Mike Kellar Named Pioneer Head Football Coach

The Free Press WV

Glenville State College and the Pioneer Athletic Department are excited to announce Mike Kellar as the new Head Football Coach for the Pioneers. Kellar becomes the 25th head coach to lead the Pioneers.
“I am truly excited to be back at Glenville; it’s where it all started for me back in 1989 and I feel like there is some unfinished business. I want to thank GSC President Tracy Pellett, Athletic Director Jesse Skiles, and the entire search committee for this opportunity. I also want to thank Roger Waialae and Lynn Ullom and everyone at West Liberty for this past year. I can’t wait to get back to Glenville and get to work,“ Kellar stated.
Kellar comes into the position with 51-35 (.593) career record as a head coach at the NCAA Division II level with stops at California (PA), Concord, and Lenoir-Rhyne (NC). Before breaking into the head coaching ranks, he made his mark as offensive coordinator for a trio of NCAA Division II playoff squads, including a pair of California (PA) teams that advanced to the national semifinals. As a head coach or assistant coach he has been part of seven conference championship teams.

He comes to the Pioneers after serving as the Offensive Coordinator of the West Liberty University Hilltoppers for the 2018 season. The Hilltoppers averaged 25.0 points per game and 327.5 yards per contest this past season.

“We are getting a seasoned and experienced coach that has been very successful as a head coach at multiple stops. I’m also very excited that we are getting a former Pioneer player who has ties to North Central West Virginia,“ said GSC Athletic Director Jesse Skiles.

The Shinnston, WV native was a starting quarterback at Glenville State in 1989 and later at Fairmont State during the early 1990’s. After graduating from Fairmont, Kellar traded his playing cleats for a headset and whistle and spent the next eight seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Falcons. He helped lead Fairmont to a pair of WVIAC championships.

Kellar left Fairmont for a two-year stint as offensive coordinator at Northern Michigan before beginning a record-setting five-year run as offensive coordinator at California (PA) in 2004 when the Vulcans rolled to four straight PSAC West titles, two NCAA Division II regional crowns, and picked up two ECAC Lambert Trophies.

In 2009 Kellar made his head coaching debut and executed an impressive turnaround with the Concord University program that had gone just 1-21 over the previous two years. Kellar posted a 6-5 record in his first year in Athens and led the Mountain Lions to an 8-3 mark in 2010 with the No. 4-ranked offense in the nation.

Kellar then returned to California (PA) in 2011 as associate head coach under the legendary John Luckhardt and took the head coaching reins when Luckhardt retired after the 2011 season. Kellar posted an impressive 31-12 record in four years at the helm of the Vulcans, once again producing some of the most prolific offensive teams in the region, before moving on to Lenoir-Rhyne in 2015.

California averaged more than 30 points a game in nine of Kellar’s 10 seasons as head coach or offensive coordinator with the PSAC West powerhouse. His teams saw seven of their players earn All-American status while at California.

“We are extremely excited and thrilled to be getting such a decorated football coach at Glenville State College. Mike Kellar has had a great coaching career and we are ready for an exciting 2019 season and many more to come,“ stated GSC President Dr. Tracy Pellett.

A 1994 graduate of Fairmont State, Kellar also holds a master’s degree in Safety Management from West Virginia University. He and his wife Missy have four children, Diedra, Jarrod, Anthony, and Jacob.

Central SilverBacks See Success at Youth Wrestling States

The Central SilverBacks youth wrestling team ended a great season by placing 7th as a team out of 91 teams statewide at the West Virginia Youth Wrestling Association state tournament.

The team is made up of wrestlers from Birch River and surrounding central West Virginia areas.

Twenty-four (24) wrestlers qualified for the state tournament with sixteen (16) placing in the top eight of their division. Of those sixteen (16), ten (10) placed in the top 4.

Some wrestlers competed the next weekend in the Mountain State Novice Championship which is held for wrestlers with three or fewer years of wrestling experience.

Gavin Holcomb, Jett Hines, Coleman Tyree, and Remington Huffman all came home as Mountain State Novice Champions. Mason Smarr and Shae Hines both finished the day 4th in the state.

“We have a great bunch of coaches and parents who are willing to travel to get the kids the best competition” Coach Matt Campbell noted. “I’m really proud of our kids’ accomplishments this season. Our experienced wrestlers have shown great leadership and our novice wrestlers have surpassed our expectations.”

Coach Tony Frame notes that the team has continued to have tremendous amount of success with wrestling in and out of West Virginia.

As a team, they continue to push the bar of what a youth wrestling team should be. What Coach Frame is most proud of is not the success, but the improvements that he’s seen this season from each and every one of the kids. “I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate our coaches that continue to volunteer countless hours all year long. They make all this success possible for our wrestlers.”

Central will continue to practice throughout the year. Competition will slow down as summer comes and then football season kicks off. The wrestling facility is centrally located in Birch River where everyone is welcome to come and improve their skills. Follow the team’s Facebook page to get updates on practice times and announcements.

The Free Press WV

Stoller Sisters Making Historical Mark at Glenville State College

Sisters Abby and Emily Stoller are making a definitive historical mark at Glenville State College. The dynamic pair of young ladies are in their second season of playing together for the Lady Pioneers under legendary head coach Kim Stephens. During this time, the program is an amazing 53-4!

To say these young ladies are winners would be a tremendous understatement. Playing on teams with winning percentages over .900 is nothing new to the Fairmont natives. They have been integral parts of winning teams throughout their athletic career.

Growing up on Fairmont’s east side, the sisters attended East Park Elementary, then East Middle School. With Emily two years older, there were several years along the way in which the two were teammates. One such year was 2011, when the Stollers were teammates on a very strong East Middle squad. They rolled to a 17-0 league title, and big sister Emily was firmly planted as the top player in the area. Abby was on that team as a sixth grader.

After her successful middle school career, Emily and her family made a decision that lay the groundwork for her high school career…but also a decision that would rock the sports world of Marion County. Emily chose to transfer schools, and attend cross town rival Fairmont Senior, and play for their longtime head coach Corey Hines.

“I evaluated everything, and talked about it with my family. In the end, transferring over there was best for me personally,“ Emily said. “We knew Coach Hines and what kind of program he ran. Also, my brother had gone there. It was a good choice.“

Emily and Abby’s parents were mainstays throughout the youth events of the girls. Their Mother Cindy and their dad Robert were both very big role models in the process. Cindy was diagnosed with cancer when Emily was in second grade and Abby was in kindergarten. She was given 3-5 years to live by local doctors, and is still fighting her battle today after getting a second opinion at the MD Anderson Cancer Treatment Center.

Cindy has a twin sister, and together, they are the youngest of 17 siblings. She continues her treatments at MD Anderson.

Stoller was a starter in both volleyball and basketball as a freshman, and by her sophomore year, she was a Second Team All-State performer in basketball and the Polar Bears made the State semifinals. During this time, Abby was still enjoying a solid career at East Middle.

“I still had my teammates and friends on the East side, but in the community, there were people that were resentful about Emily transferring,“ Abby said. “Sometimes it felt like I was hated.“
Glenville State’s Strength and Conditioning Coach Nolan Harvath, who works with the Lady Pioneers, is a 2009 East Fairmont grad and remembers the transfer of each of the Stollers.

“As an East side guy, I can certainly remember how controversial it was at that time,“ Harvath said. “Not just at East, but throughout Marion County and throughout the Big 10 Conference.“

After a strong ninth grade year in both sports, Abby followed her sister to Fairmont Senior. She also produced an immediate impact, but unlike Emily, volleyball was her more dominant sport. The next two years were strong ones for the Polar Bears, with the Stollers as teammates in each sport. They again made it to the semifinals in the 2014 State Tournament, and Emily again made Second Team All-State.

