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Anniversaries | Retirements

Anniversaries, Retirements

Moore’s Celebrate Their 50th

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV
Gary and Gerry Moore of Shock, WV
celebrate their 50th anniversary on Sunday at the Gilmer county Senior Center

Happy Golden Anniversary to Don and Carol Beamer

The Free Press WV

“Don and Carol Beamer, formerly of Glenville, recently celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary at their home in Alton, Virginia.

They were married on December 31, 1965 in Sutton, WV in a small ceremony at the home of a local preacher.

Don and Carol’s marriage has been blessed with three children and five grandchildren.

They fondly recall their family and friends in West Virginia and would like to thank all who wished them well on their Golden Anniversary.

GSC Honors Employees for Years of Service

GLENVILLE, WV - Glenville State College honored twelve faculty and staff at its annual Service Awards Luncheon that was held in conjunction with the annual employee holiday luncheon on Friday, December 11 in the Mollohan Campus Community Center.

GSC President Dr. Peter Barr presented service award pins and certificates of appreciation to the employees for their many years of service at Glenville State College.

Those recognized included:

The Free Press WV

40 Years of Service

Wayne de Rosset - Department of Language and Literature, Associate Professor of English


35 Years of Service

Debi Jenkins - Office of Student Life, Program Assistant

Terry Hacker - Physical Plant, Trades Specialist (retired)

Denise Ellyson - Registrar’s Office, Certification Analyst

Amanda Frymier - Athletic Department, Administrative Secretary


30 Years of Service

Dr. Nancy Zane - Department of Language and Literature, Professor of English

Thomas Snyder - Department of Land Resources, Academic Laboratory Instructional Assistant


25 Years of Service

Roger Clemons - Physical Plant, Trades Specialist


20 Years of Service

Sam Lemon - Physical Plant, Maintenance Worker

Dr. D. Charles “Chuck” Batson - Department of Business, Associate Professor of Business


15 Years of Service

Ann Reed - Registrar’s Office, Registrar

Teresa Sterns - Office of the President, Executive Assistant & Hidden Promise Program Director


Those with thirty or more years of service were previously recognized by West Virginia Governor, Earl Ray Tomblin at a ceremony in Charleston held earlier this year. The years of employment for these awards were calculated through June 30, 2015.

GCPR Says Good Bye to Long Time Worker

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Parks and Recreation Board and its Director Darrel Ramsey along with their other employee Sharon Riffle say good bye to a long time co-worker and friend Judd Kirpatrick.

Judd will be retiring from the Recreation Center on September 30th, 2015.

Judd was hired years ago through the central West Virginia Aging Program, and after completing his 4 yrs with the program the Recreation Center hired him as maintenance.

Judd will be missed by several campers that have come to know and love him from coming to summer camp.

We thank him for his outstanding work he has given the Recreation Center.

Geraldine “Gerry” Moore Reitres from Horizon Energy

Geraldine “Gerry” Moore, Distribution Supervisor for Horizon Energy Corporation in Sand Fork, West Virginia, retired on June 15, 2015 with 27 years of service.  Her employment began on November 02, 1987 as a part time Secretary for Continental Petroleum Company and transitioned to Office Manager and Corporate Secretary for Horizon Energy Corporation in later years. 

As many co-workers and friends can attest, Gerry’s dedication to her job and strong work ethic are second to none.  She has proven to be a committed and loyal employee, frequently going above and beyond to ensure that the work was completed correctly and timely.  In fact, she earned the nickname of “Bloodhound” for her ability to accomplish tasks and find solutions to long-standing issues.

The Gilmer Free Press


Gerry is not only a dedicated employee but a friend to many who have had the opportunity to work with, or around her.  She will be sorely missed, particularly by all of us at Horizon Energy, but also by our associates.

Gerry sums her employment with the following:  “I interviewed at Continental Petroleum in 1987 for a part time position to cover a maternity leave for their full time employee.  Twenty-seven years later, I am retiring from my part time job.  Knowing nothing at all about the Oil and Gas industry, starting this new job was a challenge.  The “Jones Family” took a chance on me.  I was blessed to have good teachers who were patient and willing to share their knowledge.  Leaving Horizon Energy, I take an abundance of good memories made with friends and co-workers.  I shall ever be grateful to Bob, Judy and Rob for my many years in Sand Fork.”

