GilmerFreePress.net

Books

Books

Glenville State College Professor Releases Poetry Book

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

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

The Free Press WV


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

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

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

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

One Book One West Virginia returns for 2018-19

The Free Press WV

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

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

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

The Free Press WV


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

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

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

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

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

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

Glenville State Professor Pens Novel

The Free Press WV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Free Press WV

Author Scott McClanahan to Present at GSC

The Free Press WV

One Book One West Virginia Returns for 2018

The Free Press WV

For the 13th consecutive year, the West Virginia Library Commission and West Virginia Center for the Book will sponsor the state’s most important statewide discussion group:  One Book One West Virginia. 

Each year, one book by an Appalachian author is selected for this prestigious honor, and the 2018 selection is the debut novel by Karen Spears Zacharias, Mother of Rain.

In Mother of Rain, Zacharias writes about a small, close-knit, East Tennessee community as the Depression yields to World War II.  The story follows the struggles of Maizee Hurd as she suffers through a series of setbacks from childhood on: the gruesome early death of her mother; her father’s rejection; the birth, illness, and resulting deafness of her infant son, Rain; and the disappearance of her husband during the war. Mother of Rain is an exploration of the nature of community in a rural setting and is the 2013 Weatherford Award winner for best novel in southern Appalachian fiction.

The Free Press WV


The One Book One West Virginia reading campaign helps support the Appalachian Heritage Writer-In-Residence Project developed by Shepherd University.  This literacy project invites everyone across the state to read the same book and take part in detailed group conversations about the book’s unfolding storyline.  West Virginia readers are urged to join book discussion groups and attend related events, such as meeting the author, character portrayals, movies, and workshops. 

To join a book group discussion, readers may contact their local library, or they can connect with others through the WVLC statewide Facebook page

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


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

West Virginia Library Commission encourages lifelong learning, individual empowerment, civic engagement and an enriched quality of life by enhancing library and information services for all West Virginians. WVLC is an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts.

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

25th Letters About Literature Writing Contest is Underway!

The Free Press WV

West Virginia’s annual letter writing and reading competition, Letters About Literature, is back for its 25th year. The West Virginia Center for the Book, an affiliate of the National Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, is once again sponsoring the competition for students in grades four through twelve. Letters About Literature is a national program, supported locally by the West Virginia Center for the Book at the West Virginia Library Commission.

Students choose a book, poem or speech that has had an impact on their view of the world, their personal lives, or both. Then they write a letter to the author, explaining why his or her work is important to them, and how it has affected them personally. Entries are first sent to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. to be read by national judges. Those national judges then send the best of the letters to local West Virginia judges, chosen by the WV Center for the Book, who will decide which letters deserve Top Honors, Honors, and Honorable Mention places. Entries for state level judging are selected on how well students meet the required criteria of: audience, purpose, grammatical conventions, and originality.

Student entries for the 25th annual contest will be accepted beginning November 01, 2017, and must be postmarked by January 12, 2018. Interested students and teachers may visit the WVLC web site at http://www.librarycommission.wv.gov/What/wcftb/Pages/Letters-About-Literature.aspx for more information on how to take part in this year’s program.

“Letters About Literature gives young readers an outlet to express how a book has impacted their lives,” says Heather Campbell-Shock, WVLC Director of Library and Development Services. “It is a great way for them to express their creativity through words.”

Winners receive cash prizes and will be honored at a special ceremony on May 17, 2018 at the Culture Center on the state capitol grounds. Last year, 723 students from West Virginia were among the more than 40,000 students nationwide who participated in the Letters About Literature program.

West Virginia Library Commission encourages lifelong learning, individual empowerment, civic engagement and an enriched quality of life by enhancing library and information services for all West Virginians. WVLC is an independent agency of the Office of the Secretary of Education and the Arts. To learn more about the WVLC, please visit www.librarycommission.wv.gov or call us at 304.558.2041.

GSC History Book Authors to be on hand for Signing

The Free Press WV

On Tuesday, October 17 the authors of Glenville State College’s recent history book, titled Preserving and Responding, will hold a signing event with the text. The authors, Jason Gum and Dustin Crutchfield, will be on hand at the signing event which will take place concurrently from 4:00-6:00 p.m. during the opening reception of the art exhibit in GSC’s Fine Arts Center Gallery.

Later in the week on Saturday, October 21, the authors will again have the books available from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the alumni tailgate before GSC’s Homecoming football game.

The book is a companion to Nelson Wells’ and Charles Holt’s Lighthouse on the Hill, which chronicled the College’s history from 1872 through 1997. Throughout the over 100 pages of the book, the tenures of five different college presidents are detailed including major projects, initiatives, challenges, and more. The text contains several noteworthy listings including inductees into the College’s Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame, former Board of Governors members, past Pioneer mascots, emeriti faculty, and more. The book begins with a timeline which provides readers with a ‘quick history’ of the institution from its founding in 1872 through the subsequent 125 years.

The authors worked over several months to complete the history book project. Gum, the Staff Librarian and Archivist in the Robert F. Kidd Library, and Crutchfield, a Public Relations Specialist in GSC’s Marketing Department, are both Glenville State College graduates. Gum also holds a Master of Information Science degree from the University of North Texas. Crutchfield is currently in the process of completing a master’s degree from the West Virginia University Reed College of Media.

Copies of Preserving and Responding will be available for purchase at both signings for $20.

West Virginia Library Commission Launches New Website

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Library Commission is proud to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website. 

The website features streamlined menus, simplified navigation, and a fresh, new look.

The new homepage features specific gateways for patrons who want to visit the state reference library, for librarians and trustees who need to access WVLC training and information material, and for the blind and physically handicapped. 

It also includes a direct link for visitors to find any public, academic, or special library in the state.

Other home page links include:

          • Who We Are
          • What We Do
          • Latest News and Videos
          • Helpful Resources
          • FAQs
          • Contact Us

“Our primary goal is to offer library visitors a quicker, easier way to find the information they need,” says WVLC Executive Secretary Karen Goff. “We are proud of the redesign and look forward to comments and suggestions as our online guests visit the new site.”

State residents can explore the redesigned WVLC website at www.librarycommission.wv.gov.

West Virginia Library Commission encourages lifelong learning, individual empowerment, civic engagement and an enriched quality of life by enhancing library and information services for all West Virginians. WVLC is an independent agency of the Office of the Secretary of Education and the Arts.