It was during the 2014 basketball season, Emily’s junior year and Abby’s freshman year that their mom was battling a tough stretch with her cancer treatments. She spent six weeks in Houston as she underwent several surgeries. Her time away was difficult for her young daughters.  The work of survival and perseverance came natural for her. She lost her father at the age of four in the disaster of the Farmington #9 mine, an accident that claimed the lives of 78 in the small Marion County community.

“Even when we were little, we had gotten used to having her at all of our practices, all of our games…everything we did,“ Emily said. “It was really different not having her at our games that year. She was able to come home and was going through chemotherapy. She was able to surprise us and made it to our State Tournament games…that was really special, not just for us…the rest of the team loved her and it was really an uplifting thing for all of us.“

In 2015, another loaded squad made it to the AA Final. The team ended up 24-3, losing to a strong Sissonville squad, 50-47 in the title game. Emily was captain of the All-State team. She averaged 18.5 points per game as a senior, and 17.9 for her career. As a sophomore, Abby developed into one of the strongest rebounders and defenders in the area.

During their two years together as Polar Bears, the sisters worked very hard to elevate their game. Emily was a part of the SMAC Elite AAU squad out of Cleveland, and was able play with and against several high caliber players and teams in the summer. She traveled into Ohio twice a week for her sessions with SMAC, and had the privilege to play with them in several major tournaments.  She also attended regular yoga sessions and spent countless hours in the gym working on her shot as well as ball handling and passing drills.

“I have watched a lot of videos on Larry Bird, and a lot of my game developed in trying to pattern myself after him,“ Emily said. “Some of my shots are unorthodox, and sometimes my passes are considered too ‘fancy,‘ but that is what I know and how I play. To me it is just going out there and working hard to make plays.“

Emily was named the Times West Virginian Player of the Year in basketball all three years from 13-15.

It was also during this time that Abby was making her own reputation as an extremely physical presence on both ends of the court. She was a ball hawking defender, a tenacious rebounder, and gained the reputation of playing with a lot of emotion. There was never a loose ball that didn’t involve Abby on the floor grappling.

“That is all Abby,“ Emily conceded. “I wish I could be a little more like that, but that is her game.“

On top of the extra work outside of school, Coach Hines also garnered the reputation of pushing their fitness. It often payed off with strong second half runs by the Polar Bears.

“We used to meet at the stadium at Fairmont State, and park there. We would have to run from there to the high school for our warmup; that was about a mile and half,“ Abby said. “Then we would have to run back to the FSU after our practice. The warm up was not that bad because it was downhill, but running back up that hill after a hard practice. That was really tough, but it paid off for us.“

When all was said and done, Emily had three All-State plaques, and had played on some stellar Polar Bear teams. In all, the Stoller sisters played on some teams under Hines that included other stars such as Erica Bowles, Kelsey Morrone, Kaden Whaley, Jenny Bundy, Ty Horton, Anyssa Jordan, and Courtney Wilfong among others.

During the strong 2015 season, Emily was getting a great deal of college interest. While she spent time with her family going through a literal stack of letters and offers, she initially narrowed her choices to a handful of mid-majors; Cleveland State, East Carolina, Memphis and Radford. She did have interest from one Ivy (Princeton) and one Power Five school (Illinois). In the spring of ‘15, she committed to Cleveland State.

“I was familiar with the Cleveland area from my time playing AAU up there, so it was the decision I went with,“ Emily said. “It was very exciting to be recruited by the D-I programs.“
During the 2017-18 school year, it was the first year the Stoller sisters had been apart in some time. Abby continued her dominance on the volleyball court. She was Honorable Mention All-State and was named the Times West Virginian Player of the Year. In basketball Abby helped lead another standout Polar Bear unit all the way to the AA title game where they lost to Wyoming East.

Abby’s senior year was even more solid. She was once again named TWV Player of the Year in volleyball, and she earned Second Team All-State. With the basketball season looming, she was part of another Polar Bear team that was loaded with talent. Stoller was joined by other stars such as Bowles, Jordan, and Wilfong.

Unfortunately for the sisters and their family, the fall of 2016 proved to be another very trying time. The family’s home burned during Abby’s volleyball season, and much of the next six months were spent living in a hotel. Worse, there was another tough stretch for Cindy with her cancer battle, and she spent several stints in and out of hospitals during this period.

“We were dealing with a lot of adversity through that time period,“ Abby said. “I remember I still played in my volleyball game the night of the fire, and there was so much uncertainty afterward. Then mom was sick again, and it was even more difficult because Emily was up in Cleveland.“

In the midst of these trials, Abby was hoping to make her college decision. She was getting recruited by many schools in both sports. On November 30th, right after the volleyball regionals, Abby chose Glenville State and signed with the basketball program. Stories surrounding the signing noted her desire to play in the system of head coach Kim Stephens, and the recruiting work of former GSC assistant coach Cody Gilmore.  She chose Criminal Justice for her major.

“Cody was contacting me early on and that relationship made a big impact on my decision,“ Abby said. “He liked my aggressiveness and my versatility, and thought that I could contribute. He was really close with my family, and he was almost like a big brother. It got to the point where I started to feel guilty even talking to other schools…that is when I knew that Glenville was where I wanted to be, and that I just needed go ahead and sign.“

Just a month after Abby’s signing, another Stoller made the decision to enroll at Glenville State. At the winter semester break at Cleveland State, Emily decided to leave CSU and return to the Mountain State.  Her time at CSU included a redshirt year, and in total, appeared in seven games.

“With the fire and with what mom was dealing with, it was right thing for me to do at the time…to come home and be close to the family,“ Emily said. “With Abby committed to come here, I chose to come to GSC to be her teammate again.“

Emily had majored in Health Sciences at Cleveland State. She enrolled in GSC as a Biology major with a minor in Exercise Science.

But Abby still had work to do in Fairmont. And the aforementioned talented group of Polar Bears was again in the conversation for a State title. Adding to the closeness and resolve of the team, was passing of Hines’ longtime assistant coach “Boo” Marion Hilson. This time, they would not be denied. After five Final Four trips in six years and consecutive losses in the title game, Fairmont Senior won the Class AA title in ‘17, defeating a strong Bluefield team 54-42.

“Nothing was going to stop us that season,“ Abby said. “It was an amazing feeling to win the title, and I can never forget that night…I couldn’t stop crying.“

In the end, the sisters posted some amazing Polar Bear careers. Emily ended with over 1400 career points and over 500 career rebounds. She averaged 18.5 points per game as a senior. Abby was a very versatile player, closing her career with over 900 points and 700 rebounds. During the championship season of 2017, she averaged 12.6 ppg and 7.1 rpg.

“Both sisters are walking double-doubles and can play every position on the floor,“ Hines said. “They have great family support.  They have the strength of their mother who is a cancer survivor, and the will and drive of their father, who is a military veteran.  The contributions that they have made to our program have been truly a blessing and it is one that will never be forgotten.  They have helped make us one of the best girls’ basketball programs in the state of West Virginia because of their hard work and dedication.  These ladies are true difference makers; and for you to be a difference-maker you have to act different, think different, so that you truly can make a difference.“

Hines is in his ninth year at the helm of the girls program at Fairmont Senior. He has built one of the true powerhouse programs in West Virginia prep basketball.

The following fall, the 17-18 season began with the Stoller Sisters as temmates again. Just like the 2015 FSHS team, the wins far outnumbered the losses. They were a part of a very special and talented Lady Pioneer team led by All-American Paris McLeod.

