HEPC Reports Increase In Student Success Rates Following Education Reform

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More Mountain State students are succeeding in college thanks, in part, to an overhaul in the way entry-level courses are taught. Earlier today during a meeting of the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC), state officials announced that recent efforts to reform developmental, or “remedial,” education are helping more students pass first-year math and English courses.

Historically, one in four students at West Virginia’s public colleges and universities has been required to take developmental math or English classes because their high school grade point averages (GPAs) or entrance exam scores were below the threshold at which students are considered ready for college-level work. These courses, which typically do not count toward a degree, often lead to students’ dropping out of college.

“In the past, developmental education too often has led to a dead end for students,” Dr. Paul Hill, HEPC Chancellor, said. “It’s discouraging, because not only are they taking and paying for classes that don’t count toward their degrees, but they often are being asked to re-learn information at a snail’s pace. Our new model of administering remediation allows students to catch up quickly and maintain momentum toward earning a college diploma.”

Working closely with Complete College America, HEPC and the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (CTCS) have worked with the state’s public colleges and universities to redesign developmental education using a “co-requisite model.” The new format provides students who have low GPAs or test scores with extra help, such as required tutoring or extra lab classes, while simultaneously allowing them to complete college-level coursework that counts toward their degrees. West Virginia is one of just five states to implement the model across the entire public higher education system.

Data presented during the HEPC meeting showed that the redesign has resulted in a major boost for course completion rates. For example, at Fairmont State University, the number of students completing entry-level math jumped from 28.1 percent to 81.8 percent after the school switched to providing co-requisite courses. Similarly, pass rates in English at West Liberty University jumped from 46.4 percent to 90.7 percent. And institutions across West Virginia are seeing similarly impressive results.

“Ultimately, we expect this to have a major impact on college graduation rates,” Dr. Corley Dennison, HEPC’s Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, said. “Instead of completely re-teaching a subject to students who may only need a bit of extra help, we are able to enroll them in the credit-bearing class and then pinpoint areas in which their knowledge and skills are lacking. That saves our students time, money and unnecessary frustration — and reduces barriers that may have previously prevented them from earning a degree.”

Dr. Hill said the new model is also a more cost-efficient method of offering classes.

“Previously, our colleges and universities had to dedicate faculty, space and class time for an entire semester to conduct high-school-level courses in order to prepare students for college work,” Dr. Hill said. “Now we are integrating the developmental work into first-year college courses and utilizing existing campus services, such as tutoring and faculty office hours, to offer extra support for the students who need it.”

The CTCS was one of the first higher education systems in the nation to test the co-requisite model of developmental education. The model is now nationally recognized as a best practice in state higher education policy.

No Tuition Hike for 2017-18 at Glenville State College

Despite another year of appropriation cuts to higher education in the Mountain State, Glenville State College announced Thursday that it would not be increasing student tuition and fees to offset the difference. Backed by the College’s Board of Governors, alumni, faculty, staff, students, and community members, incoming Glenville State College President Dr. Tracy Pellett made the announcement at GSC’s Waco Center.

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With incoming Glenville State College President Dr. Tracy Pellett at the podium, Delegate Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay), GSC student Justin Woods, Board of Governors Chair Greg Smith, Student Government Association President Cameron Woods, and Delegate Brent Boggs (D-Braxton) listen to his announcement

“Someone has to stand up for West Virginia families. Someone has to show them the way to student success. Glenville State believes that, as a public institution, standing up for taxpayers is our responsibility. Therefore, on behalf of the Glenville State Board of Governors, on behalf of the people of this great state, I am here to say that Glenville State College will not cover state cuts by raising tuition and fees this fall. Indeed, we will make a symbolic tuition cut by $1 to promise our parents and students that we are dedicated to creating the best value by enhancing both affordability and quality,” said Pellett.

The new budget, which will automatically go into effect July 1 without the signature of Governor Jim Justice, slashes about $270,000 from what GSC received last year.

“We’re not ranked one of the top ten public colleges in the south by accident. We have improved our retention of first year students more than any other college in the state. Our graduation rate has improved more than any other college or university in West Virginia this past year. In addition, Glenville State has cut average student debt more than any other college or university in West Virginia in the past five years, more than a 20% decrease,” Pellett added.

The announcement followed a special Board of Governors meeting that was held to discuss the College’s budget and tuition and fees for the next academic year.