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

I’m Jealous….

Awesome Teen Reading Selection for Today’s Young Readers
The Free Press WV

As a young teen, my daughter read these books that I dubbed as her “death” books.

Lurlene McDaniel wrote books about dying teens and family members. I thought they were a bit depressing to read constantly and attempted to steer my daughter occasionally toward other books, but true to my own beliefs, I never censored what she read. I figured if it was in the children’s/young adult section of a major bookstore or in the library, I wasn’t going to be one of those hovering parents who read a book and approved it before allowing my child’s fingers to turn the same pages.

I trusted my daughter’s choices in books, so consequently, after she grew out of the Babysitter Club books, those “death” books took a place of prominence on her bookshelves. Thankfully, and I will admit I heaved a sigh of relief, she eventually moved on to a mix of other topics.

I think that was a time when that young adult genre was emerging from a cocoon it had been wrapped in for, well, forever. The advent of Harry Potter jump-started the move into a much broader range of fiction books for teens. There wasn’t much when I was that age – I remember moving straight from Nancy Drew and the likes of “Freckled and Fourteen” by Viola Rowe into adult books such as the 1960s “Coffee, Tea or Me?“ A rather racy book to be read by a 15-year-old. I’m not sure I even remember what the book is about but the experience of buying it is indelible. I did read way above my age group as a teen but truth be told, not much held my interest in the scant “young adult” category which, back then, didn’t even have a name.

Note: Ironically, Donald Bain is the ghost writer for “Coffee, Tea or Me?“ He’s also the writer for one of my favorite book series – Murder, She Wrote – created in line with the old television series and “written” by fictional character Jessica Fletcher, impossible, we know, and Donald Bain.

Today, there really is no need for young adults to read books not befitting their age group – there is such a wide selection with well-scripted plots and phenomenal writing that even adults read the genre. Thought is put into the characters, the plot and the message, whether it’s set in current times or in an embattled dystopian environment. One of the best series around is the “Divergent” series by the young Veronica Roth. It starts with the same named book and goes into “Insurgent,“ “Allegiant” and then “Four.“ Her new book, “Carve the Mark,“ is sitting on my shelf waiting patiently to be read. The Divergent series is thought-provoking: Teens learning to find themselves within a crooked, bureaucratic one-size-fits-all culture until they rebel.

And I will cop to liking the “Twilight” series, too. I read all the books as soon as they came out and watched all the movies as soon as they came out. One holiday year, I was the only adult with a passel full of teens heading off to the movies after Thanksgiving dinner.

I do agree with some oft-heard statements that much of the teen reading today is futuristic, dystopian or paranormal. Not every parent’s cup of tea, but in my mind it’s harmless. I do know parents who won’t allow those books to be read by their kids, magic and darkness and such, and that’s up to them.

But, I do think that mindset feeds into the way life was dictated for kids back in the ’60s and early ’70s. Fiction books written in my era were designed to shelter and protect, not let in the grit, controversy and dirt – or if so, maybe just a peek, such as “Summer of My German Soldier,“ by Bette Greene. Gasp, at the far-flung likes of “Go Ask Alice” and that gave just a hint of the turmoil behind drug addiction. Thought provoking, be damned.

I think shutting teens out of the darkness in life, even in fictional settings with paranormal/fantasy as a back drop, does a disservice to that age group – and sends them running to the likes of “Coffee, Tea or Me?“ a tad bit too early in life.

My picks for best teen reading today (these authors also have additional series’ worth checking out):

  • Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas
  • Divergent series by Veronica Roth
  • The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
  • Selection series by Kiera Cass
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  • Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins

My top books as a young teen (many not geared for teens):

  • “Summer of My German Soldier” by Bette Greene
  • “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
  • “Carrie” by Stephen King
  • “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom
  • “Love Story” by Erich Segal
  • “Rich Man, Poor Man” by Irwin Shaw
  • “The Winds of War” by Herman Wouk

~~  Susan Winlow ~~

Glenville State College History Book Now Available

A full-color photo and history book about the last twenty years at Glenville State College has recently been completed. The book, Preserving and Responding, can be purchased from the Glenville State College Foundation or at the campus Bookstore for $24.99 (shipping included). The book is a companion to Nelson Wells’ and Charles Holt’s Lighthouse on the Hill, which chronicled the College’s history from 1872 through 1997.

Throughout the over 100 pages of the book, the tenures of five different college presidents are detailed including major projects, initiatives, challenges, and more. The text contains several noteworthy listings including inductees into the College’s Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame, former Board of Governors members, past Pioneer mascots, emeriti faculty, and more. The book begins with a timeline which provides readers with a ‘quick history’ of the institution from its founding in 1872 through the subsequent 125 years and ends with an afterword from outgoing President Dr. Peter Barr.

The Free Press WV


Working over several months, two Glenville State College staff members completed the project. Authoring the work was Jason Gum, the Staff Librarian and Archivist in the Robert F. Kidd Library. Assisting him was Dustin Crutchfield, a Public Relations Specialist in GSC’s Marketing Department.

“As a new incoming president, I can’t think of a better resource to understand the recent past of the institution. While we continue to face new and unprecedented trials and challenges, it is clear that we stand on the shoulders of giants. It is also heartening to know that the DNA of the institution and the individuals who have worked here and continue to do so have created a solid foundation for a bright future,” stated incoming President, Dr. Tracy Pellett.

“I could not be happier regarding the end-product that Dustin and I were able to develop and owe many other campus personnel my gratitude for their guidance. GSC alumni, employees, students, and friends will enjoy this review of the past 20 years. I especially want to thank outgoing First Lady Betsy Barr for recognizing the need for such a history book to further document campus happenings since Wells’ and Holt’s Lighthouse on the Hill was published in 1997. Betsy has been a devout supporter of the campus archives and my subsequent efforts throughout her tenure,” said Gum.

“If you are a Glenville State College history maven like I am, you will be very impressed with the efforts these two young men have made to encapsulate the last twenty years of our great institution. This surely deserves a prominent spot on your coffee table so that your family, friends, and neighbors can share in our story of service to central West Virginia, our state as a whole, and the many states and nations where our alumni work and live,” said Dennis Pounds, Vice President for College Advancement.

An on-campus book signing is being planned for the fall.

To purchase a book by phone, call 304.462.6380.