Coach Stephens’ squad rolled to their second consecutive MEC title, a 31-2 record, and advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Division II Tournament. Emily was second on the team with a 10.1 scoring average, and was second on the team with 63 three-pointers. Abby averaged 4.9 ppg and was fourth on the team with a 5.5 rebound average. Both ladies played in all 33 games.
“It was a great feeling to be a part of a team like that,“ Emily said. “We had a lot of players who could do a lot of different things on the court.“

With seven of the top ten scorers from that title team gone to graduation, the 18-19 season was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Relying on many true freshmen among a stable of talented newcomers, there has been a learning curve for this edition of the Lady Pioneers.

However, Coach Stephens has again worked her magic…the wins have kept coming.

To date, the squad is 22-2, 17-1 in the MEC, and in contention to return to the NCAA Tournament. Last week, the team was ranked #3 in the Atlantic Region, and #19/23 in the nation. Emily is leading the team in scoring with an 18.9 average and has connected on 71 three-pointers. This has included a 44-point game at West Liberty and a 34-point effort against Shepherd.

Abby is currently averaging 5.5 points per game, and 4.1 rebounds. Her season high was a 19-point performance at West Virginia State, a night she drained five three-pointers in the first half.
Between their two seasons together with Coach Hines, and their two seasons together with Coach Stephens, the Stollers have been on squads that have posted a staggering 116-11 (middle school, high school, and college) record as teammates.

“It has been really fun coaching Emily and Abby,“ Stephens said. “The most important thing to know is that they are absolutely hilarious. There are a bunch of stories I can’t share, but watching them compete everyday (to the point to where they need separated) is fun. They are both absolute competitors and make each other better. I couldn’t pick out two opposite players, Abby is thunder, plays hard, bullies people, dives on the floor and Emily is lightning…flashy, makes the pretty play. They coach each other well and are a great support system for one another. They are also great teammates to everyone else, if anyone needed anything- they could go to these two for help.“

There remains work to be done this winter for the Stollers. The team has big goals and some major games down the stretch. Still, life revolves around family for the pair, their team, and their college town of Glenville.

“I get to play on a team with my best friend,“ Emily said. “I know I always have her in my corner.“

“We have 20-plus years that we have had that bond,“ Abby added.

“What I have loved about Glenville is that family atmosphere,“ Emily said. “I have an awareness that we are part of something great here. Every night you have to focus and be on your game, but as the wins keep coming, I have learned to live in the moment, and appreciate what we have going as a program.“

“This is a fun team to be around, and I also love the closeness of the community,“ Abby said. “I love it that I can walk in and sit down at the Cornerstone, and they know our orders by heart.“

With a pair of proven winners like Emily and Abby Stoller, Coach Stephens has a pair of versatile players helping lead her exciting team into the postseason.

Glenville State Head Football Coach Eric Smith Resigns

The Free Press WV

After two season at the helm of the Glenville State Pioneer football program, Head Coach Eric Smith has resigned to pursue opportunities outside of coaching.

“I’ve often said, coaching football is what I do…it is not who I am. I’m very grateful for the coaches, players, administration, booster, and community for our time here at Glenville. However, this profession often pulls you away from what matters the most…FAMILY! I have always wanted to be present in a real way for my family more than I wanted ball and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Krystal and I are excited to continue to be a part of this great community, however, I am resigning as head coach and will pursue an opportunity outside of coaching,“ Smith stated.

“I applaud Coach Smith’s dedication to Glenville State’s football program over the years and appreciate his efforts to connect with and give back to the community. I am very supportive of the type of program he helped to build where the scholar athlete comes first,“ said GSC President Dr. Tracy Pellett. “We certainly wish him well in his future pursuits.“

During his time at the helm of the Pioneers, Coach Smith finished with an overall record of 9-13 and 8-12 in the Mountain East Conference. Under Smith, the Pioneers finished 9th in year one but went on to tie for 5th in the league in year two (2018).

Smith, who was the 24th Head Coach of the Pioneers, had 15 players earn All-Conference honors and had one All-American. In 2018, the Pioneer offense finished 9th in Scoring, 6th in Rushing Offense, 10th in Passing Offense, and 8th in Total Offense.

“I want to thank Coach Eric Smith for his service to Glenville State College. He has a wonderful family and I have a lot of respect for his reasons in making this move. His hard work has put our football program into a good situation, and as a friend, I am very excited for him to enter this next chapter of his life. It is also exciting that he will now have more time for his family,“ stated GSC Athletic Director Jesse Skiles.

In 2017, the Pioneers finished 5th in Scoring Offense, 4th in Passing Offense, and 4th in Total Offense.

Smith came to Glenville State in 2011 as the Offensive Coordinator. His offense helped produced several outstanding players, including GSC’s All-Time Leading Rusher Rahmann Lee and several other First Team All-Conference players, with the likes of wide receivers Jordan Griffin (2011), Antwan Stewart (2011), Dante Absher (2016), and running back Tevin Drake (2015).

The 2018 season marked Smith’s eighth year on the staff with the Pioneers. He returned to Glenville State College after spending four years with former head coach Rich Rodriguez at both West Virginia University and Michigan. While at WVU and Michigan, he worked directly with the inside receivers. Additionally, he was part of the 2007 Big East/Fiesta Bowl Championship (WVU) and 2011 Gator Bowl (Michigan).

Smith’s coaching history consists of Glenville State College - coaching wide receivers (2003), University of Charleston - coaching quarterbacks (2004), Pikeville College - offensive coordinator and quarterbacks (2005), West Virginia University - graduate assistant (2007), and the University of Michigan - quality control and graduate assistant (2008-2010). Smith earned his undergraduate degree and played college ball at WV-Tech where he now holds three school records in Career Passing Leader, Career Total Offensive Leader, and Career Single-Season 1,000 Total Offensive Yard Performances. He was the winning recipient of the Neil D. Baisi Award (2002) and WVIAC First Team All-Conference selection at quarterback. He was inducted into the WV-Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.

Blake Tasker, the Pioneers defensive coordinator, will take over as the interim head coach. A national search for the 25th Head Coach of the Pioneer Football Team will begin immediately.

40 anniverary of GCHS State Basketball Team

The Free Press WV

Please welcome the 1978 – 79 GILMER County High School State Basketball team.

The Titans finished the regular season with a 16-4 record

The following were our tournament games:

In Tournament Play;

The Titans:

  • Defeated Calhoun 79-50 for the sectional championship

  • Defeated Williamstown 47-45 in the regional tournament semi-final

  • Defeated Braxton County 56-45 for the regional Championship and a berth into the 1979 State Tournament

  • The Titans qualified prior to the current state tournament format which includes 8 teams in Class AA, in 1979, there were only 4 teams that qualified. The is the FIRST GILMER COUNTY BASKETBALL TEAM TO QUALIFY FOR THE STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT AFTER THE CONSOLIDATION of the county schools, and this is the 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 78-79 TEAM

In the state Tournament, Your Gilmer County Titans met up with the North Fork Blue Demons who were on their way to a still-national record of 8 straight state championships stretching from 1974-81 They defeated us in what would be there closest state tournament contest 69-57. They were led by 6’6” Russell Todd who went on to become a four year starter at WVU.

Now – introducing the THE 1979 GILMER COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL TITANS.