West Virginia Department of Education to Host Public Stakeholder Meetings on ESSA Plan

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The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) announced a series of regional stakeholder meetings to discuss the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. The meetings will include a brief informational session and an open question and answer session. All stakeholder meetings are open to the public. Events will take place at the following dates and times:

June 19, 5:30 p.m.
Lewis County High School
205 Minuteman Drive
Weston, WV 26452
June 28, 5:30 p.m.
Riverside High School
1 Warrior Way
Belle, WV 25015
July 10, 5:30 p.m.
Spring Mills High School
499 Campus Drive
Martinsburg, WV 25404

ESSA was signed into law in December 2015, replacing the No Child Left Behind Act. The federal legislation represents a shift from broad federal oversight to greater flexibility of primary and secondary education at the state and local levels. ESSA requires all states to develop plans that address standards, assessments, accountability and support for struggling schools. West Virginia will submit its final plan in September 2017.

“It is imperative that our ESSA state plan is reflective of input from all stakeholder groups,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steven Paine. “We value feedback from community members and encourage those with questions or input to attend.”

In addition to attending the stakeholder meetings, citizens can visit the Department’s ESSA website to participate in a survey and sign up to stay informed on the development of the plan:

Glenville State College Recognizes Several Outstanding Alumni

Alumni and friends of Glenville State College gathered on campus for Alumni Day on Saturday, April 22. In addition to other events throughout the weekend, visitors enjoyed the annual alumni banquet which saw several alumni and friends of the college honored by the GSC Alumni Association.

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John Westfall received the Community Service Award.

After three years at GSC, he was accepted to the West Virginia University School of Dentistry and received his D.D.S. degree in 1975.

After graduation, Westfall returned to Glenville to practice dentistry and retired in May 2016 after 41 years of service.

He is a lifetime member of the American Dental Association.

During his time in Glenville, Dr. Westfall has remained active in the community and has made significant contributions through his time, actions, talents, and dedication.

John and his wife Pat reside on a farm in Glenville, where he enjoys taking on new projects.

They have two children; Chad, an orthodontist in Abingdon, Virginia, and Lauren, an oncologist in Houston, Texas who will be returning to work in West Virginia in July.

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Katie (Murray) Ogle received the Outstanding Young Alumna Award.

She graduated from GSC with honors in May 2008 and earned a Juris Doctorate from the Appalachian School of Law in May 2011.

Ogle is a member of the Knoxville Bar and is a contributing editor for the Knoxville Bar Association magazine.

She is currently an associate with McDonald, Levy and Taylor Law Firm of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Her prior legal employment includes three years with Haynes, Meek and Summers, PLLC, also of Knoxville, as well as a year in that city in private practice.

While at GSC Katie was involved with the educational sorority Kappa Delta Pi and other volunteer organizations, all of which honed her desire to make positive community contributions.

She currently serves on the greater Knoxville CASA Executive Board, the Knox County Foster Care Review Board, and Susannah’s House Executive Board.

Katie is the daughter of Bob and Janet Murray of Ripley.

She and her husband Nathaniel Ogle, JD reside in Knoxville, Tennessee and are the proud parents of an infant daughter, Alexandra Claire.

Katie, her mother, and two of her aunts are all proud alumni of Glenville State College.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Glenville State College. Glenville is truly amazing because of the people and the one-on-one education program,” she said.

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Justin Griffith received the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. Griffith, a native of Christiansburg, Virginia, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science from Glenville State College in 2006.

While at GSC, he was active in the community and played varsity football.

Griffith was GSC’s WVIAC Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2006.

He attended the Thomas M. Cooley Law School where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Griffith was admitted to the Virginia State Bar in 2010.

He has made his life’s work serving and protecting his community.

Griffith is currently in his fifth year as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Pulaski County, Virginia.

He has successfully prosecuted numerous violent felonies from indictment through jury trials, thus keeping the commonwealth of Virginia safe.

Justin and his wife Rebecca have a year old daughter, Genevieve.

They recently relocated to Radford, Virginia.

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Professor Emeritus Dr. H. Gary Gillespie received the Alumni Chapter Award. After graduating from GSC in 1959, Gillespie taught English and civics at Green Bank High School from 1959 to 1962.

He married Anna Belle Sheets ‘60 in 1961 before the pair moved to Logan, Ohio.

In 1963 he completed an MA in English at WVU, and in 1973 he earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Arts at Ohio University.

Dr. Gillespie returned to GSC in 1967 where he taught English and fine arts from 1967 to 2000.

He chaired the GSC Division of Fine Arts from 1978-1996.

In 2001 Gillespie completed an MA in art history at WVU.

He was interim chair of the Art Department in the College of Fine Arts at Marshall University during the 2004-05 academic year.

The Gillespies’ have a son, Daniel Sheets ‘Fritz’ Gillespie ‘93, who is a fire marshal in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Dr. Gillespie is a volunteer recruiter for GSC in a five county area surrounding Milton, where he currently resides.

He has helped organize a GSC Alumni Chapter for grads living in the Greater Teays Valley area which includes Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, Mason, and Putnam Counties, in addition to parts of Kanawha County.