24th Letters About Literature Writing Contest to Announce Winners

Read. Be Inspired. Write Back.
The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Center for the Book at the West Virginia Library Commission will hold the 2017 Letters About Literature awards ceremony at the state Culture Center on Thursday, May 18th, 2017, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing program, supported locally by the WV Center for the Book, an affiliate of the National Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Local author Belinda Anderson will speak at the event, where participating state students will be honored.

The theme for this year’s writing competition was How Did an Author’s Work Change Your View of the World or Yourself? Students in grades 4-12 (divided by Levels 1-3) wrote letters to authors (living or dead) telling them how a book, poem, or play by that author affected them personally. “It is amazing how students of all ages are impacted by the “written word” in very personal and meaningful ways; their letters leave their own lasting impression,” explained Gayle Manchin, Cabinet Secretary of Education and the Arts.

This year, 723 students from West Virginia were among the more than 47,000 students nationwide who wrote Letters About Literature. National screeners selected 117 of the West Virginia entries for state level judging. Judges, chosen by the West Virginia Center for the Book, determined the top letters in each competition level for the state. Entries for state level judging were selected on how well they met the required criteria of: audience, purpose, grammatical conventions, and originality.

Those receiving “Top Honors” advance to national level judging. The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress selects a panel of judges to award national winners and national honor winners. Karen Goff, WVLC Executive Secretary, says, “The Letters About Literature competition allows the most gifted students in the state to showcase their skills. The WVLC is proud to support this program, which creates a forum for students to excel in both reading and writing.”

The Library of Congress will announce all National and National Honor Winners and awards and will list all state-level winners on its website: www.read.gov/letters/.

West Virginia Library Commission encourages lifelong learning, individual empowerment, civic engagement and an enriched quality of life by enhancing library and information services for all West Virginians. WVLC is an independent agency of the Office of the Secretary of Education and the Arts. To learn more about WVLC, please visit www.librarycommission.wv.gov or call us at 304.558.2041.

West Virginia Library Commission Announces Partnership with Hoopla

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Library Commission, provider of state library information and services, is pleased to announce its partnership with Hoopla, a digital service providing access to entertainment media products and services.  Hoopla allows library patrons to borrow thousands of movies, television shows, music albums, eBooks, audiobooks and comics for free through a mobile device or online access.

Library Commission card holders can download the free Hoopla digital mobile app on their Android or IOS device or visit hoopladigital.com to begin enjoying thousands of titles – from major Hollywood studios, record companies and publishers – available to borrow 24/7, for instant streaming or temporary downloading to their smartphones, tablets and computers.

Heather Campbell-Schock, State Library Services Director, says, “The Library Commission is proud to offer this great digital service to state residents.  Hoopla helps the WVLC expand its reach and allows patrons much more access to books and entertainment.”

A WVLC library card is needed to access Hoopla services.  To request a library card, residents may visit the West Virginia State Library in the Culture Center in Charleston, WV, or send their name, address, phone number and email address to State Library Services at .

West Virginia Library Commission encourages lifelong learning, individual empowerment, civic engagement and an enriched quality of life by enhancing library and information services for all West Virginians. WVLC is an agency of the Office of the Secretary of Education and the Arts.

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

Submission Deadline Extended for GSC Literary Journal

The Free Press WV

The submission deadline for the 2017 issue of Glenville State College’s literary and arts journal, The Trillium, has been extended. All GSC students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members are invited to submit visual art, poetry, fiction, song lyrics, and other forms of creative expression.

Written submissions should be submitted electronically, as an attachment, to with contact information and a brief biographical statement about the author. Written works should be sent as Microsoft Word document attachments or as a RTF file. Visual work can be sent in JPG, PNG, BMP, or GIF formats and should also include contact information, a brief description of the artwork, and a biographical statement about the artist. The deadline for submissions has been extended to Tuesday, February 14, 2017.

For more information, contact , , or 304.462.6322.

Free Press Classified Ads

For YOU...By YOU

West Virginia

Books

National

Politics

Books

International

Arts & Entertainment

Books

Books

Handmaid’s Tale Sequel Coming, ‘Unconnected’ to Show

The Free Press WVMargaret Atwood’s new book will be released next year   [ .... ]  Read More

Book Review: ‘Rediscovering Travel’

The Free Press WV‘Rediscovering Travel’ is disjointed book [ .... ]  Read More

Barack Obama surprise guest at Michelle Obama’s book show

The Free Press WVFormer President Barack Obama practically brought the house down at Michelle Obama’s book show in Washington [ .... ]  Read More

Library Finds the Actual Books Bram Stoker Used for Dracula

The Free Press WVLondon Library says it found 26 volumes in its collection with his scribbles, turned corners   [ .... ]  Read More

Book Review: ‘Friends’

The Free Press WVAuthor offers retrospect of TV show ‘Friends’  [ .... ]  Read More

Book Review: ‘Elevation’

The Free Press WVStephen King raises the bar with ‘Elevation’  [ .... ]  Read More

Which Book Is America’s Favorite? It’s a Classic

The Free Press WVHarper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ takes the top spot in PBS ranking   [ .... ]  Read More

‘Mockingbird’ chosen as America’s best-loved novel in vote

The Free Press WV“To Kill a Mockingbird,” a coming-of-age story about racism and injustice, overpowered wizards and time travelers to be voted America’s best-loved novel by readers nationwide [ .... ]  Read More

‘Laughing grandmother’ video makes picture book a big hit

The Free Press WVThe country’s hottest book isn’t a hit because of Oprah Winfrey or Donald Trump. It’s all because of a laughing Scottish grandmother [ .... ]  Read More

New York Review of Books Editor Out After #MeToo Uproar

The Free Press WVJian Ghomeshi essay sparked massive backlash   [ .... ]  Read More

Author Scott McClanahan to Present at GSC

The Free Press WVOn Thursday, September 13 Scott McClanahan will visit Glenville State College as a part of the ongoing “We, too, are Appalachia” project [ .... ]  Read More

Woodward book says Trump aide privately called him ‘idiot’

The Free Press WVAn upcoming book by journalist Bob Woodward says President Donald Trump’s chief of staff privately called Trump an “idiot” and aides plucked sensitive documents off the president’s desk to keep him from taking rash actions [ .... ]  Read More

New book to focus on women in Donald Trump’s life

The Free Press WVA best-selling author and Newsweek correspondent has a book coming out on President Donald Trump and the women in his life [ .... ]  Read More

Review: Handler’s ‘Couldn’t Miss’ novel is entertaining

The Free Press WV“The Man Who Couldn’t Miss” (William Morrow), by David Handler [ .... ]  Read More

Hemingway Short Story Published After 62 Years

The Free Press WVA Room on the Garden Side is set in postwar Paris   [ .... ]  Read More

Financial|Business

Sports

Living

Books

Books

Books

Opinions

Outdoors

Books

Books

Technology & Science

Events & Announcements

Books

Books

Obituaries

Reader's Comments

Books

Readers' Recent Comments

During intervention the State had dictatorial control of our school system to include all decisions related to the GCES.