  • Guard 6’0 Sr 44 Brad McPherson

  • Forard 6’0 Sr 24 Jeff Furr

  • Center 6’2 Jr 34 Bruce Smith

  • Guard 5’9 Jr 10 Steve Carney

  • Guard 5’10 So 12 Scott Carney

  • Forward 5’11 Jr 32 Rick Smith

  • Forward 6’0 Jr 40 Dave Scott

  • Guard 5’10 So 20 Tim Moore

  • F/c 6’1 So 42 Jeff Campbell

  • Forward 5’10 Jr 30 Charles Greynolds

  • Forward 5’11 So 14 Rod Sommerville

  • Center 6’1 So 22 Mike Reaser

  • Forward 6’1” So 50 Todd Jolliff

  • Guard 5’9 So 52 Larry Somerville

Team Manager - Brett “Porter” Turner


  • SR.:
    • Heather Wilson
  • JRS:
    • Julia Coffman
    • Sherrie McPherson
    • Donna Bumgardner
  • SO:
    • Sheri Gainer
    • Sandi Gainer
    • Jodi Now

Coaches: Head Coach Kent Kennedy Assistant- Jay Chambers

Gilmer County High School Principal Bill Piercy

Gilmer County Superintendent: Ron Welty

Also like to recognize and in the memory of; Athletic Director - Damon West and Cheerleader Sponsor Mrs. Jean Rhoades

Bruce Smith was 2nd Team All-State that year

Brad McPherson and Steve Carney were named to the State Tournament All-Tournament team

Four players went on to play College Basketball:

Bruce Smith and Steve Carney at Alderson-Broadus College

Rick Smith and Tim Moore at Glenville State College

Both coaches continued their coaching careers and Coach Chambers led several Gilmer County basketball teams to the State Tournament

All participants in this night would like to extend a sincere gratitude of thanks to GCHS principal Steve Shuff and teachers Nancy McVaney and Blair Fisher for going above and beyond the call of duty to provide us with a venue for this historic occasion and to sincerely make us feel at home!

Thank you to all of those who have and continue to represent Gilmer County High School in all areas of this county, the state and our nation.

This has been the voice of the 1979 Gilmer County High School Titan Basketball team Mr. Kenny Fisher

Former Pioneer signed a contract to continue his football career in Canadian Football League

The Free Press WV

It has been two years since former Glenville State Pioneer standout wide receiver Dante Absher has put on a football jersey, however that all changed in early November 2018.

Absher has signed a contract to continue his football career in the CFL (Canadian Football League) with the Montreal Alouettes.

A native of Sterling, Virginia, Absher was a four-year member of the Pioneer football team. He was an All-MEC First Team member and ranks 4th at GSC in Career Pass Receptions Leaders with 214 in his career while also ranking 5th in GSC history in Career Receiving Yards with 2,669.

It has been a long two years for the former GSC standout. In 2017, he trained in Southern California at Stars to prepare for his pro day and the NFL combine. Shortly after, he was invited to the Arizona Cardinals rookie minicamp, however he was not able to attend due to a slight tear in his meniscus.

After recovering from the injury, his dream of playing football at the next level never faded. He was pushing for another shot in the NFL. “Coming from a small DII school, it was harder for me to get an opportunity and the NFL season was already underway,“ stated Absher.

He ended up not receiving a call the rest of the year (2017) from any NFL teams. He did have some overseas opportunities, but nothing panned out. In 2018, he had a few workout opportunities with three different teams. During that time, he was back home in Virginia at Mase training with his trainer and life coach Eddie Mason and Chase Dixon.

“These two gentlemen simply turned me into a monster physically and mentally. The types of training they put me through; there was no question they were going to bring the dog out of me,“ said Absher. “Although I was in tip-top shape, I still didn’t receive any calls back from the three teams.“

The Free Press WV

During this whole process, Absher says he was doing everything right except for one thing - putting football over God. “Eddie began changing my life as a life coach. I was blessed to have him baptize me back in April at the Capital Community Church. I knew from this point on my faith was going to be tested,“ stated Dante.

After staying strong, he began to break down in October and was about to give up his dream of playing football. “I felt like I had done everything and maybe it wasn’t meant to be,“ he said. But that all changed in November.

On November 10, 2018 Shelly Ellison from Rockland Sports Management contacted Absher and wanted to represent him as an athlete. On November 11 he signed with Rockland Sports Management and on November 12 his dream became reality as he signed with the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL.

“I am thankful for everyone who has been a part of my journey and didn’t leave my side. My family has been so supportive of me chasing my dream to play professional football. To all my athletes at Glenville State College and around the world, if you want something bad enough you need to do whatever it takes to get there and have faith in God,“ he said.

The Montreal Alouettes was founded in 1946, the team has folded and been revived twice. They compete in the East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and last won the Gray Cup Championship in 2010. The original Alouettes team (1946-1981) won four Grey Cups and were particularly dominant in the 1970’s. The current Alouettes franchise was established in 1996 by the owners of the Baltimore Stallions. The Stallions were disbanded at the same time as the Alouettes’ re-establishment after having been the most successful of the CFL’s American expansion franchises, culminating in a Gray Cup championship in 1995. However, the CFL considers all clubs that have played in Montreal as one franchise dating to 1946, and considers the Alouettes to have suspended operations in 1987 before returning in 1996.

In 2018 the Alouettes finished 3rd in the East Division and finished with a 4-4 division record. The Head Coach of Montreal in Mike Sherman, he is formerly the Head Coach of the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. The Alouettes are owned by American investment banker Robert Wetenhall.

Caution With Pay-For-Prayer Calls

The Free Press WV

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey urged consumers to exercise caution when receiving unsolicited pay-for-prayer calls.

Those choosing to solicit consumers in such a manner have been known to utilize robocalls, websites and unsolicited email to exploit the consumer’s desire for prayer. The process typically involves a donation in exchange for prayer.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division recently learned of the calls circulating once again in West Virginia. The caller portrays him or herself as representing the “St. Mary’s Prayer Center Ministry,” an entity having no known connection to the similarly named city of St. Marys in Pleasants County, St. Mary’s Medical Center located in Huntington or other entities elsewhere in West Virginia.

“Consumers must exercise caution with any unsolicited call,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “No matter the service or product, consumers should never provide payment or personal information to a stranger without verifying the legitimacy of the represented entity.”

The Attorney General suggests consumers follow these general tips when faced with unsolicited telephone calls, emails and other communications:

  • Do not answer an unrecognized number. Spoofing technology allows callers to misrepresent their true location by calling from what appears to be a local or in-state number.

  • Never give away financial or personal information without verifying the recipient.

  • Verify the legitimacy of a charity or organization by reviewing the Secretary of State’s website to see if it is registered to solicit donations in West Virginia. Other research can be found on websites such as or

  • Contact the legitimate agency to verify its existence and double check that it is soliciting the desired information and/or donations.

Consumers with questions can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1.800.368.8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304.267.0239 or visit the office online at

Glenville State’s Dominic Cizauskas has earned another honor for his outstanding play this season

The Free Press WV

Glenville State’s Dominic Cizauskas has earned another honor for his outstanding play this season.

On Tuesday morning he was named to the 2018 AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America Second Team Defense.

The junior native of Mukwonago, Wisconsin, led the MEC and Pioneers in tackles this season racking up 134 total. Dominic also came just three tackles shy of breaking GSC’s Single Season Tackle record.

The All-MEC First Teamer and D2CCA All-Super Region 1 Second Team selection averaged 12.2 tackles a contest while leading the league in forced fumbles.

He finished 2nd in Division II in Total Tackles and finished 2nd in the country in Solo Tackles with 85 on the season.

Congratulations to Dominic Cizauskas on a great 2018 season and for being honored by the American Football Coaches Association.

The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.