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Kristee Allen received the Outstanding Alumna Teacher Award. After graduating from St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont, she spent several semesters at community college before applying to schools around the country and finally choosing Glenville State College as the place to finish her teaching degree, and graduating in December 1996.

Allen has worked in classrooms from kindergarten through high school in her years of teaching, although teaching high school holds a special place in her heart.

She is a member of the Texas Council for the Social Studies and the National Council for the Social Studies.

Allen was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2016 by the Texas Council for the Social Studies, a statewide honor.

She was also recognized by her coworkers by being selected as the North Crowley High School Teacher of the Year for 2016.

Allen currently makes her home in Fort Worth, Texas.

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John M. Brown received the Outstanding Alumnus Teacher Award. Brown graduated from Glenville State College in 2011, earning a bachelor’s degree in Math/Science Education 5-9.

He taught seventh grade science and eighth grade math for two years at Robert L. Bland Middle School in Lewis County before taking a position at John Adams Middle School in Kanawha County in 2013.

Now, in addition to teaching seventh grade science, he leads a Technology Explorers class which focuses on engineering, electronics, robotics, programming, and app design.

Outside the classroom he coordinates an after-school hands-on science program at Oakwood Terrace Apartments in Charleston.

In 2014, WSAZ News Channel 3 designated Brown as a Home Town Hero for his work coordinating this program.

Also in 2014, he was recognized as a V-100 Modern Woodsmen of America Teacher of the Month. In 2014 and again in 2015 he was a Top 10 Finalist for Kanawha County Secondary Principals’ Teacher of the Year.

Brown is currently working on a Masters in Special Education from Concord University.

He is a member of the National Science Teachers Association and an honorary lifetime member of the WV Academy of Science.

During the awards banquet Brown commented, “I get to wake up and do what I love, and that’s being a teacher.”

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Betty (Wagner) King received the Alumna Achievement Award. As a student at GSC, King did work-study in the music department for Dr. Gary Gillespie ‘59, formatting programs and coordinating senior recital receptions.

In May of 1985 she was awarded Student Teacher of the Year after completing elementary and secondary music placements in Roane County Schools with former GSC Professor Ed Vineyard and Stephanie Poole ‘78.

Her lifelong love of playing for musical theater productions began while working with Ed ‘61 and Linda ‘62 McKown on ‘The Music Man’ and ‘Hello, Dolly!’

She graduated from GSC in 1985 and has since played flute in over 60 different musicals as a volunteer with the Charleston Light Opera Guild and other Charleston-based theater groups.

This spring, she celebrates ten years with the West Virginia Symphony where she served as Education Manager before being promoted to Vice President of Education and Operations.

One of two flutists/educators born to Bill and Mary Wagner of South Charleston, she met Kirk King at GSC when they were freshmen.

She accepted his proposal on the Danube River just before her senior year and married him in July 1985.

They are proud parents of Billy who lives in San Francisco.

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Dr. Jack H. Albert, Jr. received the prestigious Alumnus of the Year Award.

Albert is currently serving as the 16th president of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, in Delafield, Wisconsin. 

Dr. Albert has more than 30 years’ experience leading secondary military schools and has been president of St. John’s Northwestern since 2004.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history and social studies from Glenville State College in 1970 and a Master of Education in counseling degree from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

He also holds a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia and a Doctorate of Ministry for Educational Leadership from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria.

Dr. Albert is a United States Army veteran with service from 1970 through 1976.

He is a direct descendant of Revolutionary Soldier, Jacob Allen Albert, Sr. and is a member of the Society of the Descendants of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge.

He serves on several boards, was recognized as a Distinguished Mountaineer by then-Governor Joe Manchin, and has also written several educational articles.

Dr. Albert and his wife, Betty, have two adult children, both of whom are graduates of military academies.

Albert stated, “I came to Glenville because I wanted to.

I was told that it was a suitcase college, though I never went home.”

During the banquet retiring professor of English Wayne de Rosset, retiring college President Dr. Peter Barr, and National Coach of the Year Dave Walker ‘88 were all given special recognitions. Additionally, former GSC First Ladies Dora (Morgan) Heflin ‘34 and ‘53 and Dolores (Hutton) Simmons ‘61 and Rev. William E. Richards ‘51, were all honored in memoriam.

Nominations are being accepted for next spring’s Alumni Association awards which will be presented at the 2018 Alumni Banquet, on Saturday, April 28. Contact for additional information.

Gilmer County Students Graduate from GSC

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Fifteen students from Gilmer County were awarded degrees during the Glenville State College Commencement Ceremony held on Saturday, May 06, 2017.

  • Anthony K. Aviles of Glenville received Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Management with a minor in Mathematics.