One result is that the GCES was built too small.

An investigation is needed to determine who was responsible for the bad decision, and what role the no-bid architectural firm had in designing and constructing the school.

Something major happened to cause the GCES to be built too small. Was something dropped at the expense of adequate class room space as a result of having to spend extra money because a poor site was selected?

Minimally, gross incompetency on the State’s part is the explanation for the disaster foisted onto the County.

A question pertains to the new gym. Lots of effort was taken by the State to try to convince the public that a competition gym instead of a regular gym was needed.

Did the competition gym cost extra money at the expense of needed classroom space? If the answer is affirmative who was responsible for deciding on the more expensive gym?

What about the enormous pit at the GCES? Was money spent on it at the expense of classrooms because something was wrong with the school’s site that was selected by the State?

Nothing similar to the pit has been seen at other sites where new WV schools were built.

Why has there been a failure for a thorough investigation to have occurred to expose the facts?

The obvious explanation is that powerful elitists in control do not want tracks leading to them, and they have veto power over a meaningful investigation including one done by a leading newspaper.

By GCES Built Too Small Scandal on 01.15.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Pat McGroyne is spot on.
High speed internet is simply another failure of WV state government.

If the elected in our state, were doing the job expected by voters….we should have very few problems or issues?

By Gilmer resident on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Muddling has another distinct symptom. It is the tendency for administrators in control to emphasize processes and procedures while avoiding disclosure of progress, or the lack thereof, in achieving learning results.

The purpose is another way to avoid personal accountability for school system failures.

By Muddling Epidemic In WV School Systems on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

West Virginia is number one!
Our politicians are the best that can be had.
They are also the lobbyers dream come true.
No one—-can out-muddle our elected reps !

By we know it on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Suggestion after reading strategic plans for the GCHS and the GCES.

How about the school board requiring that for each school an informative executive summary be written to include——where each school stands on reading, math, and science proficiency, what the term proficiency means to eliminate the confusion, student proficiency goals for the two school, target time to expect goals to be achieved, and a statement to commit to keeping the public informed of progress in achieving the goals at designated intervals (e.g. quarterly) during a school year.

Omit confusing abbreviations and technical terms understood only by a select few in the education field, and written for comprehension by reasonable persons.

Leave it up to the County’s professional educators to determine how to get the job done with continual laser-like focus on getting results.

By Student Learning at GCHS and GCES on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Muddling infects federal, state, and local government entities where personal accountability for top officials to get measurable results rarely exists.

Muddling practitioners are famous for passing off information unrelated to measurable proof that effective problem-solving has occurred. A common example is emphasizing how much public money is being spent to attempt to convince tax payers that magnitudes of expenditures are always directly correlated to levels of problem-solving successes.

Muddling by an organization is characterized by the existence of thick planning documents replete with vagueness and lack of clarity, undefined technical terms, and mysterious acronyms.

Muddling thrives on intentional ambiguity and confusion designed to protect muddlers and their organizations.

By Muddling 101 on 01.11.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Gilmer County is not the only place in the USA that has been faced with its students failing to meet proficiency standards for science, reading, and math.

The difference here is that evidence is lacking to conclusively demonstrate that Gilmer County’s officials in control have exerted proper efforts to profit form powerful lessons learned elsewhere to use that knowledge to help solve learning deficiencies in our schools.

In fact, a convincing argument could be made that the approach in the County has been the one professional planners designate as muddling through.

Classic symptoms of muddling through include failure to thoroughly analyze categories of causes contributing to problems followed up by using the information to develop a comprehensive plan to do the most good in getting better results by treating key causes instead of symptoms.

Muddling typically involves officials assigning blame for lack of progress to outside forces e.g., the “culture”, the State did it to us, and poverty. Haven’t we heard plenty of that?

Muddling must be eliminated if we want progress in solving non-performance problems within the County’s school system. Does anyone disagree?

By End School System Muddling on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

It is unclear after reading school board meeting minutes what progress if any is being made by GCHS and GCES principals in improving student proficiency in reading, math and science.

Why not allocate a few sentences in the minutes to summarize what the two principals reported to the school board?

All it would take to get the critical information out to citizens would be for the new school board to act on this.

Does anyone have a problem with the suggested change to keep Gilmer’s bill paying public informed?

By Need Specifics For Principal's Reports on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

“High speed broadband – a necessity for today’s homes, businesses and other institutions – remains a huge unmet need for rural residents, despite promises by a succession of Governors from both parties (a contributing factor in why we’re losing population at a rate higher than any other state).“

I disagree with much of what Mr.Boggs believes.  That said, high-speed broadband is the single most important step the State of WV could take to improve the business climate and provide more opportunities for its citizens.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Conversation at local eatery.
Shortly after election.
Individuals were educators.

‘You think we have school problems now, wait until these new folks take the steering wheel’.

‘Students, parents, staff are all going to be in the soup’.

Sounds as if Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving vacation-deer season times have all taken a big hit.  If that is true, the union teachers need to come together, stand their ground, along with parents, and hold this new board accountable.

Have a local strike if need be.
Request resignations.
Vote of no confidence.

Schools employees can win.
You have done it before.
Just stick together.

By overheard conversation on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Scholarship must be the most important focus in Gilmer County’s schools.

Brought up the ZOOMWV Data Dashboard site to review the most recent State achievement test results for GCHS’s 11th grade.

Folks, Gilmer is in serious trouble. Proficiency for math=24%, reading=41%, and science=24%.

On an A through F grading scales the GCHS gets an F for all three subject areas.

What does the new school board have to show for inroads it has made since last July to make critically needed proficiency improvements at the HS? Citizens deserve answers to the question.

