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Holidays | Occasions

Holidays | Occasions

Mother’s Day 2018

The Gilmer Free Press
Happy Mother’s Day to my dear Mom,

Author of my personality:

Pleased, I hope, with what you read in me;

Pleased, I hope, with episodes to come.

Yet now I, too, would get some pleasure from

Making you the book in which I see,

Of all the players in my family,

The central character, whom I would plumb.

How beautiful to move in that direction!

Each to each a separate source of pleasure,

Reading in the others happiness,

‘Mid much description, underlying love.

So would we deepen the connection,

Discovering new passages to treasure

As we follow time towards tenderness,

Yearning for what years unread will prove.

Mother’s Day Around the World

The Gilmer Free Press

The United States commercial market for Mother’s Day has skyrocketed in recent years.

According to the Society of American Florists, 25% of all purchases of fresh flowers and plants are for Mother’s Day; and Hallmark says Mother’s Day is the third largest card selling holiday and second most popular gift-giving holiday after Christmas. 

So it may surprise you to find that the first efforts to establish Mother’s Day in the U.S. weren’t exactly successful.

After the Civil War and during the start of the Franco-Prussian War, social activist Julia Ward Howe wrote a Mother’s Day Proclamation calling for peace.  She was inspired by a woman named Ann Jarvis who attempted to unite women and improve sanitation conditions through the Mothers’ Work Days.  Howe’s Mother’s Day for Peace did not gain much of a following and her proposal to convert the July 4th festivities into a celebration of peace and mothers fell flat. 

In 1908, after Jarvis’ death, her daughter Anna M. Jarvis campaigned for a Mother’s Day holiday.  Her Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia held the first official Mother’s Day celebration and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson eventually declared the second Sunday of May the official national date for the holiday.

By the end of Anna Jarvis’ life, Mother’s Day was celebrated in more than 40 countries.  The carnation was Ann Jarvis’ favorite flower and was present at her funeral.  The tradition has arisen of wearing a carnation, colored if the mother is living, and white if not, to honor one’s mother on the holiday.  It is also common to honor Grandmothers, wives, and other important mother figures in your life. 


Here’s a look at Mother’s Day traditions around the world:


In Mexico, Mother’s Day has been celebrated on May 10 since the early 1900s.  It is one of the biggest gift-giving holidays in Latin American countries.  The celebration is also tied to the Virgin of Guadalupe who is considered a symbol of motherhood.  There is a special mass for Dia de las Madres along with traditional breakfast or brunch for mothers and some sort of serenade in the morning as well in Mexico.


El Salvador and Guatemala also observe Mother’s Day on May 10. 


In the United Kingdom Mother’s Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.  In the 1600s, children that were working away from home as servants visited their Mother Church on Mothering Day.  They also saw their families and their mothers during this time.  Eventually the holiday began to take on a secular celebration as well.  A tradition of giving your mother a glazed cake was started.  The cake comes from a folk tale about a married couple named Simon and Nell.  When they couldn’t decide whether to boil or bake a cake, they did both and invented the Simnel cake. 


In Spain and Portugal, where the holiday is more religious, people respect and remember the Virgin Mary on December 08. Children also honor their own mothers on this day.


In the former Republic of Yugoslavia, Mother’s Day was tied to a three day series of holidays.  The Mother’s Day cycle in Yugoslavia began with Children’s Day or “Dechiyi Dan” three days before Christmas. The following Sunday was Mother’s Day or “Materitse”, and the Sunday after that was Father’s Day or “Ochichi.“  It was a three day event where in the parents and the children alternated in tying each other up.  The children had to promise to be good in order to be released and the mother offered the children treats so that she could be freed. 


Many countries celebrate Mother’s Day on March 08:

Afghanistan, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, to name just a few.  However, that date has other importance as well.  International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, recognizes the economic, political, and social achievements of women.


The Socialist Party of American began celebrating a National Women’s Day in 1909.  The following year the Socialist International met in Copenhagen and established a Women’s Day of an international nature in order to support the women’s rights movement.  Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Russia are just a few of the countries that celebrate International Women’s Day rather than Mother’s Day. 