  • Jonathan E. Clark of Glenville graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science and a minor in Criminal Justice.

  • Teayria G. Cool of Sand Fork received a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science with a minor in Social Work.

  • Conner T. Ferguson of Glenville graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Marketing with minors in Nonprofit Leadership and Political Science.

  • Landon P. Gumm of Glenville received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Management and Marketing.

  • Meghan Harubin of Normantown received a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree in Early Education (PreK-K) and Elementary Education (K-6).

  • Christina L. Jenkins of Glenville received a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science with minors in Behavior Disorders and Social Work.

  • Brandon S. Nelson of Glenville received a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree.

  • Amber J. Richards of Troy received a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science and a minor in Social Work.

  • Brett M. Rinehart of Sand Fork graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Management and a minor in Accounting.

  • Jason D. Rosenburg, II of Glenville received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Field Forensics.

  • Tiffany D. Somerville of Linn received a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree in Early Education (PreK-K) and Elementary Education (K-6).

  • Zandel M. Sponaugle of Cedarville received a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science with a minor in Criminal Justice.

  • Alexus C. Sprouse of Normantown received a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science with a minor in Social Work.

  • Brianna R. Yost of Glenville received a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science with a minor in History.

Founded in 1872, Glenville State College is a public liberal arts college located in Glenville, West Virginia. The college offers a variety of four-year degree programs and several NCAA Division II athletic teams.

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Students Named to Spring 2017 Honor Lists at GSC

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The names of students who attained the Glenville State College President’s and Vice President’s Honor Lists for the Spring 2017 semester have been announced.

To be named to the President’s Honor List, a student must have a 4.0 grade point average on a minimum of 12 semester hours.

The students making the President’s Honor List are listed as follows according to their county of residence:

Berkeley County: Brianna D. Caison

Boone County: Tiffany D. Muller

Braxton County: Coleden R. Belknap, Bridget D. Carr, Amber N. Hyre

Calhoun County: Danielle N. Kendall, Cassandra D. Lamont

Clay County:  Dalton M. Holcomb

Doddridge County:  Dennis M. Bowling, Jr., Joshua M. Pitcock

Fayette County: Matthew H. Hackworth

Gilmer County: Anthony K. Aviles, Jonathan E. Clark, Michaela L. Gumm, Christina L. Jenkins, Amanda R. Lamb, Brett M. Rinehart, Wesley A. Self, Hilari E. Sprouse, Halee N. Wildman

Grant County: Larissa A. Henry

Jackson County: Chelsey Hager, Evan D. Merical, Clayton Swisher

Jefferson County: Taylor L. Corey, Jasmine N. Tarman

Kanawha County: Austin Broussard, Rebecca E. Wiseman

Lewis County: Jennifer M. Eiler, Justin P. Raines, Kelly L. Weaver

Logan County: Matthew A. Zachary

Marshall County: Logen M. LeMasters

Mason County: Anthony ‘AJ’ Howard

Mercer County: Lindsey R. Compton

Morgan County: Colton L. Brandenburg, Michael I. Pracht

Nicholas County: Lindsey S. Butcher, Kaitlyn D. Peyatt, Mark H. Sanson

Pocahontas County: Steven L. Casto

Preston County: Madison H. Null, Josiah D. Nuse

Putnam County: Joshua L. Brennan, Jessica A. Layne

Randolph County: Chad E. Cook, Daniel T. Crawford, Christopher D. Varner

Ritchie County: Brianna N. Ratliff

Roane County: Georgia B. Bing

Tucker County: Wiley T. Raines

Upshur County: Skylar A. Fulton, Belinda L. Lewis

Wayne County: James M. Egnor

Webster County: Samuel A. Canfield, Amber N. King, Chelsea E. Rule

Wirt County: Mary M. Strong

Wood County:  Taylor A. Broadwater

Out of State: Chere Y. Davis, Jacqueline T. Deary, Raven P. Fatool, Raven C. Greer, Jake Hensell, Momi P. Lievan, Allison A. Parski, Victoria L. Peterson, Brian S. Williams


To be named to the GSC Vice President’s Honor List, a student must have a minimum 3.5 grade point average on a minimum of 12 semester hours.

