

Tyler is the son of Brian and Lisa Moore of Glenville, West Virginia. Tyler initially plans on attending Glenville State College where he anticipates studying biology and chemistry in preparation to continue his academic career in the medical field.

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The Salutatorian for this year is Lucas Tanner.

Lucas is the son of Thomas and Lisa Tanner of Rosedale, West Virginia. Lucas plans on attending West Virginia University where he anticipates studying political science in preparation to continue his education and enter law school, with the ultimate goal of attaining a position in the political arena.


The following students are also graduating with Highest Honors:

Alex Jones

Carly Somerville

Chandler Ferguson

Dalton Law

Janeeva Jenkins

Kerri Swiger

Lauren Hardman

Madisyn Furr

Nathan Pritt

Riley Fitzwater

Tristan McNeely


The following students are graduating with High Honors:

Caleb Wine

Carter Springer

Chelsea Goodrich

Jacob Arden

Lukas Sirbaugh

Lydia Cottrill

Patrick Roberts

Trey Shuff

Whitney Rader


The following students are graduating with Honors:

Abigail Cogar

Brittany Duskey

Brittany Wiant

Colleen Watkins

Herbert Dickey, IV

Jason Montgomery

Kylie Shuff


The following students are also graduating this year:

Asia Moss

Brandi Moss

Brent Fisher

Brody Gumm

Bryan Duskey

Caleb Gibson

Caleb White

Cole Haley

Dakota Radcliff

Daniel Hedges

Danielle Marks

Danny Helmick, II

Dillon Allison

Donovan Rose

Dylon Helmick

Eric Watkins

Frederick Jenkins

George Hardman, IV

Jacob Butler

James Donaldson

James Dorsey

Jared Luzader

Jessica McVay

Johnnie Lattea

Justin Frame

Kala Wood

Maggie Waddell

Misty Mathess

Morgan Crouch

Noah Aviles

Ryan Page

Ryan Singleton

Sarah Aviles

Shawn Skeens

Shayna Maxwell

Starla King

Steven Lowe

Sylis Sealey

Tiffany Copeland

Tyler Meadows

Zachary Roberts


05.08.2017
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What You Need to Know About School Vouchers

Have school vouchers been shown to have a positive impact on student success?

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Donald Trump has proposed cutting after-school programs for young children, as well as grants and federal work-study programs for college students. But his most significant attack on public education may be his pledge to spend $20 billion on market-based school choice, including charter schools and vouchers.

Conventional voucher policies now exist in 16 states. Taxpayers in those states help pay private-school tuition for about 175,000 students each year. Education savings accounts that let states circumnavigate constitutional language against public funding for private and religious organizations are used in 17 states and generate another 250,000 vouchers annually.

Before the public embraces Trump’s plans to create even more vouchers, there are important things it should know about the voucher concept’s origination.

Milton Friedman, a University of Chicago economist and apostle of free-market fundamentalism, believed corporations should be able to profit from education. In 1997, he wrote an article arguing that vouchers were “a means to make a transition from a government to a market system,” to enable “a private, for-profit industry to develop” and ultimately abolish public schools.

In 1955, Friedman also wrote that he didn’t believe in government-sponsored integration of schools. Southern politicians agreed and used vouchers to create what were called “segregation academies” for whites only.

Proponents of school vouchers overlook this history and frame vouchers as a “limited” approach meant to help poor children in cities–even claiming they are a civil right.

The political argument that market-based school choice is the answer for longstanding inequalities in the American education system is at odds with the positions of most national civil rights organizations. The NAACP and Urban League agree that vouchers, in the words of a civil rights leadership conference report, “siphon away all-too-limited public education funds and fail to provide protection from discrimination and segregation.”

In fact, there is little evidence that vouchers have a positive effect on student performance. Martin Carnoy, a Stanford University professor of economics and education, concluded in a recent Economic Policy Institute report that the predominance of peer-reviewed research over 25 years shows vouchers don’t improve student success.

Yet vouchers are supported by well-heeled conservative philanthropists and conservatives including the Koch brothers, American Legislative Executive Council, Walton Foundation, and Heritage Foundation. That’s because vouchers purposefully transfer the responsibility for educating students, and the funding that comes with it, away from the traditional democratically controlled public school system.

And vouchers give private schools greater control over the student population through such practices as “creaming” and “cropping.” Creaming occurs when private schools choose to enroll only the best and least costly students. Cropping is when they deny more costly students who are disabled, poor or language learners. Private “choice schools” can legally prevent them from enrolling.

Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos remain committed to privately managed school choice funded by public tax dollars, despite a sordid racial history, opposition from the civil rights community, state constitutional problems, and the proven failure of the approach to help students.

Julian Vasquez Heilig is a professor at California State University Sacramento.

GSC Class of 2017 takes part in Commencement Ceremony

Glenville State College’s 143rd Commencement Ceremony took place on Saturday, May 06, 2017 in the college’s Waco Center.