France celebrates Mother’s Day the last Sunday in May. After WWI the holiday took shape around the desire to repopulate the country.  Medals were awarded depending on the number of children a woman had.  This springtime Sunday is referred to as La Fete des Meres, and it provides children and adults throughout France with the opportunity to make their mother the center of attention, and give her gifts and treats. Today a common gift is a cake shaped to resemble a bouquet of flowers, along with candies, flowers, cards and perfumes.  In Sweden, the Swedish Red Cross sells little plastic flowers before Mother’s Day. They then use the money that they make from these flowers to help needy children and their mothers. 


In Finland Mother’s Day is called aidipayiva.  The family picks flower and presents a bouquet to the mother.  A small white pungent flower called the valkovuokko is usually preferred. 


Some Asian countries, such as Singapore and China, follow suit with the American Mother’s day tradition.  In China most names begin with a character signifying mother which honors the maternal heritage.  Other Asian countries have their own unique traditions.  In Thailand, the celebration of the beloved queen Sirikit Kitayakara’s birthday on August 12 has become a Mother’s Day celebration.


Hong Kong’s holiday, called mu quin jie, usually honors the parents of the mother if she is deceased.


In Japan, the name for Mother’s Day is haha no hi. In the early 1900s the Japanese celebrated Mother’s day according to Western custom, but this was banned during World War II. After the war, the tradition became widespread again and there were drawing contests offered for children to illustrate their mothers.  The exhibits celebrating mothers and peace toured throughout the country. 


In Iran and Bahrain, Ruz-e Madar or Mothers’ day is observed on the first Day of Spring, March 21.  This also happens in Lebanon and United Arab Emirates


In Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, Yaum ul-umm, is modeled after Western Mothers’ Day and is marked by celebrations and feasts. 


In Ethiopia, Mother’s Day occurs in mid-fall when the rainy season ends.  There is a three day feast called “Antrosht,“ which is part of the celebration.


South Africa celebrates Mother’s Day on the first Sunday in May.


The Egyptian goddess Isis was considered the mother of the gods.  She was revered as a loving wife and mother and symbol of fertility and magic.  She was revered and a cult even formed to worship her.


In ancient Greece, Rhea, “mother of the gods,“ was honored in the spring with honey-cakes, fine drinks, and flowers at dawn.  Her Roman counterpart, Cybele, was celebrated with games and a procession through the streets. 


The Celtic goddess Brigid, was celebrated during spring in connection to the first milk of the ewes and calves that flowed, symbolizing purity and nourishment. 


For thousands of years, In India, the Hindu people celebrate for nine days in October during a festival called Durga Puja.  This puja (or worship) celebrates Hindu goddess Durga, a warrior-like protector and mother.  It is currently the largest Hindu festival in Bengal.

Happy Easter 2018

The Gilmer Free Press

Easter is the central religious feast in the Christian religion.

Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.

People all over the world celebrate this resurrection on Easter Day or Easter Sunday, two days after Good Friday and three days after Maundy Thursday.

Now officially Easter lasts for the fifty days until Pentecost. Easter also marks the end of Lent, a season of fasting, prayer, and penance.

The exact origins of this religious feast day’s name are unknown. Some sources claim the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility.

Other accounts trace Easter to the Latin term hebdomada alba, or white week, an ancient reference to Easter week and the white clothing donned by people who were baptized during that time.

Through a translation error, the term later appeared as esostarum in Old High German, which eventually became Easter in English.

In Spanish, Easter is known as Pascua; in French, Paques.

These words are derived from the Greek and Latin Pascha or Pasch, for Passover.

Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection occurred after he went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (or Pesach in Hebrew), the Jewish festival commemorating the ancient Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt.

Pascha eventually came to mean Easter.

Easter is really an entire season of the Christian church year, as opposed to a single-day observance.

Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday, is a time of reflection and penance and represents the 40 days that Jesus spent alone in the wilderness before starting his ministry, a time in which Christians believe he survived various temptations by the devil.

The day before Lent, known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, is a last hurrah of food and fun before the fasting begins.

The week preceding Easter is called Holy Week and includes Maundy Thursday, which commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples; Good Friday, which honors the day of his crucifixion; and Holy Saturday, which focuses on the transition between the crucifixion and resurrection.

The 50-day period following Easter Sunday is called Eastertide and includes a celebration of Jesus’ ascension into heaven.