The students making the Vice President’s Honor List are listed as follows according to their county of residence:

Berkeley County: Alexander R. Miller, Logan M. Renner

Boone County: Andrew K. Boktor, Gregory I. Lail, Mackenzie R. Smith

Braxton County: Jordan D. Batton, Tyler K. Cunningham, Larissa E. DeLuca, Garrett E. Hacker, Sean R. Hawkins, Jacob D. Haymond, Tonya L. Lyons, Christian M. Pritt, Joshua L. Rexroad, Teddy J. Richardson, Randy A. Stiers, Andrew R. Tefft, Erica N. Toler, Kelsie R. Tonkin, Andrea B. Vidal, Elania N. White, Shanna S. Wine

Calhoun County: Moriah J. Creelfox, Sr., Jared B. Fitzwater, Amber N. Frymier, Chelsea R. Hicks, Kelsey E. Jett, Erica N. Jones, Devon T. Toppings

Clay County: Jessica M. Beckett, Julie A. Gross, Carrie G. Huffman, Caitlyn M. Rogers, Kristie D. Taylor

Doddridge County: Ryan M. Mizia, Megan J. Sheets, Lindsey G. Travis

Fayette County: Breanna N. Bennett, Anthony J. Murdock, II, Travis C. Myers, Trevor D. Wood

Gilmer County: Katelyn S. Benson, Madison L. Campbell, Janessia S. Cool, Teayria G. Cool, Sara B. Coombs, Tara S. Evans, Conner T. Ferguson, Samantha L. McCune, Matthew M. Montgomery, Cody M. Moore, Dawn R. Moore, Hannah M. Moore, Hunter Moore, Zaon A. Starseed, Lexsey A. Wagner, Timothy G. Wine, Carrissa M. Wood, Trevor D. Wright

Greenbrier County: Sarah Brunty

Hardy County: Faith V. Smith

Harrison County: Hannah J. Barron, Abby S. McCarty, Hannah M. Mick, Lia Runyan, Megan E. Ruppert, Amy A. Weiss, Bettie M. Wilfong

Kanawha County:  McKenzie M. Edmonds, Kayli N. Hudson, Jacob T. Lutsy, Jeri D. Potter, Bethany N. Spelock

Lewis County: Haley R. Biller, James Z. Browning, Mariah L. Daniels, Abigail E. Jerden, Michael W. Marion, James W. Martin, III, Daniel M. Pascasio, Mitchell D. Queen, Torie A. Riffle

Logan County: Kristin A. DesRocher

Marion County:  Emily A. Stoller

Mason County:  Kaylee M. Howard

Monongalia County: Hunter A. Given

Morgan County: Michaela A. Munson, Brady A. Tritapoe

Nicholas County: Zachary G. Dotson, Madison R. Frame, Kimmy K. Little, William Z. Lyons, Elizabeth M. Messer, Eric W. Peyatt, Autumn Siminski, Brooke A. Spencer, Joshua ‘Cameron’ Woods

Pendleton County: Virginia L. Bruce, Brittany L. Huffman, Chase M. Simmons, Raven D. Turner

Pleasants County: Bethany G. Mote

Pocahontas County: Lucas W. Fuller, Isaac C. Hise, Brooke A. Riffe

Putnam County: Tori L. Ward

Raleigh County: Jordan B. Coalson, Jacob Coots, Michael A. Layne, Matthew Welch

Randolph County: Jerome W. Smith

Ritchie County: Madison E. Cunningham, Olivia D. Goff, Valerie E. Ogle

Roane County: Bonita J. Schreckengost, Cassidy M. Taylor, James D. Williams

Tucker County: Catherine Chambers

Tyler County: Jessica L. Fiber

Upshur County: Heather A. Gregory

Webster County: Richard M. Burns, Tonya N. Sahl, Danielle Williams

Wetzel County: Colton L. Ring, Brandon M. Smith

Wood County: Brooke N. Radabaugh

Wyoming County: Kaci M. Mullins

Out of State: Ali P. Capobianco, Jr, Brianna T. D’Angelo, Jessica D. Digennaro, Sarah M. DiSpaltro, Alex E. Gilmore, Tanner B. Helms, Cedric J. Johnson, Justin S. Koogler, Julia E. Lindberg, Art’om T. Rank, John F. Routzahn, Isaiah R. Sattelmaier, Asiya B. Smith, Tayana L. Stewart, Johnni M. Tillman

Common Grammatical Mistakes

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All it takes is a single tweet or text for some people to reveal their poor grasp of the English language.

Homophones —  words that sound alike but are spelled differently — can be particularly pesky.

Regardless,  you should never choose incorrectly in these nine situations:

  1. ‘Your’ vs. ‘You’re’

  “Your” is a possessive pronoun, while “you’re” is a contraction   of “you are.“

  Example 1: You’re pretty. 

  Example 2: Give me some of your whiskey.

  2. ‘It’s’ vs. ‘Its’

  Normally, an apostrophe symbolizes possession, as in, “I took the   dog’s bone.“ But because apostrophes also replace omitted letters   — as in “don’t” — the “it’s” vs. “its” decision gets   complicated. 

  Use “its” as the possessive pronoun and “it’s” for the shortened   version of “it is.“

  Example 1: The dog chewed on its bone.