Team Background: The five teams now chosen for each AFCA division evolved from a single 11-player squad in 1945. From 1945 until 1967, only one team was chosen. From 1967 through 1971, two teams – University Division and College Division – were selected. In 1972, the College Division was split into College I and College II. In 1979, the University Division was split into two teams — FBS and FCS. In 1996, the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III, respectively. In 2006, the AFCA started selecting an NAIA-only team.

From 1965-81, a 22-player (11 offensive, 11 defensive) team was chosen. In 1982, a punter and placekicker were added to the team. In 1997, a return specialist was added, giving us the current 25-player team. The return specialist position was replaced by an all-purpose player in 2006. In 2016, the AFCA added a second team All-America.

Selection Process: The AFCA’s Division II All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA’s seven districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee. The coaches in each district are responsible for ranking the top players in their respective districts prior to a conference call between the district chairmen and the committee chairman on which the teams are chosen.

The Award: Members of the AFCA Coaches’ All-America First Team will receive a plaque commemorating their selection to the team, while members of the Second Team will receive a certificate.

Consecutive Years: Texas A&M-Kingsville had at least one player named to the AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America Team for 18 straight seasons, from 1986 to 2003, the longest streak by any team in Division II. Northwest Missouri State is second, having had 16 straight selections from 1996 to 2011. Pittsburg State has the third longest streak at nine straight selections from 1988 to 1996. Texas A&M-Commerce has the longest active streak with six straight selections from 2013 to today.

Top Teams: Texas A&M-Kingsville has been represented a total of 34 times by 30 players on the AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America Team, to lead all schools. Trailing Texas A&M-Kingsville is Texas A&M-Commerce (23/21), Northwest Missouri State (22/17), Ferris State (21/17), Pittsburg State (20/16), Indiana (Pa.) (19/17), Ashland (16/15), Carson-Newman (16/15), Grand Valley State (16/15), Mississippi College (15/14), New Haven (14/14), American International (14/13), Valdosta State (14/12), Angelo State (13/11), Colorado Mesa (13/11), Catawba (13/10), Indianapolis (12/12), Saginaw Valley State (12/12), Slippery Rock (12/10), West Chester (11/11), West Georgia (11/11), Central Missouri (11/10), Central Washington (11/10), Sioux Falls (11/10), California (Pa.) (11/9), Eastern New Mexico (11/9), Glenville State (11/9), LIU-Post (11/9), Mars Hill (11/9), Minnesota State (11/8), Chadron State (10/10), West Texas A&M (10/10), Winston-Salem State (10/10), St. Cloud State (10/9) and Central State (10/8).

Back-to-Back: Angelo State defensive lineman Markus Jones, Gannon running back Marcus Jones, Southern Arkansas defensive lineman Davondrick Lison and Assumption all-purpose player Deonte Harris are the four players who earned AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America honors for the second consecutive season in 2018. Ouachita Baptist kicker Cole Antley earned his second AFCA All-America honor after being named to the team in 2016.

Three-peat: Catawba linebacker Kyle Kitchens became the fourth player in Division II history to be named to three straight AFCA All-America Teams. Kitchens was a first-team selection in 2015 and 2017, and a second-team selection in 2016. He joins Brandon Williams, a defensive lineman from Missouri Southern State (2010-12), running back Jonas Randolph from Mars Hill (2009-11) and Tywan Mitchell, a wide receiver from Minnesota State (1996-98).

Yearly Leader: Texas A&M-Commerce (2017-OL Jared Machorro, QB Luis Perez and DB Yusef Sterling-Lowe) became the first school to have more than two players named to the AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America Team in one year.

Repeat After Me:  Texas A&M-Kingsville’s Johnny Bailey is the only Division II player to earn AFCA All-America honors in four consecutive years. Bailey was a four-year pick at running back in 1986-87-88-89.

Two Players, Two Schools: Punter Mark Bounds and placekicker Greg Zuerlein are the only players to earn AFCA All-America honors at two different schools. Bounds was named to the AFCA College Division I team in 1990 while playing for West Texas A&M. He transferred to Texas Tech after West Texas dropped football and earned I-A All-America honors as a Red Raider in 1991. Zuerlein was named to the Division II Coaches’ All-America Team in 2009 while playing for Nebraska-Omaha. He transferred to Missouri Western State after Nebraska-Omaha dropped its football program and earned Division II honors in 2011 as a Griffon.

Class Distinction: This year’s Division II Coaches’ All-America Team is made up of 31 seniors, 13 juniors, three sophomores, two freshman and one graduate student.

It’s Been A While: All-purpose player Lyrics Klugh from Fairmont State has earned AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team honors for his school for the first time since 1988.

First Time’s A Charm: Notre Dame running back Jaleel McLaughlin, Chowan offensive lineman Donald Boone, Miles linebacker Austin Stephens, Limestone defensive back Joshua Simmons, Davenport defensive back Brian Williams, Lock Haven tight end Jalen Jackson, Benedict defensive back Traviontae Brown and North Carolina-Pembroke punter Isaac Parks earned honors for their schools for the first time in AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America Team history.

Skiles Named Athletic Director at GSC

Jesse Skiles has been named Glenville State College’s new Athletic Director. His new appointment will take effect July 1.

“I am excited about this opportunity and I’m looking forward to working not only with our great coaches and student athletes, but also with our alumni and supporters. Glenville is truly a special place for me with so many good people and I look forward to being a part of Pioneer Athletics in this new role,” Skiles said.

A native of Charleston, West Virginia and a DuPont High School athlete, Skiles ran track and cross country at Glenville State during his college career. The 1987 GSC graduate was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the College’s Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000, is very knowledgeable in the institution’s history of athletics, and has served on the Hall of Fame selection committee.

The Free Press WV
Glenville State College President Dr. Tracy Pellett (left) with newly named Athletic Director Jesse Skiles

He coached college track and cross country for 29 years before retiring to return to his alma mater earlier this year when he accepted the Director of Athletic Fundraising position within the College Advancement Office.

As a head coach, Skiles presided over two dynasties; the Glenville teams of the late 80’s and the West Virginia Wesleyan College teams over the last 26 years. In all, his teams have won 64 conference titles and he has been named Coach of the Year 53 times.

On four separate occasions, Skiles’ teams won all four league titles in the same academic year: 1995-96, 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2014-15. His 1988 Glenville Cross Country Teams both finished Top 25 in the Nation (Men 19th; Women 25th).

“When you are working for your alma mater, there is certainly an added fire and motivation. My plan as Athletic Director is similar to what my objectives were as a head coach, both here and at Wesleyan; to challenge for championships and to do so with strong academic teams in a family atmosphere that is strongly tied to the community,” Skiles said.

“I’m pleased to have Jesse Skiles leading our Athletic Department. He’s a Glenville State graduate, brings a wealth of institutional athletic information with him, and knows how to foster a spirit of competitive excellence. What I’m most excited to see is Jesse’s future-focused vision for what Glenville Athletics can become. I have no doubt about where we’ll go and the things we’ll achieve with him at the helm,” said GSC President Dr. Tracy Pellett.

Elmore Named GSC Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach

The Free Press WV

Glenville State Athletics and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Justin Caldwell are pleased to announce the hiring of Ot Elmore as the new assistant coach for the Pioneers.

“We are thrilled to have Ot Elmore join our Glenville family. Ot comes from a basketball-rich family and is the perfect addition for our staff. He brings a great basketball mind that will help shape our offense for years to come. Ot has played at the highest level and is very well known and connected throughout the state. He has a bright future in this business and I couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to Glenville State College,“ stated Caldwell.

Elmore, a native of Charleston, West Virginia, comes to Glenville State after playing for the Marshall University Thundering Herd. In his senior season, the Herd went 25-11 and 12-6 in conference play while winning the Conference USA (C-USA) Tournament Championship. Marshall also advanced to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.