By ZOOMWV Data Dashboard on 01.07.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A thorough accounting for where all the public money went could be easily achieved by a competent accountant.

Isn’t there a special account at the County’s school board office for expenditures related to all bills paid and who got the money?

Following the money trail always gets results along with verification of means, motives, and access.

By Let An Accountant Dig It Out on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

If central office financial records for all public money paid out for everything from site planning, site studies and development, and everything else to get to completion of the GCES and the LES—- what is the reason?

It is known that money was spent on the Arbuckle site and Cedar Creek, and public money was paid out for the LES too.

Were County records for the spending purged and if that happened who ordered the action? The records are either in the County’s central office or they aren’t.

By End Financial Secrecy on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hasn’t the time come to finally start naming names and making people accountable?

By Get It Done on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

How about the “BIG WV WINDFALL”....?

For 3 or 4 months now we keep hearing about the millions of dollars of tax revenue collected.

Millions and millions above ‘estimates’.  Were those ‘estimates’ honest, or fudged to begin with, so as to request higher tax rates?

Well, Justice and the Legislature now have our dollars, what will become of this windfall? Will we see tax rates lowered?  Doubt full, but we should.

Likely this windfall, created by “over-taxation”, will simply create a “party atmosphere” of legislative spending. Watch the Charleston ‘gangsters’ get their wish lists ready this coming session.

By taxpayers always lose on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Yes.  The blame Does seem to fall to ‘local’ people. In small places like Gilmer County, it’s just a poker game, boys, and the deep pockets win.  Money speaks volumes where ‘officials’ stay silent.  Go ask for the records, see what they’ve got.

By CheatersNeverWin on 11.20.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Teachers and staff knew from the beginning that the GCES was going to be too small. They were ordered by the State to keep quiet about the shortfall and other serious concerns too.

A sixth grader could understood how many rooms were needed by dividing total student numbers to attend the school by how many students should be in a classroom.

Under sizing was the State’s fault and it cannot be rationalized any other way including to assign the blame to local people. Same applies to the over sized LCES.

By Corrupt State Intervention on 11.19.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

There will never be a full, public accounting of the gross mishandling of tax dollars during WVDOE intervention.
Too many local jobs and too many embarrassments of both elected and appointed bureaucrats.
These types cover dirt for each other.

Any local whistle blowers?  Doubtful.

One school built short 4 classrooms and another built with 5 too many.  Can it get more stupid than that?
Mr. Degree and Ms. Common Sense seldom travel together.

By Full accounting will never be revealed. Never. on 11.18.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

GCBOE when the two principals give reports at board meeting could the gist of what they said be summarized in minutes to keep the County informed?

It was a welcomed development by the Board to require principals to give reports particularly if there are required updates on progress designed to improve student learning for reading, math, and other subjects.

We still have not been informed about the status of science proficiency at the GCHS based on the latest testing. Why has the State failed to release the data? Were results too dismal?

By More Specifics For Principal's Reports on 11.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

If it is going to cost extra money to eliminate over crowding at the GCES the financial information referenced by Do It Ourselves should be presented to Charleston and the press too.

That would help frame a solid case that crowding problems were not caused by Gilmer County because all decisions related to facilities were dictated by officials over whom the County had no oversight authority during the State’s intervention.

By Follow The Money on 11.16.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

It is assumed that all records for spending to include money paid out for the LCES, dropped Arbuckle site, dropped Cedar Creek site, and all bills for the GCES are in the Gilmer Schools central office.

The new GCBOE has authority to get to the truth by demanding a thorough accounting for all the spending.

Afterwards the financial officer in the central office could easily access existing computerized records and to use the information for a report to the GCBOE and the public.

By Do It Ourselves on 11.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Notice that most of the ‘officials’ in Gilmer County also hold regular day jobs - sometimes working on more than one paying ‘job’ at a time in the same office space. This common practice is concerning for many reasons, and it needs to be talked about when so many go without.

By QuestionablePractice on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

There are two views in the County related to the under built GCES. Although the State built the school with inadequate classrooms one group believes that we should move on to let go of the past.

Isn’t this a form of advocacy for a coverup to prevent accountability for the State’s incompetence and mismanagement?

The other group believes that there should be a full accounting for all public money spent up to the time the GCES was completed to include disclosure of recipients of the public money. 

The accounting should be done for all public money spent at the LCES, the Arbuckle site, Cedar Creek, and finally the GCES.

Reasons for the under built GCES should be fully disclosed too. When the State was in control this information was kept secret from the public with loud claims that there was adequate space at the GCES.

Now it is known that there is inadequate space at the GCES and the problem is left to Gilmer County to fix. Only in WV!

By Citizens For Financial Disclosure on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Unprofessional issues,rude commentsand rolling eyes at the high school has become an issue. Being on cell phone talking to boyfriends,when parents etc.going into the office. Since the teachers were ask not to be on them while students in the classroom. The one in the office should not be allowed to talk personal to her boyfriend, or whoever. Also, I hope this is corrected, the personal days, etc that the board provides to staff shouldn’t be allowed to use to work or operate a second job. Let’s get the priorities straight.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

GULMER COUNTY BOE. It is time for me to let you know some issues that is going on at the High school.  I’m hoping this will be addressed at the next board meeting. 1. It should not matter if an employee has a second job or run a business. The priority job is for the board. One should not be allowed to use any time from the board to run your business. There is going on
If they want to run your business than go but not on the boards time. I would like for all employees be treated the equal. They should not be allowed to use the time the board gives them for other jobs.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

While at it there should be an investigation of why the LES was build with too many classrooms and the GCES was built with too few. At the very least what happened is a WV horror story example of the State’s waste and mismanagement.

By Where Is The Investigation? on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

It is obvious that the GCES has a major space problem.

What options for dealing with the State’s mismanagement to cause the serious blunder are being considered by the Board of Education?

Could the original architectural design for the dropped Cedar Creek site be compared to what resulted at the GCES to accurately determine the extent of classroom space alterations?

If the architectural design at the GCES is different than the original plan for Cedar Creek the next step should be to determine reasons for the changes and where the money originally planned for needed classrooms went.

By INFO REQUEST TO GCBOE on 11.09.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

It’s long been known that Justice doesn’t happen in Gilmer County “because it all comes down to money”. And for those in charge of handling it and making decisions, it comes down to being competent to do the job,  keep accurate books and accounts and I’m sorry to say, that is seriously lacking in Gilmer County.