In addition to Easter’s religious significance, it also has a commercial side, as evidenced by the mounds of jelly beans and marshmallow chicks that appear in stores each spring.

As with Christmas, over the centuries various folk customs and pagan traditions, including Easter eggs, bunnies, baskets and candy, have become a standard part of this holy holiday.

The Gilmer Free Press

Good Friday 2018

The Free Press WV
Good Friday was the day on which Jesus died.

Good Friday is a Friday before Easter Sunday.

It is a religious day on which Christians commemorate
the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death.

It is believed that Jesus died on Good Friday and resurrected on Easter Sunday.

The day is called Good Friday because Christians believe
Jesus sacrificed his life for humanity and good of everyone.

Thanksgiving 2017

The Free Press WV
On Thanksgiving Day we’re thankful for

Our blessings all year through,

For family we dearly love,

For good friends, old and new.


For sun to light and warm our days,

For stars that glow at night,

For trees of green and skies of blue,

And puffy clouds of white.


We’re grateful for our eyes that see

The beauty all around,

For arms to hug, and legs to walk,

And ears to hear each sound.


The list of all we’re grateful for

Would fill a great big book;

Our thankful hearts find new delights

Everywhere we look!
The Free Press WV

As we take a break from everyday life to celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s take a moment to contemplate the holiday’s meaning.

We’ve all heard the tale of the Thanksgiving celebrated in 1621 by early European settlers in the New World at Plymouth, in what’s now Massachusetts, but the date of our nation’s first Thanksgiving is subject to scholarly debate.

Leap ahead two centuries and we find one of our most-revered presidents had a hand in today’s holiday of thanks. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation in 1863 that fixed the date in which all states would celebrate Thanksgiving, thereby bringing together various celebrations that had become a regular occurrence across the nation since the early 19th century.

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving much as we do, but in October. Our cousins in the United Kingdom celebrate the Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving around the time of the autumnal equinox.

Germans celebrate the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival in early October – a celebration that’s more about religion than about feasting as it is here in the U.S. The Japanese celebrate Labor Thanksgiving Day – a national holiday established while American soldiers occupied Japan after World War II and designed to recognize workers, but which derives from an ancient Shinto harvest celebration. It happens around the time of our own holiday.

Today in the U.S., we often gather with family and friends; watch football; take part in pick-up games with our children and/or friends; and feast on turkey, or ham, with all the fixings, and indulge in pies of various kinds – or some combination of all of these things.

Thanksgiving in modern America has come to signify the calm before the retail storm that is Black Friday, our now-traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season. Even that’s cut short these days by the many stores that open sometime Thanksgiving afternoon or night to get a jump on the holiday shopping frenzy that helps to drive our nation’s economy.

Most of all, though, we should give thanks for the people in our lives, our families and friends; we should give thanks for what we have, be it our jobs, our homes or our possessions, modest though those possessions may be for many among us; and, if we are so inclined, we should give thanks to our God above – regardless of our religion – for this life that we have, and strive to make the most of that life to make this a better world for everyone.

We wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving.

Happy New Year 2017

The Free Press WV

Every New Year brings us not only opportunities but challenges as well.

As we enter 2017, the challenges we face at The Free Press loom large.

The threats to our community freedom and the right to speak about your concerns are greatly increasing.

But as the Apostle Paul tells us, the key to winning any struggle is running the race to the end.

That is why we are so thankful to our readers and supporters who are committed to staying in the battle for the long run.

We have faith that not only what we are doing is right, but that in the end we will prevail.

Thank you and God bless you, for running the race with us.

Your faithful prayers and support make it possible for us to finish the race and protect the cherished God-given freedoms we all rely on.


Faithfully yours,

The Free Press WV

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
— 2 Corinthians 5:17

Governor and First Lady Tomblin to Kick Off Holiday Season with Annual Joyful Night Celebration

Joyful Night celebration to be held Tuesday, December 06 at State Capitol Complex
The Free Press WV

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin will welcome West Virginians to the annual Joyful Night celebration Tuesday, December 06 at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston.

As part of the evening’s festivities, the First Family encourages attendees to bring a new unwrapped toy for the U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots campaign. There also will be a special tribute to West Virginia’s military men and women, veterans, Gold Star Families and first responders.