Gerry plans to spend time with her husband, Gary, their five children (Marcie, Brian, Misty, Carey and Lori) and eight grandchildren (Jordanne, Tyler, Austin, Grace, Laurann, Daney, Eden and Mack).

Proclamation, Praise Offered for Retiring Deputy Superintendent Charles K. Heinlein

The Gilmer Free Press

Charleston, WV - During the West Virginia Board of Education’s (WVBE) monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 10, Deputy Superintendent of Schools Charles K. Heinlein, who retires at the end of the month, received a proclamation from West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for his years of dedication and service to the education system of the state. WVBE President Gayle Manchin and State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Martirano presented Heinlein with the proclamation.

On behalf of the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and the WVBE, Dr. Martirano read the proclamation statements that describe Heinlein’s unwavering commitment, true passion and selfless dedication to the children of West Virginia. Heinlein’s legacy of challenging young minds and nurturing the spark of learning for countless citizens began on August 01, 1973.

The proclamation recognized Heinlein as an educator who has influenced many young minds. It is also states that Heinlein exemplified leadership and has twice willingly served as the West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools. Board members and WVDE staff applauded Heinlein with the final proclamation statement: Whereas, Mr. Heinlein’s legacy will remain quilted within the fabric of West Virginia for generations to come.

25th Anniversary of the First Female WVU Mountaineer

This month marks the 25th anniversary that West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant was chosen as the West Virginia University Mountaineer Mascot.

In 1990, the 22-year-old broadcast journalism senior from Fairview was the first woman to ever be given the honor of donning the buckskins, coonskin hat and musket.

At the time, not everyone believed her appointment was historic. To some, it was a controversial choice.

“Some fans did not believe the iconic WVU Mountaineer could be represented by a woman. I was spit on, called names and told to go back to the kitchen,” Secretary Tennant said. “I didn’t let it get to me. My pride in my school never faltered. My time as the Mountaineer was one of the best experiences of my life.”

The Gilmer Free Press


On the wall in the Secretary of State’s Office, Secretary Tennant proudly displays her musket and photos from her time as the Mountaineer. She also has a scrapbook full of old newspaper clippings from her senior year as the WVU mascot in her office.

WVU began the tradition of an official Mountaineer mascot in 1934. There have been 63 different Mountaineers since then.

“It’s a special club and one I am honored to be a member,” Secretary Tennant said. “On this 25th anniversary, I remember the young girl who simply wanted to represent her school and never wanted her selection to be a gender issue. I was young, but just as passionate about WVU and the state of West Virginia then as I am now.”

The current Mountaineer, Michael Garcia, is a former intern for the secretary of state’s office and also from Marion County.

“Natalie has never stopped being the Mountaineer, and we celebrate with her the anniversary of her selection as WVU’s first-ever female mascot,” Garcia said. “She still embodies the pioneering, get-there-first spirit of all Mountaineers. And the buckskins suit her well.“

GOVERNOR TOMBLIN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT OF LONGTIME DNR DIRECTOR

The Gilmer Free Press

Director to retire at year’s end

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today announced the retirement of Frank Jezioro, longtime director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Governor Tomblin thanked Jezioro for his many years of dedication and service to the state. Director Jezioro plans to retire on December 31, 2014.

“I truly appreciate the service that Frank Jezioro has rendered to the people of West Virginia,“ said Gov.ernorTomblin. “Over the past 10 years, Frank has spearheaded innumerable improvements to our state’s public lands and has fought tirelessly to protect our natural resources. Every West Virginian should be grateful for his contributions. He will be sorely missed.“

“Frank is of the longest serving director in the history of the DNR, and it’s been my pleasure to work with him over the past four years,“ said Commerce Secre tary Keith Burdette. “Anyone fortunate enough to know Frank knows that he is a passionate advocate for our state’s natural resources. He leaves a legacy that will last for years and years to come.“

Since appointed in January of 2005, Director Jezioro has overseen many important projects at DNR, including the creation of the senior lifetime hunting and fishing license, major renovations at Canaan Valley Resort State Park, and the creation of the Governor’s One Shot event.