  Example 2: It’s raining.

  3. ‘Then’ vs. ‘Than’

  “Then” conveys time, while “than” is used for comparison. 

  Example 1: We left the party and then went home.

  Example 2: We would rather go home than stay at the party.

  4. ‘There’ vs. ‘They’re’ vs. ‘Their’

  “There” is a location. “Their” is a possessive pronoun. And   “they’re” is a contraction of “they are.“

  Use them wisely. 

  5. ‘We’re’ vs. ‘Were’

  “We’re” is a contraction of “we are” and “were” is the past   tense of “are.“

  6. ‘Affect’ vs. ‘Effect’

“Affect” is a verb and “effect” is   a noun.

  There are, however, rare exceptions. For example, someone   can    “effect change”   and “affect” can be a psychological symptom. 

  Example: How did that affect you? 

  Example: What effect did that have on you?

  7. ‘Two’ vs. ‘Too’ vs. ‘To’

  “Two” is a number. 

  “To” is a preposition. It’s used to express motion, although   often not literally, toward a person, place, or thing.

  And “too” is a synonym for “also.“

  8. ‘Into’ vs. ‘In To’

  “Into” is a preposition that indicates movement or   transformation, while “in to,“ as two separate words, does not.

  Example: We drove the car into the lake. 

  Example: I turned my test in to the teacher. 

  In the latter example, if you wrote “into,“ you’re implying you   literally changed your test into your teacher.

  9. ‘Alot’

  “Alot” isn’t a word. This phrase is always two separate words: a   lot.

  10. ‘Who’ vs. ‘Whom’

  Use who to refer to the subject of a sentence and whom to refer   to the object of the verb or preposition. Shortcut: Remember that   who does it to whom.

  Example: Who ate my sandwich?

  Example: Whom should I ask?

  11. ‘Whose’ vs. ‘Who’s’

  Use “whose” to assign ownership to someone   and “who’s” as the contraction of “who is.“

  Example: Whose backpack is on that table?

  Example: Who’s going to the movies tonight?

Gilmer County Students Honored at GSC Hidden Promise Dinner

Thirteen Glenville State College Hidden Promise Scholars (HPS) were recognized as prospective graduates of the Hidden Promise program at a ceremony held on April 27. Among those students were Gilmer County residents Teayria Cool, Landon Gumm, and Brandon Nelson.

GSC President Dr. Peter Barr welcomed the students and congratulated them on their accomplishments. “We acknowledge the hard work and stamina that will be celebrated as a milestone in your personal and professional lives - your college graduation. I hope that the Hidden Promise Scholars program has been purposeful to your achievement. This ceremony formally joins this year’s students with 75 earlier graduates of the program,” said Barr.

Following a special dinner in their honor, the students gave brief remarks recalling their times at GSC and in the Hidden Promise program.

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(l-r) Hidden Promise Program Interim Director Stacy Adkins, Teayria Cool, and GSC President Dr. Peter Barr

Cool, from Sand Fork, West Virginia, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science degree. During her time at GSC she was a member of the sorority Alpha Theta Xi and worked in the External Relations and Off-Campus Programming offices as a student assistant. She plans to continue working at GSC and further her education. During her comments to those in attendance, she praised the opportunities that the Hidden Promise Scholars program provided her.

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(l-r) Hidden Promise Program Interim Director Stacy Adkins, Landon Gumm, and GSC President Dr. Peter Barr

Gumm, from Glenville, West Virginia, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. While a student at GSC he was a member of Phi Beta Lambda, participated in the Student Government Association, and worked as a student assistant in several offices around campus. After graduation he plans to work in marketing or public relations. In his remarks, he expressed his gratitude for the opportunities the HPS program provided him and lamented that the years “have flown by faster than I could have imagined.”

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(l-r) Hidden Promise Program Interim Director Stacy Adkins, Brandon Nelson, and GSC President Dr. Peter Barr

Nelson, from Glenville, West Virginia, graduated with a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree. While at GSC he was a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Guild and theater honor society Alpha Psi Omega, in addition to being an active participant in GSC Theatre. He plans to obtain employment with the Department of Justice or as a technical computer security specialist. In his comments he stressed the importance, and difficulty, of acquiring a college degree. “That’s one of the best things about the Hidden Promise program; that you have peers and staff who you can talk and relate to, and not fall through the cracks,” he said.

In addition to accepting a plaque and commemorative class ring, the students also inscribed the Hidden Promise Book. In signing the volume, Hidden Promise Scholars commit to ‘always accepting the obligations and the challenges of guiding the young to education, knowledge, and love of the human spirit; to demonstrate respect for all people, and cultivate the trained, yet free, minds appropriate to sustaining and advancing a democratic way of life; and to striving to become knowledgeable, ethical, caring citizens who embody the qualities that the Hidden Promise program fosters.’ The students were all eligible to participate in GSC’s Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 6.