The Glenville State College Class of 2017 includes graduates who completed requirements for an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree in a variety of academic areas including business, criminal justice, teacher education, and natural resource management among others. The GSC Class of 2017 is made up of approximately 110 students who hail from throughout West Virginia and nine other states.

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Glenville State College President Dr. Peter Barr delivers his keynote address


Retiring Glenville State College President Dr. Peter Barr delivered the keynote address to graduates and guests. Barr, who has been at the helm of the nearly 145 year old institution since 2006, is retiring at the end of the current academic year.

In his address Barr likened himself to the spring graduates, noting that he too is preparing to make a big adjustment in his life. “I, like you, will soon depart this campus for new adventures. I’ve come to respect and love the students and faculty who make this campus come to life,” he said. Barr also compared the junction in the graduate’s lives to the single traffic light in downtown Glenville; “We approach that single stoplight one more time and ask – ‘where do we go next?’ – this is a time for us to think ahead and move forward.” President Barr also repeated a favorite line in which encouraged the students to endeavor to “make the world a little better place.”

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President Barr with Faculty Award of Excellence recipient Dr. Lloyd Bone


The title of Faculty Emeritus was bestowed upon retiring professors Dr. Milan Vavrek and Wayne de Rosset. In addition to teaching in the Department of Land Resources, Vavrek has also served as the College’s Vice President for Academic Affairs since July 2015. de Rosset leaves the institution after 43 years of service in the Department of Language and Literature. The College’s Board of Governors also recognized Senior Vice President for Student & External Relations James W. Spears with Vice President Emeritus status and President Barr with President Emeritus status. Additionally, GSC Foundation Board Treasurer Mary Lee McPherson was presented with an honorary degree.

Eleven members of the GSC Class of 1967 returned to campus and were honored as fifty year graduates; seven of those participated in the official ceremony on Saturday. Recognizing the fifty year graduates has become a tradition at GSC’s Commencement Ceremony.

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President Barr with Student Leadership Award recipient Samuel Canfield of Cowen, West Virginia


Individual awards also were presented during the ceremony to an outstanding faculty member and graduate. Associate Professor of Music Dr. Lloyd Bone received the 2017 Faculty Award of Excellence and the 2017 Student Leadership Award was given to graduating senior biology and chemistry student Sam Canfield of Cowen, West Virginia.

“Each of you should take great pride in your success. You should leave this occasion proudly and ready—or nearly ready—to take your places in the world. At Glenville State, you have committed your time, your energies, and your passions in the successful pursuit of the knowledge and skills to be productive citizens,” said President Barr in closing comments to the graduates.

Fall classes at GSC will begin on Monday, August 14, 2017. For information on enrolling and beginning your journey as a GSC Pioneer, visit www.glenville.edu or contact the Glenville State College Office of Admissions at 304.462.4128.

CONSERVATION DAY FOR 6th. Graders

Conservation Day for the 6th Graders of Gilmer County was held once again at Cedar Creek State Park on April 25, 2017.

This field day was made possible by the West Fork Conservation District, with Supervisors Jane Collins and Larry Sponaugle representing Gilmer County.

It was a full day of activities, starting with Instructor Callie Sams (Department of Environmental Protection) who talked about the importanceof recycling and what our earth would look like if we did not recycle. 

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The students each received recycled shoe strings, crayons, and coloring books.

The students then advanced to Forestry with Instructor Joe Jelich, where they were exposed to different native trees and how to identify them.

Next, the Wildlife and Snakes class always gets the students excited. 

Instructor Jim Fregonara (WV Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Diversity) brought his snakes and the students were given the opportunity to touch one, if they dared! 

Almost every student walked away with a sticker proclaiming “I touched a snake today.” 

Our popular Beekeeping class was instructed by Bobbi Cottrill.  She always makes sure the kids leave with a few honey sticks and other goodies.

Kelley Sponaugle, a retired Soil Scientist from Shady Springs, originally from Cedarville had the students getting their hands dirty looking for bugs in the soil with magnifying glasses that each student got to take home with them. 

Aeriel Wauhob (WV Streams, Fish and Wildlife) was also very popular with students, getting in the streams and searching for all kinds of specimens. 

Instructor Rick Sypolt (Retired Professor in Forestry and Land Surveying from Glenville State College) instructed students how to use a compass and read a map. 

Each student went home with a compass.

This year each student and teacher received a t-shirt with the conservation logo on it provided by the West Fork Conservation District. 

There were two volunteers who helped guide students from one session to the next, Arletta Davis and Janice Bowling.

Students are exposed to lots of information in one day, however, the information will help them when they take the Samara Exam later in the month. 

The Samara Exam is a test that measures the knowledge students have gained about the environment through 6th grade, another program sponsored by the Conservation District.

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