“Joanne and I are excited to welcome West Virginians from across the state to join us as we kick off the holiday season with this year’s Joyful Night celebration for the last time as your Governor and First Lady,” Gov. Tomblin said. “This celebration is a special time for us as we reflect on the cherished memories we have made over the past six years. We will be celebrating friendship, family and camaraderie—values we as West Virginians hold dear—and honoring our state’s brave service men and women, their families and our first responders. We look forward to seeing you and sharing in the holiday celebrations.”

The Joyful Night program will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the South Plaza of the Capitol with performances from West Virginia school bands and at 6:00 p.m. Governor and First Lady Tomblin will light the state Christmas tree, donated by Brenda and David Hanson of Winfield.

This year, Toyota is the first corporate sponsor for West Virginia’s Joyful Night Celebration.

For more information about the Joyful Night activities, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History at 304.558.0220.

How Big of A Turkey Should I Buy? And Other Thanksgiving FAQs

Thanksgiving is all about tradition, so it’s only natural that we field a lot of the same questions each year about the same things.

But it’s okay. These things come up again and again for a reason! We’ve gathered some of the most common questions here for your easy perusal.


How big of a turkey should I buy?

The Agriculture Department suggests one pound of turkey per person. We’ve previously suggested about 1½ pounds for each diner to allow for leftovers.

• When to buy and how to store your turkey. When you buy the bird depends on whether you’re going with fresh or frozen. A raw, fresh turkey should be stored for no longer than two days in the refrigerator. In theory, a frozen turkey can last indefinitely. But for the best quality, use it within a year. Of course, if you have yet to buy one for this year, you have nothing to worry about in terms of storage time.

The Free Press WV


Should I brine the turkey?

Brining helps poultry stay moist and tasty. (Kosher or self-basting birds should not be brined.) Some people choose to dry brine their turkey – rub it with salt, basically. In that situation, salt draws the meat’s juices to the surface of the bird. The juices then mix with the salt, forming a brine that is then reabsorbed by the meat. A few years ago, deputy Post Food editor Bonnie S. Benwick tried both methods and decided she preferred a wet brine, which required less effort and resulted in more uniformly moist and seasoned meat. When you remove the turkey from the brine, make sure you pat it thoroughly dry to get crisp skin. But consider this: You can also achieve a moist, flavorful turkey without brining at all.


Why a turkey breast?

Even dark-meat fans can appreciate the moist, tender yield of a bone-in turkey breast. The key is in choosing a cooking method that will do it justice. A turkey breast can be just the ticket for a small group, as well as an alternative to roasting a second bird when you’re planning to feed a crowd. A real selling point: It can be done in advance.


Should I roast a turkey breast for two people?

Size-wise, a turkey breast is definitely a good fit for a small crowd, though for a pair, you’ll probably want to aim for something close to six pounds. Even then, you’ll have some extra for subsequent meals. To satisfy those who go for dark meat, consider getting a small whole turkey. You might have especially good luck with a local farmer. If the ideas of a white-meat-only breast or too-big whole turkey don’t appeal to you, there are other options. You might consider a duck, which is smaller, with rich, gamy flavor. Or go the ultimate route for single- or small-serving poultry and cook Cornish hens.


How can I make gravy in advance?

Roast extra turkey wings until deeply browned and crisped. Toss them into a pot of at least four cups of broth with your favorite aromatics: celery, onion, fresh herbs, a bay leaf, whole black peppercorns. For interest, add ½ cup of dry red wine or Madeira or unsweetened apple cider. Cook, strain, and discard the solids. Then you can melt eight tablespoons of unsalted butter in a separate saucepan and whisk in ½ cup of low-protein flour, like Wondra or pastry flour, to form a smooth roux; it needs to be cooked over medium heat for a few minutes to lose its floury taste. Whisk in your enriched stock and cook until thickened, which should take more than 20 minutes. Season, cool, refrigerate or freeze. Once the bird comes out of the oven, you might want to whisk strained pan drippings into the reheated gravy, then season with salt and pepper.


How do I make a perfect pie crust?

A few pointers: Keep things cool. Rotate the crust 90 degrees periodically as you’re rolling it. Make your crusts in advance. And if something does go wrong, roll with it. Do your best, and call it a day. Smile, because, hey, you’re going to be eating pie!


What can I make ahead?