Along with the graduating students, two other recognitions were made. Current Hidden Promise Scholar AJ Howard, introduced First Lady Betsy Barr and HPS Program Director Teresa Sterns to be recognized with honoris causa standing. “You have both shown undaunted perseverance and unflagging loyalty from the very beginnings of the Scholars program. You have given selflessly to a program that has fashioned a vital pathway to higher education for untold numbers of students. For many of us, you have been mentors, sponsors, friends, and role models,” he said.

The Hidden Promise Scholars program is a component of GSC’s Hidden Promise Consortium. The program is an alliance between Glenville State College and county school districts throughout West Virginia and in Ohio and Connecticut aimed at improving communication between higher education and teachers, staff, and students in grades eight through 12. Other goals include increasing the number of high school and college graduates as well as aligning the curricula of K-12 and higher education.

Students are often inducted into the program while still in high school after being chosen by their school counselors, teachers, and principals. The scholars mentor with current college students and take part in campus visits and annual summer camps. Upon high school graduation, HPS students who opt to attend GSC receive a $1,000 scholarship which is renewable annually throughout their enrollment as a full-time student.

For more information on the GSC Hidden Promise Scholars Program, contact Interim Program Director Stacy Adkins at or 304.462.6054.

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Gilmer County Schools May-Summer 2017 Newsletter

Click HERE  to Download and Print the Newsletter

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GSC Wins Capacity Building Grants for U.S. Undergraduate Study Abroad

The U.S. Department of State and Partners of the Americas have announced that Glenville State College is among the eleven recipients of the 2017 Capacity Building Grants for U.S. Undergraduate Study Abroad. Each winning institution is awarded up to $42,000 to increase and diversify participation in study abroad on their campuses. GSC is the only college or university in West Virginia to receive the grant.

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Glenville State College students and faculty at Stonehenge from May 2017

Capacity Building Grants ensure that U.S. institutions are able to:

1) provide students with opportunities to gain global knowledge and skills through a study abroad opportunity;

2) increase the overall number and diversity of student participation in study abroad;

3) establish and maintain strong international partnerships; and

4) diversify the fields of study and the destinations where students are studying and/or interning for academic credit.

GSC plans to use the grant for general study abroad education for students, to immerse four faculty members into matched courses with partner institutions in another country, involve students from a variety of programs on campus in a study abroad program for at least a semester, and encourage students to participate in summer study abroad programs.

“Receiving this grant is great for the students and faculty at GSC. This will allow us to better develop student and faculty cultural awareness and to increase study abroad participation in first-generation and nontraditional students as well as in areas of study that are typically underrepresented like criminology, natural resource management, education, and STEM,” said GSC Director of International Programs Dr. Megan Gibbons.

This is the second round of support from the U.S. Department of State, totaling over $1.2 million in grant funding to 29 U.S. institutions of higher education throughout the nation. To read more about the program and its past and current winners, visit

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs builds relations between the people of the United States and people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United States. The State Department is committed to supporting the next generation of diverse American leaders to gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a globalizing world. Learn more at or via Twitter @ECAatState and with #StudyAbroadBecause.

The mission of Partners of the Americas is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. These partnerships create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems. Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964 under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, D.C. Learn more at or via Twitter @partnersamerica.

Top STEAM Students to Attend National Youth Science Camp in WV

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The brightest young minds from across the United States and eight other nations will be descending into the mountains of West Virginia for the annual National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp) on June 14.

“Each state’s Governor has conducted a competition to select two students from their home state to jet into Yeager Airport in Charleston, WV, to join other top students from Central and South America for a month of learning, research, and dialogue encompassing topics in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the arts,” a spokes person said. “Situated deep in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, Camp Pocahontas will be the rustic home of over 100 students for nearly four weeks as they work and study side by side with top experts in STEAM fields from around the globe.”

Delegates will participate in a wide variety of activities that challenge them beyond their traditional learning while at Camp Pocahontas. Opportunities in art, music, and drama, as well as a myriad of outdoor activities including mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, caving, and mountain climbing afford each student an incredible range of experiences.

In addition to their time in West Virginia, delegates spend three days in the nation’s capitol participating in tours of national museums, meeting with US science policy makers, and attending a Senate luncheon in their own honor, sponsored by United States Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).

“Our goal at NYSCamp is STEAM enrichment and leadership development,” said John Giroir, Director and alumnus of the National Youth Science Camp. “We focus on engaging delegates with a broad spectrum of STEAM subjects and challenge them to set their sights on the stars. A number of NYSCamp alumni have and are trailblazing in many STEAM fields, which impact our world.”