He saw action in 11 games in 2017-18 while averaging 1.6 point per contest.

In his junior year he made six appearances averaging 1.0 points per game and 0.2 steals from 3.5 minutes per game. He also was named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and also holds a Master of Arts degree in Education.

Prior to Marshall, he averaged 2.7 points in 14.7 minutes over 20 games at Rio Grande Valley. The Edinburgh, Texas-based Vaqueros of the Western Athletic Conference went 8-22 in their first season. He also played at Fort Union Military Academy prior to Rio Grande Valley.

In high school Elmore played at South Charleston High from 2008-2012, averaging 16.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists as a senior. He averaged 10 points as a junior at South Charleston was All-MSAC as a junior and senior and AAA All-State as a senior.

He is son of Beth and Gay Elmore and is the oldest of four siblings.

Lawson Selected as GSC Pioneer Mascot

Ronisha (Nish) Lawson, a freshman from Beckley, West Virginia, has been named the GSC Pioneer Mascot for the 2018-19 academic year.

“I hope to bring my unique style to being the mascot. Being a Pioneer isn’t just about the costume, it’s about supporting school spirit and being the best influence that you can,” Lawson said. As a Music Education (PreK-adult) major, she says she plans to work closely with the Marching Band. “Every game will be a great game. Together with the band, we can really get the fans involved on game day,” she added.

The Free Press WV
2018-19 GSC Pioneer Ronisha Lawson

“I’m excited for Nish to take on the duties of the Pioneer Mascot. She is in touch with the student body, is involved with student organizations and activities, and always knows how to make people laugh. These are great qualities to have in a mascot and I can’t wait for her to get started,” said Interim Director of Student Activities and Residence Hall Associate Katie Morris. 

As the GSC Pioneer, Lawson will attend GSC football and basketball games, tournaments, and other school events. The Pioneer is charged with working with GSC students, faculty, and staff to positively promote and support the college. The official uniform of the GSC Pioneer mascot is a set of buckskins, a coonskin hat, and a musket.

An ongoing tradition for over 80 years, Lawson becomes the 78th student to portray the Pioneer Mascot. She will be the fifth woman to serve as the Pioneer.

Weekly Update for Gilmer County High School

The Free Press WV

Students at Gilmer County High School enjoyed viewing the eclipse with the eclipse-approved sunglasses provided to Gilmer County Schools’ students by Glenville State College.

Students were treated to popsicles during the eclipse by Mrs. Butcher.

Everyone enjoyed the afternoon and the viewing party.

The Free Press WV

David Brannon, a 7th grade student at GCHS, was invited to speak to Mrs. Sandy Pettit’s Business & Marketing class at Glenville State College on August 23.

David’s presentation was on couponing and the GSC students were amazed at his knowledge of couponing as a business and corporations and their subsidiaries.

When asked by one of the GSC students what he wanted to be when he grew up, David replied, “I want to be a CEO.“  David is the son of David and Izetta Brannon of Cedarville.

The Free Press WV

Lindsay Chapman, junior, and Baylee Wellings, senior, both were medalists at the Charles Point Cross Country Meet in Bridgeport on Saturday, August 26.

Medals were awarded to the top 30 runners in high school boys and girls and middle school boys and girls.

Lindsay placed 28th and 30th.

Lindsay is the daughter of Lora and Jimmy Chapman of Burnsville.

Baylee is the daughter of Jenny and Tom Wellings of Glenville.

Damon West Award Winners Announced

The winners of the coveted Damon West Award for outstanding athletic performance throughtout the four years at GCHS were announced at the GCHS Varsity Sports banquet held on May 23. 

Kylie Shuff won the award for being the outstanding female athlete.  Kylie was named Girls Basketball First Team All-State and First Team All-LKC in 2017; Girls Basketball First Team All-LKC, Second Team All State, MVP Class A Girls Basketball State Championship game 2016. She scored 1,000 career points earned in four years of basketball; she never missed a practice or a game and started every game of her high school career. She has 10 earned letters (basketball, volleyball, softball and track).  two-time state qualifier in track in 2016, and 2nd Team All- LKC Volleyball in 2015. Kylie will be pursuing her academic and athletic careers at Concord University in Athens, WV.

The Free Press WV

Trey Shuff was named Damon West Award for outstanding athletic male performance throughout four years at GCHS.  Trey was named First Team All-State Football 2016-17, First Team All-LKC Football 2016-17; All-LKC Basketball 2015-16, All-State Honorable Mention in football 2015-16; First Team All State Basketball 2017, three-time First Team All-LKC 2014-17; Honorable Mention All-LKC football 2015-16 and earned 1,000 career points in basketball. Trey shattered two school records in football, previously held by teammate Austin Ratliff,  in total yards in a single season and total touchdowns in a single season.  He has earned 8 letters and is a WV Promise Scholar.  Trey will continue his athletic and academic careers at Concord University in Athens, WV.

The Shuff twins are the children of Steve and Jesica Shuff of Glenville; grandchildren of Mike Triplett (and the late Kathy Triplett) of Glenville, and Sue Shuff (and the late Bill Shuff) of Ansted, WV.

The Free Press WV

GCHS: Riley Fitzwater

Riley Fitzwater, a senior at Gilmer County High School, was honored at the Sports Banquet held on May 23 for being named the 2016-17 Little Kanawha Conference Player of the Year in girls basketball and awarded First Team All-State Girls Basketball honors for the 2016-17 season.

The Free Press WV

She was also First Team All State Team Captain for the 2016 girls basketball championship team.

She reached the 1,000 points career mark in her senior season. 

Riley will continue her academic and athletic careers at Concord University in Athens, WV. 

She is the daughter of Wriston and Julia Fitzwater of Stouts Mills, WV.

The Free Press WV

CommunityImprovement™: Crew Installing Field Grass on Sue Morris Sports Complex Baseball Field

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Reader's Comments


Readers' Recent Comments

After the ipads were purchased what measurable benefits resulted from having them at the GCHS to improve student learning? Does anyone know?

Was a formal plan followed to maximize benefits from the equipment to include provisions for measuring before-and-after results to evaluate if the equipment did any good?

Another case of throwing money at a problem and after spending it taxpayers have no idea if there were any meaningful benefits for students?

More than likely competitive bidding was not used to purchase the ipads to add another wrinkle.

By Did The ipads Improve Learning Results? on 03.13.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Where oh where did the 200 Gilmer County I-pads go?
Were they bought with federal money?
Attorney General Morrisey are you looking into this?
Someone should get the ball rolling?

By where oh where? on 03.12.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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They is not no flood plane there the water dont get up there i know i catch musk rats in the river

By THE TRUTH WATCHER on 03.08.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Gilmer County’s school board has full authority to demand a comprehensive accounting for every dime spent on everything leading up to site selection and construction of the LCES and the GCES.

Where did the money go and who got it to include naming names and companies on the receiving end?

Stop hiding behind the excuse that the State “did it to us” and assemble the true facts for taxpayers!

What is the defensible rational for failure of the school board to follow up on this?

By Disclose Financial Facts on 03.07.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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What was in the school board’s 451 resolution? As important as education is more effort should be taken to flesh out what actually happens at school board meeting. Bare minimum information and lack of transparency skirt accountability. Who is responsible for writing up the minutes?

By Transparency and Accountability Needed on 03.07.2019

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

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The new Gilmer County Elementary school was built
in a flood plane.  Education fail.

By YOU FORGET on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Roads are a mess.
Population continues the 50+ year decrease.

But for deep gas, no new employment.

Education system total failure.
Legislature impotent.