Cranberry sauce. Most cranberry relishes can be refrigerated for up to a week.

Gravy. You can make your gravy (or most of it, minus the drippings) a few days early.

Bread. Bake your bread or rolls a day or two in advance.

Pies. Most pies can be made two or more days in advance.

Turkey. Start brining the day before.

Stuffing. Advance work depends on the recipe. Some stuffings can be made wholly in advance; others should be made up to the point of adding the liquid. Reheat or finish baking on Thursday.


What can I do with leftovers?

• Send home extras with your friends and family.

• Make a Thanksgiving hash.

• Blend vegetables into purée for soup.

• Layer other dishes into a type of terrine.

• Turn bread into croutons or bread crumbs.

• Mash pies into ramekins for a kind of custard.

Happy Labor Day 2016

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Schools 2016-17 School Year Important Date

The Free Press WV

Happy 4th of July 2016

The Free Press WV

“This independence day brings forth a new hope to make our tomorrows most beautiful and cherished. Wishing everyone a very happy 4th of July.”

“Independence is one of the valuable gifts that one can enjoy. Hope that God’s blessings are always with us so that the coming generations can also enjoy the fruits of independence. Enjoy and have a great day.”
“Take time on this special day to understand what independence means to you. Happy July 4th!”

“We are very lucky to be born in America which is famous for its rich culture and traditions. While celebrating the Independence Day we promise to preserve the reputation so that the freedom fighters can feel proud of us.”

“May our country always flourishes and celebrates many more years of independence. Wishing you all a very happy and blessed independence day.”

“Happy 4th of July! I feel so proud to be a part of the most wonderful country in the world.”

“Let each one of us make a promise, that as long as we live, we will be good citizens of our country in the best of our capabilities and we will help America grow into a better nation with each passing day.”

“Freedom is a gift, given to us by our freedom fighters. They had to struggle to win Independence and sacrificed their whole lives so that we could live in a free country. Let their sacrifice not go in vain. Let us promise to work hard towards making America a better nation each day free from corruption and violence. Happy Independence day to all my brothers and sisters.”

Think About it. Have We Lost The Real Meaning of Fourth of July?

The Free Press WV

Fireworks and firecrackers into the night. Picnics in the park. Hamburgers and all the fixings. Family get-togethers and a day to be with family and friends. Special sales. Maybe a patriotic parade with flags flying to honor our service people.

All feel-good events. All good. But soon forgotten until the next holiday. A holiday for children and everybody else. That’s what the Fourth of July has become. A day of fun.

What should we be celebrating? Our independence. The freedom to live our lives in freedom and pursue our dreams.

On the Fourth of July in 1776, 56 men pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor for us. After much work and deliberation they all signed the Declaration of Independence. That nature’s God had created all men as equal with a natural right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Many of the 56 men lost their lives and fortunes to win America’s freedom. None gave up their sacred honor.

Are we honoring their courage and sacrifices? No. As a people we are honoring hamburgers and potato salad and a day off.

Our indifference is costing us our independence and, for many, the opportunity to succeed – the chance to create a better life for ourselves and our families. We no longer value the idea that it is good for all citizens to have our people create wealth through individual achievement. Creation of wealth by some through achievement has become the resource for creating indolence and redistributing wealth. Government at all levels governs without the consent of the people as our Founding Fathers directed.

In a very real sense, Americans are in much the same position as were the colonists at the start of the American Revolution.

We have a leader who ignores law and governs without legal authority, legislators who no longer represent the people. “Looking the other way” has become the practice of many citizens. Or an unsaid attitude of “What’s in in for me?” Or, “There’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll just live on what I have earned and live my life.”

If we have a tyrannical, “lawless,” despotic government, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Many don’t care. Others are enjoying dependency and some have given up trying to restore our historical American values.

What should we or can we do? The first thing is for each one of us to decide whether we want our children and grandchildren to live in an America where they have a God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The freedom to succeed and keep the rewards of achievement. The freedom to worship as we please or not at all. All of the God-given freedoms envisioned by our Founding Fathers in the document signed with the pledge of their lives, fortunes and sacred honor on the Fourth of July in 1776.