By Follow the Paycheck(s) on 11.06.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

What is GSC’s BOG’s plan for getting money for the next payment on the $38,000,000 bond loan the Gilmer County Commission approved?

Will the State pay or will the money come from private donations?

Money will have to come from somewhere to avoid a default.

By Where Is The Money? on 11.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

So sorry to hear of Kendall’s passing. I have fond memories of him at Uncle Paul’s store and the family reunions. I’m sure he will be missed greatly by those closest to him.
Please accept condolences from me and my family.

By Steve Lewis on 11.04.2018

From the entry: 'Kendall Goodwin'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

GSC’s present plight is no secret and its future existence is in question.

Instead of expressing attitudes that GSC is being picked on could the Blue Ribbon Commission reveal why the College “tested out” as it did to fail to get more State money?

Was the “grading system” based on student enrollment trends, retention, time taken to get a degree, academic reputation, inept governance and administration, and other factors to block more funding? Informative specifics were not disclosed.

Teachers know that concerned students who want to do better always seek advice on what needs to be done to get better grades.

Similar to concerned students GSC’s supporters should be informed of what needs to be done to position the College for improved chances for survival to include eligibility for more State funding.

Saying that GSC is being picked on does nothing to help solve its nagging problems.

By What Was The Grading System? on 10.30.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Well thank you, Details Please,  for asking!  So many problems in Gilmer and education is just one.  Look at the town, take a good look around.  Remember who runs unopposed at election time.  Vote.  Make a difference.  Hold authority figures responsible.  Allow videos, minutes and more to be shared on GFP again, for transparency.  Know your neighbors, help a friend.  Be good to each other. Amen.

By Reader7 on 10.29.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

I will truly miss my Uncle Stephen.  Telling me so much information about from gardening to canning. Just to listening to him talk with such passion for everything that he does… he had a sense of humor that always warms my heart.. listening to him play the banjo sometimes even when he didn’t feel good. he is always willing to share his recipes and his ways of doing things… his solar information he was always studying something ... I’m remember one time we asked him where he got his blackberries when it wasn’t Blackberry season and he go there’s a store down the road it’s called Walmart they have everything… He was so funny.  I love you.. xoxo.

By Robin Nunez on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Sorry for your loss. He sure did look like his father.

By Buck Edwards on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Reader 7, please give details for your suggested solutions to the County’s concerns you addressed.

The information would be helpful for consideration by school system administrators and the general public.

By Details Please on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

There is speculation that the plan is for GSC to convert to an education center for low risk federal inmates. Is this something the County and central WV needs?

By GSC's New Mission? on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Dr. Pellett’s commentary in the 10/26/2018 issue of the Gazette includes a statement that GSC is responsible for injecting $28,000,000 into the local economy.

If GSC were to close loss of the money would cause the County to have more severe poverty than it has now.

The pressing challenge is for GSC’s administrators including its Board of Governors to exercise effective leadership to prevent closure.

Why can’t GSC take action on the long standing suggestion for it to be an innovator by establishing a five year teacher education program to enable students to earn a masters degree by graduation time?

Something must be done in WV to deal with the 700 positions for which certified teachers including those for math, science and special education are not in the classrooms.

Dr. Pellett and GSC’s Board of Governors why is a new teacher education program at the College not a viable option? Nothing else seems to be working.

The need exists, a similar program of excellence does not exist anywhere in the State, and GSC’s status would be elevated by having a masters degree program.

By GSC Alumni on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Paine: Plan to improve math scores to focus on algebra where a third of teachers aren’t certified'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

GSC could make a valuable contribution to WV by doing a study to report on how grade and elementary schools with excellent results in math and reading did it.

Then, other schools could use the information as guidance instead of going it alone to reinvent the wheel.

With the Ed.D. expertise at GSC it would be a natural to take on the assignment. Dr. Pellett, would you back the initiative?

By Opportunity for GSC on 10.23.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

There is reference to signing an agreement with the State for math4life for all WV school districts. What has Gilmer County agreed to do to fix our problems?

By Agreements Matter on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

This important news has potential for making significant progress in improving math and reading outcomes in WV.

It hinges on how quickly advantage can be taken from lessons learned in schools that excelled.

The WVBE could do an analysis of reasons for excelling and to quickly provide guidance information to other schools.

That is the way the private sector approaches problem-solving because chronic failures have consequences and the unfit are weeded out.

Dr. O’Cull could help if the WVBE is not responsive. There could be panels of individuals from excelling schools to make presentations at WV School Board Association meetings to explain what their schools did to make the achievements.

By Why Reinvent The Wheel? on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A characteristic of a good strategic plan is to simplify language to enable a clear understanding of all its details.

Regarding the comment about abbreviations, a simple fix for them and terms (e.g. lexile) would be to insert an asterisk or a footnote symbol the first time one of them is used to refer readers to a section at the end of the documents where the entries are defined.

This comment is not intended to be a criticism. All specialty fields have a language of their own including the teaching profession.

Suggested clarity improvements in the plans would not be time consuming for principals at the County’s two schools.

By Clarity Is Always Good on 10.18.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Looked at the strategic plan for the GCES. It is a major achievement for the new GCBE to provide the information to the public.

Suggestion. Could the GCBOE post a meaning of all abbreviations in the plan? Doing that would make it far easier for readers to understand details in the plan.

By Help Understanding on 10.17.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Thanks Mrs. Lowther and the BOE for providing meeting minutes for the public to read.

Those of us who voted for the levy would appreciate receiving specific information for what is being done at the grade school and the high school to make needed improvements for college and career readiness.

Could a current overview and updates throughout the school year be provided to the public?

Why not put the details on websites of the two schools to give the principals a chance to shine?

By Levy Supporter on 10.16.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

“engage in pedantic colloquy?“

No Bill.

By WEKNOWYOU on 10.14.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Correct.  I do not wish to engage in back and forth useless ‘banter’ with big words and no results.  What I AM interested in is Gilmer County, in all it’s ways.  Education, Food, Law and Transparency.  Fancy words are often used to hide, divide, and distract..  Plain words speaking truth for the safety and well being of the people is what I’m looking for..  Gilmer is suffering… I want it to stop. I want to see the citizens healthy, educated and strong. I want to see more jobs instead of food banks.  I want Committee meetings for all to see. I want the law to do what it should, when it should.  Plain english would work fine.  Thanks for asking.