Grand finale in Charleston.
We have a brawl in the Capitol Building.

That out-of-control delegate needs to resign!

By WV continues the slow death on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Major Broadband Investment in West Virginia'.

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Broadband coming?  Think we heard this before?
How many times?  I’ve lost count.  You remember?

This will be like JimmyBoys “roads to prosperity” program?
Take the citizens money?  Give ‘em nothing.

Republicans. Democrats. All the same political bs from both.
Voters believe them.  Keep bringing back the old mules so they can give us a repeat performance.

By Just More Dog n Pony Show 4 U on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Major Broadband Investment in West Virginia'.

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Jimmy D, Gilmer County needs a full accounting for every dime spent on school site planning and studies, site preparation, all school construction work, and purchases while the State had us intervened.

For one example of many we do not have an itemized accounting for how our funds were spent on the botched LCES project.

How much more was wasted on the auction barn site, the dropped Cedar Creek site, and the GCES in comparison to what could have been done with our money with full transparency, competent planning, competitive bidding, and proper project oversight?

The fact that the GCES was built too small and the LCES was built too large is one facet of the waste and mismanagement that occurred.

Do not expect valid investigations because WV’s standard approach is cover up when the State is involved.

By Jimmy D--Don't Expect Sunshine on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Saw the GFP video (citizens refer to it as the ambush video) at the school board meeting at which the pitch was made for the new computers.

The GCHS principal and staff talked about wonders to expect if the 200 computers would be purchased.

Promises were made that if the kids got them they would learn to do advanced math and to make other marvelous learning advances. Any evidence of the promises being kept?

Were the computers purchased through competitive biding? Wanna bet that they were not?

Is this another example of throwing money at technology with no meaningful plan for how to use the equipment to maximize learning benefits without evidence of any before-and-after testing to accurately determine if they did any good?

Could the 200 computers be located and what condition are they in if they could be found?

The new school board is encouraged to check on the issues and to report on the findings.

By Accountability For New GCHS Computers on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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Since the local prosecutor is good for nothing, why doesn’t the federal prosecutors look into all the theft by Gabe DeVano and his buddies during the time Gilmer county was under state control? They stole money, equipment from schools which closed, as well as technology equipment. for example where did the 200 iPads go which gilmer county paid for?

By Jimmy D on 03.04.2019

From the entry: 'Former West Virginia school superintendent going to prison'.

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A major cause of WV’s dismal record with K-12 education is the lack of choice regarding a parent’s right to decide on the school for a child to attend.

The elite get around that by using private schools for their kids.

Under existing conditions what chance do the rest of us have? The answer is none!

Our kids are victimized because competition and accountability do not exist and that is exactly what WV’s entrenched education establishment and the unions want.

By Save WV's School Children on 03.02.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Pennybaker is correct.
WV educators keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Whats the definition of insanity?

By Gilmer on 03.02.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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An off grid system works great if you want to live like a hippie. One can cover their entire roof and it will barely power your lighting and a few electronics, let alone our transportation and industrial needs. The humaniacs now complain that the giant windmill blades kill the little birdies, and they have never solved the overpass problem in putting windmills on out autos.

By Vern Windsong on 03.01.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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It amazes me that the so-called “experts” think more and more centralization will improve anything.  Public school education is in terrible condition and doing more consolidation will only make it worse and more expensive.  With all the technology today, there is NO reason for busing children for miles and miles, spending more and more hours under the control of public schools.  The idea that parents are not capable of deciding how to educate their children is insulting.  There was never any good reason for governments to get involved in education.

By Karen Pennebaker on 02.28.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Pat, your information is outdated. Solar and wind are increasingly outcompeting fossil fuels, despite the heavy subsidies fossil fuels (and nuclear power) get. They also are getting steadily cheaper, while fossil fuels can be expected to rise as supply diminishes—the pipelines are going in so fast because of the NEED of the gas companies to get their product out to where they HOPE to find better prices—the drillers have been steadily losing money for the whole decade of the fracking “miracle.“ Wall Street is becoming skeptical. The thing about solar and wind is that once they’re built, the fuel keeps arriving, free. Of course, there isn’t much of a wind resource in our area. But there is in the mountain heights, and off the Virginia coast. And solar works fine here—I’ve had an off-grid system for ten years, works great.

By Mary Wildfire on 02.28.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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Yes, West Virginia spends a LOT of money on education.
But where does it go?  Is it wasted?  Down the drain hole of bureaucracy?

We spend 7th highest per student and what to show for it?
Being 49th or 50th in ratings?

By where does the money go? on 02.27.2019

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: iTeam Investigation: West Virginia's 55-county education system'.

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Seeing the president of the WV AFT shaking his raised clinched fist in disrespect for the WV legislature tells it all.

WV’s teacher unions are allowed to function as separate branches of government with veto power over WV’s elected officials and their only role is to get more benefits for their members.

Where is the evidence that unions have done anything recently in any WV school system to help create an educational show piece? Can anyone cite an example?

Furthermore what have unions done to develop innovative plans for moving the State’s k-12 education system forward to pry us off our bottom rung rankings? The answer is—nothing exists. 

Conditions will not change for the better until the day our legislators quit pandering to unions to end k-12 decision-making driven by mob rule and raw emotions.

By Unions Failed WV's Children on 02.26.2019

From the entry: 'In West Virginia, the Politicians Fail, and the Teachers Rise'.

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The principal reason for opposition to 451 is fear by union chiefs that public charter schools could outshine performances of non-participating schools to embarrass WV’s entrenched K-12 education establishment.

To attempt to scare the public, there were claims that the underlying motive for opposition to charter schools is the sinister plan to privatize them to permit the rich and powerful to make money off education at the expense of WV’s children.

It is alarming that unions failed to propose comprehensive plans, inclusive of meaningful accountability mechanisms, designed to improve WV’s schools.

Their objective seems to be to protect the status quo instead of being effective partners in improving education for the State’s children.

There are examples in the USA where charter schools resulted in significant K-12 education improvements. Of course some failed.

Why is it irrational to establish a limited few charter schools in WV as demonstration projects to incorporate approaches applied in highly successful charter schools while avoiding mistakes of the schools that failed?

Nothing else has worked in getting WV out of being near the bottom with K-12 education quality—-so why continue with business as usual while expecting better outcomes?

By Unions Failed WV Education on 02.21.2019

From the entry: 'In West Virginia, the Politicians Fail, and the Teachers Rise'.

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If passed when will this take effect? I’m a single mother who has a drug felony from another state. I can’t get food stamps to help me because I a drug felon. I work so my income is to much for one person. I have a son whom him and I barley survive. Cause of my record. I’ve held the job I am at now for 5 years. But since they can’t use me. They use my income. But not me and doing it that way I make to much money.

By Kayla on 02.21.2019

From the entry: 'Bill to Let Drug Felons Get Food Stamps Passes WV Senate'.

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John & Family,  Sorry to hear of Nyla’s passing!  GOD will take care of you!!  GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU IN THIS SAD TIME !!!  RIP Nyla !

By Anita L. Adams - New Concord, Ohio on 02.15.2019

From the entry: 'Nyla Leah Frymier Poole'.

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“But Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said utility filings in those states now show the outlook has changed dramatically - in part because of competition from cheap, renewable energy.“

That is utter rubbish.  There is no “cheap, renewable energy.“  Solar and wind are more expensive, even taking subsidies into consideration.  Hydro is more expensive, nuclear is more expensive.

Claiming otherwise is at best fake news, and at worst deliberate misdirection and lying.  Merely claiming renewable energy is less expensive doesn’t make it so.


Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 02.15.2019

From the entry: 'Need for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Falls'.