It is really up to you, me and every American. America’s Founding Fathers said, when a government becomes despotic, it is their (the people’s) right, their duty to throw off such government. To provide new guards for their future security. It is election time. It is time for us to do our duty. It is time to throw off a government that has become tyrannical, lawless and despotic – at every level.

I have no recommendations to give you, except to encourage you to decide which candidates will be most likely to preserve and protect our republic. Or choose candidates who will continue to be governed by partisanship and their own selfish desires.

The fate of our nation is in our hands, yours and mine.

Do we have the courage to do our duty as did the 56 Founding Fathers?

You decide.

It is more than important.

It is matter of survival.

Father’s Day 2016

image

We may not shower him with praise

Nor mention his name in song,

And sometimes it seems that we forget

The joy he spreads as he goes along,

But it doesn’t mean that we don’t know

The wonderful role that he has had.

And away down deep in every heart

There’s a place that is just for Dad…..

Happy Fathers’ Day to All Dads

Origins of Father’s Day Rooted in Church Service

The Free Press WV

Every third Sunday of June, Americans celebrate Father’s Day.

The origin of Father’s Day began in 1908 at a church service in West Virginia. Grace Golden Clayton, a member of the Williams Memorial Methodist Church, had recently lost her father in a mining accident.

Her father was one of 362 men, 250 who were fathers, who lost their lives at the Fairmont Coal Company in Monongah, West Virginia, when a series of explosions occurred.

About 1,000 children were left fatherless.

Clayton suggested holding a service in remembrance of those fathers.

From this beginning, Father’s Day slowly gained popularity and spread.

In 1911, President Woodrow Wilson attempted to make Father’s Day a national holiday but faced opposition in Congress due to its perceived commercial nature.

President Calvin Coolidge likewise made an attempt but failed.

President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation to honor fathers in 1966, and President Richard Nixon finally made the holiday official in 1972.

Father’s Day is an excellent opportunity to honor our father for his influence and direction in our life.

In Exodus 20, the nation of Israel was given the Ten Commandments.

The fifth commandment in verse 12 states, “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

Practicing this commandment is reasonable for all people in every generation.

Perhaps your father did not live up to your expectations. Maybe he neglected you, abandoned or abused you.

Consider then your heavenly father who promises, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” it says in Hebrews 13:5.

This heavenly father loves us. I John 3:1 declares, “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.”

God the father promises to be with us in times of trouble and trial, even through death.

This is why David could write in Psalms 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Our heavenly father is always there and loves you greatly.

May you have a happy Father’s Day.

Here is some practical advice, from” The Fatherhood Project: 10 Facts About Father Engagement.“

  • Children benefit directly from a dad’s parenting.
  • Spending time together means greater academic success.
  • Lending emotional support means more positive social behavior.
  • Giving everyday assistance results in fewer conduct problems.
  • Monitoring children’s behavior makes for greater self-esteem.
  • Providing clear boundaries equates with reduced contact with the juvenile justice system.

Memorial Day 2016

The Gilmer Free Press
“They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation.“
Henry Ward Beecher


“These martyrs of patriotism gave their lives for an idea.“
Schuyler Colfax


“Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody.“
Ralph Waldo Emerson


“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.“
Franklin D. Roosevelt


“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.“
Billy Graham


“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship,
support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.“
John F. Kennedy


“Memorial Day (Decoration Day) is the most beautiful of our national holidays.
The grim cannon have turned into palm branches, and the shell and shrapnel into peach blossoms.“
Thomas Bailey Aldrich


“All we have of freedom, all we use or know - This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.“
Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue, 1899

 

The Gilmer Free Press

Memorial Day is a day to remember those men and women who have died serving their country. While many people visit cemeteries and memorials in their memory, others celebrate the service of all U.S. veterans—including those who live on and who continue to bear the burden of their sacrifice every day.

As a tribute to fellow Americans killed in war, Memorial Day is also an opportunity for future generations to pay tribute to veterans who made it home by helping them face the challenges they found both on and off the battlefield. Flags display patriotism and support on this holiday, and yet Americans can help veterans in other ways, as well.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation provides emotional, physical, educational and financial support for wounded and disabled veterans, to help improve their lives. Programs include suicide prevention, support for veterans with brain injuries, counseling for Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and assistance for women’s health issues—all common challenges for veterans. The Purple Heart Service Foundation provides scholarships, family assistance, claims assistance and employment training. Family members also get support, learning how to help disabled veterans to cope with their physical, emotional and behavioral challenges.