About the NYSCamp: Operation and financial support for the NYSCamp is coordinated by the National Youth Science Foundation (a 501(c)(3) organization) with support from the State of West Virginia, the US State Department, and donations from alumni, corporations, and foundations. Through these valuable investments, delegates chosen from each state attend the NYSCamp “free of charge”, which allows these students to be selected based on academic merit and achievement, regardless of financial ability.

The staff of the NYSCamp, the NYSF and the State of West Virginia welcome these students from both hemispheres for a month of intense education,enrichment,  and adventure.

Started in 1963 as part of the state’s Centennial, the National Youth Science Camp is celebrating 54 years of operation. The NYSC has supported nearly 6,000 students over the past 54 years, providing a rigorous STEAM enrichment program in the mountains of West Virginia. This program has been a well-established response to the documented need for improved STEAM education among promising young minds across the country. This year, top STEAM students from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago will also participate through support from the US State Department’s Bureau of Exchange and Cultural Affairs.

NYSCamp is run by the National Youth Science Foundation, whose mission is to inspire lifelong engagement and ethical leadership in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and related professions through its proven educational model for mentoring, challenging and motivating students. By building strong communities among students, teachers and professionals, NYSF programs complement, broaden and enhance the traditional school curriculum leading to careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and related professions.

GCHS: Boys State

Three juniors have been selected to attend the 2017 Boys State Conference.

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  • Gunnar Haley, son of Mike and Monica Haley of Glenville, WV

  • Jordan Brown, son of Kimberly Brown of Glenville, WV

  • Levi Self, son of Amy Self of Glenville, WV

These Gilmer County High School students will represent GCHS at Jacksons’  Mills.

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GCHS: 2017 WV Governor’s Academy for Entrepreneurship

Cynthia Murphy has been accepted to the 2017 WV Governor’s Academy for Entrepreneurship.

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Cynthia, a junior, is the daughter of John and Elizabeth Davis of Normantown, WV.

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The Moral Conundrum Of Maddi Runkles

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Heritage Academy in Hagerstown, Maryland holds its senior graduation ceremony this evening, and Maddi Runkles will not be among the students donning cap and gown.   As most have heard by now, the Christian school is punishing Runkles, who is pregnant, because she violated the school’s morality code that prohibits premarital sex.  Read the New York Times story HERE .

The controversy went national when Students for Life took up her cause. The pro-life organization contends Runkles is being “excessively and unfairly punished, more so than any other student, for breaking the moral code.” President Kristan Hawkins says Runkles should be praised for not getting an abortion.

“She made the courageous decision to choose life, and she definitely should not be shamed,” Hawkins told the New York Times.  “There has got to be a way to treat a young woman who becomes pregnant in a graceful and loving way.”

Heritage administrator David Hobbs, in an open letter posted on the school’s website, argues that one kind of grace is the spiritual growth that demands effort on the part of the individual.  “We love Maddi Runkles,” wrote Hobbs. “The best way to love her right now is to hold her accountable for her immorality that began this situation.”

Runkles admits she violated the student code, but she and her family say she has already been punished enough. The straight-A student was removed from her position as student council president and suspended for two days.  She has been allowed to finish out the school year and receive her diploma. (The father of the unborn child is not a student at the school.)

Those who have called, emailed and texted me on the issue are split; half say Maddi broke the rules and should accept the punishment, while the other half believe the penalty is excessive and that she is being shamed.

Which is correct?

Heritage is a private school and Runkles did sign a pledge to abstain from premarital sex, alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs. However, if she had quietly gotten an abortion, no one would have known and her school year would have proceeded as usual.

Brad Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia who directs the National Marriage Project, told the Times the conundrum is the two competing values: “On one hand, the school is seeking to maintain some kind of commitment to what has classically been called chastity—or today might be called abstinence.  At the same time, there’s an expectation in many Christian circles that we are doing all we can to honor life.”

The Maddi Runkles story is the latest incarnation of The Scarlet Letter. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel, protagonist Hester Prynne was forced to wear the bright red “A” after committing adultery.  Prynne was a sinner, but also a victim because she was shamed and punished by her community.

Author John Updike said of Prynne, “I suppose she is the epitome of female predicaments.” And that’s where Runkles finds herself.   As Heritage administrator Hobbs says, “Her immorality is the original choice she made that began this situation.”  However, Hawkins from Students for Life argues Runkles decision to not get an abortion was virtuous.

Can a person simultaneously be immoral and virtuous?

Ultimately the Maddi Runkles story is not so much about tonight’s ceremony, but rather about the moral compass that each of us follows as we try to navigate the difficult decisions along life’s journey.

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