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It was brought to my attention there was an article published in the Gilmer Free Press under Reader’s Comments dated 2-11-19.
This was written by Tammy White which many think it was me (Tammy Foster).  Twenty years (or more) “White” was my last name.
My son does take daily medication at the high school (which somehow this is quite a coincidence).  I want to clarify that I DID NOT write that article!
Now that I have straighten this out….. please read what I have say about this situation at Gilmer County High School:
The secretary or secretaries that were mentioned have never been rude to me or my son in person or by phone.  It is actually the opposite!  They are kind, caring, professional and thorough with distributing my son’s meds.
Not only do they make sure he gets the correct dosage daily but they keep a close inventory on the meds and call me when I need to restock them.
It broke my heart to read the negative article written last week and I was appalled my (old) name was on it.
My son and I trust and depend on these wonderful ladies.  We would like to take this opportunity to THANK them for taking excellent responsibility and care of our child and other students.

By Tammy Foster (not White) on 02.13.2019

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

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I’m sorry for your loss.

By Danny Nicholson on 02.12.2019

From the entry: 'Vera Marlene Lyons'.

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There is some issues going on at GCHS. I’m starting here in Hope’s that it will be addressed and corrected.  The secretary was rude when I turned in medicine for my son to be taken on a daily basis. Nor is it her business why he takes it, or how often. Anyway, is she certified in giving meds out.  I thought that the school employed a nurse. Maybe she should answer the phone or should I say message on her cell. She had no idea how many I handed in she didnt count them. Talks about her co workers. Then she gets upset nobody talks to her. She is 2 face. Talking about them is very unprofessional.
I hope this is taken care of or my next step is to the state department. Your choice

By Tammy white on 02.11.2019

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

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It is welcomed news as reported in the Democrat that Gilmer’s GCES students are making progress in learning math and English Learning Arts.

The principal, teachers, and all staff deserve high praise for the progress. Let’s not forget efforts of students too plus their parents who encourage them at home.

In addition to rates of increase for learning progress it would be helpful to be informed of percentages of students in the different grades who are at grade level for math and ELA.

Nothing was reported about learning progress at the GCHS and the LCES bi-county school. When are reports for those schools going to be given?

By Positive School News on 02.08.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The lights are up at the Linn school.
Often flashing nights and weekends when NO ONE is on school property.

And you expect lights to work….???
when the WVDE, the WVBE built the school with FIVE TOO MANY CLASSROOMS !!??

*** The WVBE is incapable of meaningful education.
Why do you think the WV Legislature created the current ‘education overhaul’ bill without consulting the WV State Board of Ed? ***

By you are joking I guess? on 02.07.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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“The Environmental Protection Agency issued regular updates for about 100 water pollutants almost four years ago ... “

That would have been the Obama EPA, and the intention wasn’t to provide better water, it was an attempt to control business activity through the use of regulation.

In other words, a power-grab by a politician obsessed with it.


Pat McGroyne

By Pay McGroyne on 02.06.2019

From the entry: 'One Charleston Manufacturer Pressing for Delay of Water Rules'.

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Would the County’s school board take action to help improve safety conditions at the LCES?

The way it is now it can be uncertain if children are present at the school to require a reduction of speed to 15 mph while on Rt. 33.

It would eliminate uncertainty if a flashing lights system were to be installed so the lights could be turned on when children are present.

By LCES Safety Concern on 01.31.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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Why is it that on Gilmer County’s school system web site biographical information including education backgrounds for all school board members and their pictures are not posted?

Other counties have the information. Why not us?

By School Board Member Backgrounds? on 01.23.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The only reason for our not using a version of the goal-driven Kentucky method would be a veto by controlling elitists opposed to establishing meaningful accountability for Gilmer County’s school system.

Without using the method it would be easier to continue to pawn off information that cannot be used to accurately document progress with student proficiencies for reading, math, science, and college and career readiness.

By School System Accountability Needed on 01.20.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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The KY approach would be valuable to Gilmer County for use in disclosing progress of our two schools in contributing to better lives for our children.

For goals for which progress would be off schedule, the tracking approach would be an objective basis for making mid-course adjustments in our school system to get better results.

By using the approach school board members could be more effective with goal-driven governing, and getting results would be the responsibility of the County’s Superintendent of Schools and school principals.

Overall,the approach would establish meaningful accountability which is sorely lacking in WV’s school systems.

By Establish School System Accountability on 01.18.2019

From the entry: 'Building A Path to Brighter Future'.

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Accomplished communicators have a knack for reducing complex information to its simplest form for effectiveness in getting messages across.

WV’s convoluted strategic plans for schools must follow the State’s rigid guidelines. The plans are confusing and inadequately designed for establishing accountability for getting results.

Kentucky is making progress with improving K-12 education outcomes and one reason is the clarity of specific goals for its schools and the job being done with tracking results.

Google—-2018 Prichard Committee Update to glean what is being done in Kentucky. The approach could be used for Gilmer’s two schools with a single sheet of paper for each school.

The beauty of the Prichard approach is that instead of relying on confusing and lengthy written out material with undefined abbreviations, technical jargon, and head scratching generalities, specific goals and annual results in achieving them are presented graphically.

Perfect real world example of a picture being worth a thousand words.

Board of Education members why couldn’t the Prichard approach be used for Gilmer County? It would be inexpensive, it could be updated easily on an annual basis, and everyone in the County would know how the school system is being administered to achieve measurable results.

Perhaps Mr. David Ramezan could post Prichard material on the GFP to show its simplicity.

By Advocate For Clarity on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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The scandal of the too small school?
Don’t forget…
The scandal of the too big school is half of the whole state intervention mess.  FIVE rooms more than needed at the Linn, Lewis County school.

Results are from nepotism, cronyism, and educational stupidity….as well as scoffing at those who attempted to sound the alarm.

Bloated egos was the frosting on the Litter Box Cake Mix.

By School Truth is in the Litter Box on 01.17.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

One result is that the GCES was built too small.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By GCES Built Too Small Scandal on 01.15.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

By Gilmer resident on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

By Muddling Epidemic In WV School Systems on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

By we know it on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Student Learning at GCHS and GCES on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Muddling 101 on 01.11.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By End School System Muddling on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Need Specifics For Principal's Reports on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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


Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By overheard conversation on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

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

By ZOOMWV Data Dashboard on 01.07.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

By Let An Accountant Dig It Out on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By End Financial Secrecy on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Get It Done on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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How about the “BIG WV WINDFALL”....?

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

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

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

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

By taxpayers always lose on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By CheatersNeverWin on 11.20.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Corrupt State Intervention on 11.19.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

Any local whistle blowers?  Doubtful.

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

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

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By More Specifics For Principal's Reports on 11.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

By Follow The Money on 11.16.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Do It Ourselves on 11.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By QuestionablePractice on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Citizens For Financial Disclosure on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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

By Where Is The Investigation? on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

By INFO REQUEST TO GCBOE on 11.09.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Follow the Paycheck(s) on 11.06.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Where Is The Money? on 11.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Steve Lewis on 11.04.2018

From the entry: 'Kendall Goodwin'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By What Was The Grading System? on 10.30.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Reader7 on 10.29.2018

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

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

By Robin Nunez on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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

By Buck Edwards on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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

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

By Details Please on 10.26.2018

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

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

By GSC's New Mission? on 10.26.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By GSC Alumni on 10.26.2018

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

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

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

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

By Opportunity for GSC on 10.23.2018

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

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

By Agreements Matter on 10.22.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Why Reinvent The Wheel? on 10.22.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Clarity Is Always Good on 10.18.2018

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

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