In addition to displaying their flags on Memorial Day and remembering those who have died in service, Americans can support all our veterans by volunteering or making a donation to a worthy veterans service organization. As we continue to identify new areas of concern for veterans and their families, we know that solutions are in reach if we can help them gain access to programs, services and support.

Visit www.PurpleHeartFoundation.org to learn more about how you can impact the lives of veterans by while honoring their sacrifice with your service.

The Gilmer Free Press

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Readers' Recent Comments

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

One result is that the GCES was built too small.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By GCES Built Too Small Scandal on 01.15.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

By Gilmer resident on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

By Muddling Epidemic In WV School Systems on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

By we know it on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Student Learning at GCHS and GCES on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Muddling 101 on 01.11.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By End School System Muddling on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

By Need Specifics For Principal's Reports on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By overheard conversation on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

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

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

By ZOOMWV Data Dashboard on 01.07.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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

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

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

By Let An Accountant Dig It Out on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By End Financial Secrecy on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Get It Done on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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How about the “BIG WV WINDFALL”....?

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

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

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

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

By taxpayers always lose on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By CheatersNeverWin on 11.20.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Corrupt State Intervention on 11.19.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

Any local whistle blowers?  Doubtful.

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

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

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By More Specifics For Principal's Reports on 11.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

By Follow The Money on 11.16.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Do It Ourselves on 11.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By QuestionablePractice on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Citizens For Financial Disclosure on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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

By Where Is The Investigation? on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

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

By INFO REQUEST TO GCBOE on 11.09.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Follow the Paycheck(s) on 11.06.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

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

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

By Where Is The Money? on 11.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Steve Lewis on 11.04.2018

From the entry: 'Kendall Goodwin'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By What Was The Grading System? on 10.30.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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

By Reader7 on 10.29.2018

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

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

By Robin Nunez on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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

By Buck Edwards on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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

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

By Details Please on 10.26.2018

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

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

By GSC's New Mission? on 10.26.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By GSC Alumni on 10.26.2018

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

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

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

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

By Opportunity for GSC on 10.23.2018

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

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

By Agreements Matter on 10.22.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Why Reinvent The Wheel? on 10.22.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Clarity Is Always Good on 10.18.2018

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

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

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

By Help Understanding on 10.17.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Levy Supporter on 10.16.2018

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

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“engage in pedantic colloquy?“

No Bill.

By WEKNOWYOU on 10.14.2018

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

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

By Reader7 on 10.14.2018

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

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

By Smart Feller on 10.13.2018

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

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

By Reader7 on 10.12.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Synthesis is at the high end.

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

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

By Easy Way Out on 10.10.2018

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

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

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

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

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

Could the WV School Board Association help fill the gap?

By Lost Opportunity on 10.07.2018

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

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

By Greg Garvin on 10.04.2018

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

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

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

By Positive Changes Made By New BOE on 10.04.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Thanks Gilmer BOE on 10.03.2018

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

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

By Transparency matters on 09.30.2018

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

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

By citizen 3 on 09.23.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Learn What Works From Others on 09.23.2018

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

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

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

By GC--still on state probation? on 09.22.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Iowa Test For Gilmer on 09.21.2018

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

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

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

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

By County-Specific on 09.21.2018

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

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

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

To blame all problems on teachers is a cruel travesty.

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

By Do Not Blame It All On Our Teachers on 09.21.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Muddling on 09.19.2018

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

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

By Adrienne (Trimper) Johnson on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'Ronald J. Vanskiver'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Tell It Like It Is ! on 09.19.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Why Gilmer BOE? on 09.18.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

By just more smoke and mirrors on 09.16.2018

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

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

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

By No solution here- on 09.16.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Look At Red Flags on 09.16.2018

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

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

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

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

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

By Who Minds The Store on 09.15.2018

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

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

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

By More sad ones to be told. on 09.14.2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gilmer County High School.

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

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

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

By Public Demands Answers on 09.13.2018

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

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

By Smart Feller on 09.13.2018

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

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

By Better Times On The Way on 09.12.2018

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

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

By Transparency matters on 09.12.2018

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

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

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

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

By Waiting To See on 09.09.2018

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

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