By Reader7 on 10.14.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Lol 7, you do not wish to engage in a pedantic colloquy?

By Smart Feller on 10.13.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

All nice but a small request? Can we simplify some of the language?  Don’t mean to be rude, but fancy works aren’t needed for the Truth.

By Reader7 on 10.12.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Stop living the delusion the state will fix education.
They have caused the problem.
Remember, for them, job one IS job protection.

Rare in history, that the cause of a problem, has come forth with a solution to what they have caused. They keep resetting testing standards so as not have any ‘yardstick’ they can be measured against.  Apparently people just don’t get it?  And the WVBOE is so happy about that.

By it-ain't-a-gonna-happen. period. on 10.12.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

There is a continuum for sophistication regarding what is done with data.

Collecting and compiling it is at the low end of sophistication.

Synthesis is at the high end.

This means using results and other information to make specific recommendations for making improvements.

The State took its typical easy way out by failing to go beyond the data compilation stage.

By Easy Way Out on 10.10.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The comment about need to find out what was done at high performance schools to determine what we could do in Gilmer County to get the same results merits a comment.

The comment flags what is wrong with the State BOE in failing to provide effective leadership.

Does anyone recall a single instance, after tens of millions of dollars were spent on amassing data, when the State BOE did anything to effectively address lessons learned at high performance schools for application at other schools?

Of course not! It is the easy way out for those in high income brackets in Charleston to collect data instead of using it to the maximum to take full advantage of lessons learned.

Could the WV School Board Association help fill the gap?

By Lost Opportunity on 10.07.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Harry, So sorry to hear of the passing of your wife.  I’m also sorry that I never got to know her because if she was anything like you, I’m sure she was pretty special.  Please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.  May God’s love be with you my friend.

By Greg Garvin on 10.04.2018

From the entry: 'Judith “Judy” Carolyn Buckley Rich'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

What is the BOE’s proficiency goal for English and mathematics and what is the time frame for achieving the goal? That is news citizens want.

Then too, how can citizens at large get involved to honor and to encourage students who improve, and what of a similar nature could be done to give special recognition to outstanding teachers who contribute to improved learning for English and math?

By Positive Changes Made By New BOE on 10.04.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The BOE and Mrs Lowther deserve high praise for disclosing proficiency information to the public.

It is the first time since 2011 anything like this has happened.

We still do not know about results for science, and it is understood that Charleston is still “working” on it.

Now we know our serious shortcomings in math and English and there is new hope for burrowing out of the mess with everyone in Gilmer working together.

By Thanks Gilmer BOE on 10.03.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Well, dear citizen… sometimes the local ‘law’ gets it wrong.  #truth #JusticeForGilmer

By Transparency matters on 09.30.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Soooo…...why do we never see a big drug bust in Gilmer?
With the college and others, there are plenty sources.
Seems strange?

By citizen 3 on 09.23.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

If you access http://www.mywvschool.com it is evident that some schools outpace others for math and English.

For examples look at data for Lizemore Elementary in Clay County, Alum Creek Elementary in Kanawha County, Rock Branch Elementary in Putnam county, and Greenmont Elementary in Wood County.

Gilmer BOE why not assign someone to evaluate what is being done at those school and others to make them State standouts and to apply lessons learned to our elementary schools?

The same applies to learning from others regarding how to get high marks at GCHS.

By Learn What Works From Others on 09.23.2018

From the entry: 'WV and Area Counties Balanced Scorecard for School Year 2017-2018'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

I have not read anyone blaming our teachers.  Quite the contrary.
There have been some well thought out comments submitted too.
I am old enough to remember when we had few issues about quality education.

Forget Charleston? Better not.
Believe we are still in their “probation” period.
You better check out just what that means.

By GC--still on state probation? on 09.22.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Why not go for it on our own and use the tried and widely accepted Iowa Test of Basic Skills to evaluate learning proficiency of our children?

It is the longest running test in America and it goes back to 1936.

One outcome of using the test is that each grade would be evaluated and compared to performances to schools in other parts of America.

We would probably have to go through hoop jumps of the State’s everchanging testing too.

By Iowa Test For Gilmer on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

To compound complexity of the issue, Gilmer is different from McDowell and both are different than Monongahela.

The implication is that getting out of the crisis must be county-specific and there is no one size that will fit all of WV’s 55 school systems.

Each county is on its own and ones with the best planning, local boards of education, and administrators will shine. Forget about Charleston!

By County-Specific on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Similar to most complex problems there are several categories contributing to WV’s dismal failure in improving education results in our grade and high schools.

Information in referred journal is beginning to show up. Some of the categories include curriculum issues in high schools, block scheduling failures in high schools, inordinate emphasis on sports at the expense of academics, inadequate prep of grade schoolers to ensure that they get firm foundations in math and English Language Arts, failure to instill need for life long learning at early ages, failure for school systems to fund continuing education of teachers to prepare them for newly emerged practices for enhanced student learning, cultural impediments including failure of some families to encourage children and to give them extra learning help at home, dysfunctional families for children to grow up in caused by drug and alcohol abuse and chronic unemployment, grade inflation characterized by too many As and Bs and attitudes that nobody fails so pass them along, failure of school boards to hire the best qualified superintendents and teachers because of local emphasis on favoring “home grow” individuals, failure of school boards to define performance expectations for superintendents to make effective accountability impossible, constantly changing types of State mandated testing to cause chaos and morale problems, poor compensation of teachers necessary to attract and keep the best and the brightest, etc.

To blame all problems on teachers is a cruel travesty.

One of the weakest links contributing to a lack of progress in improving WV schools is that instead of analyzing the full spectrum of contributing problems and focusing on ones with the biggest payoff potential, the trend in Charleston is to constantly apply band aid approaches with hopes that “cures” will be stumbled on accidentally.

By Do Not Blame It All On Our Teachers on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The problem with preK-12 education in WV is that a holistic and and technically defensible evaluation of contributing factors to cause WV’s problems and how to deal with them has not occurred.

Instead, under direction of clueless politicians ineffective muddling prevails while selling what is done at a particular time as the definitive solution.

How many times have we witnessed muddling over the past 20-30 Years? It still goes on in Charleston.

Why not obtain a grant to have qualified experts analyze success stories around the Nation and use findings to craft a demonstration project in Gilmer County to improve our school system?

Regardless of what we do there must be open minds in seeking out what to do in homes, schools,  teacher education programs in our institutions of higher learning, continuing education for classroom teachers, and to involve various factions in our community to achieve acceptable results. Everyone must band together as a unified team to make it work.

One trap is over emphasis of sports. If the same magnitude of attention and importance were to be focused on solving preK-12 education problems in WV, great strides could be made to benefit deserving children.

By Muddling on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Our heartfelt condolences on the passing of Mr. Ron. I too know this pain of losing a beloved father. Both of these men were taken way too soon. Praying maybe Mr.Ron, my Dad, and all the former Westinghouse employees in heaven are getting together. Love and prayers from, Adrienne and family.

By Adrienne (Trimper) Johnson on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'Ronald J. Vanskiver'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

West Virginia’s educational failures is NOT because of classroom teachers.

It IS because of the WV Board of Education’s failures of the past 20-30 years.

That 9 member, lopsided governor board is a crime against children and education in WV as a whole.

It needs 3 teachers, 3 general public parent members, and 3 governor appointees.

Until that governors click gang is broken up, you simply see repeats of the past.  NO progress in education.

It will take the legislature to fix it, but they are too busy with the legislature created court system failure, while trying to line pockets with gas and oil money.

By Tell It Like It Is ! on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

What is the plausible rationale for Gilmer not disclosing detailed facts similar to what Superintendent Hosaflook did?

Wood County reported 11,176 students in its 27 schools for the full FY 2018 school year.

In comparison Gilmer had 734 reported students in our two schools for the full FY 2018 school year.

Wood County had 15 times more students than Gilmer and it is reasonable to assume that it was 15 times more demanding to administer with its 27 schools.

If Wood County could get detailed facts out to the public with its significantly higher work load what keeps tiny Gilmer from doing the same?

By Why Gilmer BOE? on 09.18.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

We have not had a responsible, functioning, WVBE for 20 years.
Not one that would accept any responsibility.

They just keep changing ‘score keeping’ so there can be no accurate tracking of student progress.

State ranks 48th or 49th on educational outcomes. Still.
Colleges still have to give remedial classes.

The ONLY thing that changes are the names of the governor appointed players.
And just look at the ‘cost-per-pupil’ spending!
We are about the highest in the nation.

West Virginia State Board of Education = complete failure.  Nothing less.

By just more smoke and mirrors on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released for Public Schools in West Virginia'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Never could figure out why working people, retirees, volunteers are picking up trash left by adults?

Not when we have the numbers of bored prisoners we have locked up doing nothing??

By No solution here- on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Adopt-A-Highway Fall Statewide Cleanup Set for September 29'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Go to http://www.mywvschool.org to access more official State information about Gilmer’s schools. There are serious red flags in need of immediate corrective attention.

If you access Lewis County schools on the same web site you can review info for LES. Look at the red flags there. Worse than GES.

Instead of using the info to criticize it can be useful in seeking out opportunities for making immediate improvements.

For those who take apologetic stands that Gilmer is doing as well as some other WV counties and everything is fine, it does not mean that inferior educations for our children are acceptable.

By Look At Red Flags on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Who is responsible for Gilmer’s oversight of the LES?

If you access the State’s website you will learn that math and reading is red flagged for the LCES to be as bad as it can get.

Why is it that nothing is reported in Gilmer County about how that school is doing when we know that our sixth grade finishers from over there will go to the GCHS to finish their educations? 

It is like our students who attend LCES are forgotten about. Someone needs to be watching out for them.

By Who Minds The Store on 09.15.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The really sad stories are left out.
The students who accrue debt and for whatever reasons, drop out of school after a year or two.

They have little hope of improving incomes, but still have debt.
More of them than you think.

By More sad ones to be told. on 09.14.2018

From the entry: 'Student-Loan Debts a "Loss of Freedom" for Some in WV'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Information made ‘public’ forces accountability.
Do not hold your breath lest you turn blue.

‘They’ want elected. Get their place at the trough.
Then discover ‘exposure’ makes their work more difficult.

Informed citizens make informed decisions.
Why do we see the same names being elected over and over and over?

By WHEN we're allowed to see it......? on 09.14.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Lots of work to be done with schools in Gilmer County. 2017-2018 Summative Assessments out today for student achievement.

Gilmer County High School.

For Math
*Exceed or Meet Standards=40% of Students.
*Fail to Meet Standards=60% of Students

For Reading
*Exceed or Meet Standards=36% of Students
*Fail to Meet Standards=64%

The scores speak volumes. What was done to accurately determine causes of failures and what will be done about it? BOE, the public has a right to know answers.

By Public Demands Answers on 09.13.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Founding Fathers screwed up, we should not have to work and pay our bills. Let that man behind the tree work and pay for it all.
Free education should be a right.
Free food should be a right.
Free healthcare should be a right. 
Free transportation should be a right.
Free entertainment should be a right.

By Smart Feller on 09.13.2018

From the entry: 'Student-Loan Debts a "Loss of Freedom" for Some in WV'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Thank you BOE members and Mrs. Lowther. Let’s work together at all community levels to make Gilmer County an educational power house in West Virginia. We can do it as an effective team and provision of information will be the key to success.

By Better Times On The Way on 09.12.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Accountability - good point - and across Gilmer County.  We’ve seen glimpses and pieces of news WHEN we’re allowed to see it, mere mortals that we are. But never any follow up.  And the information come in bits and pieces (remember when we actually got to SEE what the Gilmer County Commission was up to?)  My question is, why do we never see the accountability or repercussion for actions of current Gilmer ‘elite’??

By Transparency matters on 09.12.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Encouraging news that the superintendent will present her goals for Gilmer Schools on 9/10.

We assume that there will be a commitment for specific goals to achieve, measurable outcomes, completion dates for different steps and final goal achievement, and a meaningful monitoring program to determine if we are on track or there is need for mid-course fine tuning.

If any of this is missing there will not be meaningful accountability. Excellent business plans have all the components addressed above.

By Waiting To See on 09.09.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Click on the map below to see the information on Free Press Readers
The Gilmer Free Press

Copyright MMVIII-MMXVIII The Gilmer Free Press. All Rights Reserved