When asked to name his most important accomplishment as Director, Jezioro said, “I am proud of the fact that over the years we have guaranteed public access to thousands of acres of land for our hunters, anglers, hikers and all lovers of God’s great outdoors. We created new wildlife management areas and guaranteed public access to the Cheat Canyon and the upper Elk River for as long as the wind blows and the grass grows.“

“My job was easy,“ Jezioro continued, “because I had the support of the state’s sportsmen and sportswomen, and above all, the support of the governors under whom I’ve had the honor of serving. For those wondering what I am going to do in retirement: I am going to enjoy the holidays and take my grandchildren hunting.“

Our Community’s Foundation – Little Kanawha Area (LKACF)

Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation
Celebrates 10 Years of Service with
Successful Completion of Community Challenge
& Fall Community Grant Awards

Representatives from the Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation (LKACF) celebrated 10 years of service to Calhoun, Wirt and Gilmer Counties on November 3rd when they announced the successful completion of the 2014 LKACF Community Challenge and issued fall grant awards. Late last year representatives from Calhoun Banks made a generous challenge gift of $2,500 to launch the 2013-2014 Little Kanawha Area Community Challenge Program.  This community challenge program was launched on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation to build permanent grant and scholarship funds to address the local needs. The Foundation’s goal was to generate $5,000 in community donations to meet the 1 for 2 challenge match of $2,500 from Calhoun Banks for a total of $7,500 by the end of November.

The Gilmer Free Press
LKACF Advisory Board Member Pat Lydon presents a $250 grant to
Bob Radabaugh representing the Gilmer County Recreation Center


“We are happy to announce that as of November 3rd, the community has exceeded our goal by providing donations totally $6,130. Adding $6,130 of community’s support to the $2,500 challenge gift from Calhoun Banks will provide a total of $8,630 to build local grant and scholarship funds for Calhoun, Gilmer and Wirt counties. We are thrilled with the support for this important community challenge that will build local funds to address community programs and projects and provide scholarship support for our youth,” commented Jane Winters, Regional Manager of Affiliates for Our Community’s Foundation.

The Gilmer Free Press
LKACF Advisory Board Members: Pat Lydon, Ron Blankenship, Bob Radabaugh,
Deb Hartshorn, Jean Simers, Jim Bennett, and Leslie Maze (back row)
celebrate 10 years of service at a November 3rd 10th Anniversary & Fall Grant Reception.


In addition to other designated grant and scholarship funds, LKACF holds a community grant fund for Calhoun and Wirt Counties that currently provides a modest amount of annual funding to address local needs and is currently building a community grant fund to serve needs in Gilmer County. These local grant funds will provide vital annual support for local projects and programs in Health, Human Services, Education, Arts & Culture, Recreation, and Economic Development to continually improve the quality of life in these counties. The Foundation is also building a LKACF Scholarship Fund that will provide general scholarship awards for Calhoun and Wirt County High School graduating seniors. Since LKACF is a young community foundation, these local grant and scholarship funds are small and therefore cannot provide the level of support needed to address the growing needs in these communities. This year’s LKACF Community Challenge will provide funding resources to more effectively address local needs.

The Gilmer Free Press
LKACF Advisory Board Member Pat Lydon presents
a $1,000 grant to representatives from the Elizabeth Fire Department


Two local community organizations benefited from LKACF Community Action Grants totally $1,250. At the November 3rd Reception LKACF Advisory Board Chair Jim Bennett and Advisory Board Member Pat Lydon presented a $1,000 grant award to the Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Department to help provide new equipment - hand tools, fire hose, fire extinguishers, and appliances to equip a new pumper purchased earlier this year; and $250 to the Gilmer County Recreation Center to assist with an improvement project to install handicap access ramps to the two buildings that house campers and construct new restroom facilities to support the dining hall.

The Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation is a tax exempt public charity that was created in 2004 as an affiliate of Our Community’s Foundation - the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) and its Regional Affiliates. As an affiliate of the PACF organization, LKACF operates as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is accredited as meeting National Standards for Community Foundations. LKACF builds and manages permanent funds to support Calhoun, Gilmer and Wirt counties with its own local advisory board which includes: Jim Bennett; Deb Hartshorn; Jean Simers; Pat Lydon; Leslie Maze; Ron Blankenship and Bob Radabaugh.

All donations to this program are acknowledged as tax deductible. For more information about this challenge program or LKACF, contact Our Community’s Foundation or visit the organization’s website at www.pacfwv.com.

SJMH Employees Retire; Honored at Reception

Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital present and former staff members attended a lovely retirement reception to honor two long-time employees - Carol McCray and Carol Robison – who retired on September 30, 2014.  Both worked in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital Business Office.

The reception was held in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital Boardroom on Tues., September 23.  Carol McCray’s sister, Brenda Helmick, cousin, Diane Boggs, and son, Dustin, were present for the event as well as Carol Robison’s husband, Jim.  Several previous Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital employees who worked with the two dedicated employees were in attendance.

Stonewall Jackson Memorial HospitalL Company Financial Officer Dodie Arbogast spoke about the two employees with much appreciation and recounted the hard work they had given to the Hospital.  She noted that she was very fortunate to have had them for so long in her department.

Former Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital Administrator David D. Shaffer was also present for the event. He noted that when there are excellent employees like Carol McCray and Carol Robison, it makes the administrator look good.

The two employees asked that they celebrate their retirement together since they have worked so long at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital with each other.  Their friendship began in the seventh grade when they were students at Walkersville School.  They attended Walkersville High School until their senior year when they were had to move to the new Lewis County High School.  It is by coincidence that they both ended up working for so many years at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The Gilmer Free Press
Carol Robison and Carol McCray, front, were honored by co-corkers
at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital during a recent retirement reception
for the business office employees


Carol McCray, of Ireland, has worked at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital for 39 years. Her plans for her retirement are “to take it easy and cleaning house.”

She has one son, Dustin; daughter-in-law, Penny; and her 12-year-old grandson Isaac, a student at Robert Bland Middle School. Her parents are Lucille McCray, of Walkersville, and the late Ralph McCray.

Carol left the Lewis County area and moved to Washington, DC for a job at the CIA, where her sister worked.

“My sister was a secretary to the Deputy Director at the CIA and that is why I moved to D.C.,” she explained.  She spent three years there before coming to Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital.

“I worked in collections, insurance, covered the cashier’s job, operated the manual posting machine.  When we started using computer systems. I got that job because of my background with the CIA,” explained Carol.

Carol started as a keypunch operator at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital. This was where the operator places holes in cardboard cards to signify payments or charges.

“I had to program the cards with the holes, which were then fed through a machine to our software company,” she said. “We would have a big stack of cards to feed through hopper.”

Carol’s history in the business office is a history of how computerization was introduced in the work place.

“Controller Allen Burton bought a computer and it was the only one in the Hospital and besides Allen, I was the only other person who used it. We used it for financials, payments, printing bills and forms,” she said.

The next step was to go to IBMs and then to the main frame which our IT department take care of.  I remember at one time it took one tape to replace twenty diskettes. That is when Carol became data processor manager. She is also responsible for something called “Chargemaster”, which provides all the prices and codes for hospital procedures and goods. According to Carol, those changes can happen daily.

Carol is the one person who everyone in the Hospital turns to for reports of all shapes and sizes.

“I run reports on HCAHPS, admissions, discharges and so much more.  It really keeps me busy, there is a lot to remember,” laughed Carol.

Her replacement, Heather Ryan, knows all too well that Carol’s shoes will be hard to fill. She began her replacement training in May of this year.

“I have put together a book of everything I have learned so far and it is up to 112 pages,” said Heather. “I call it my book of knowledge.”

Carol truly was a devoted employee having traveled the 45 minutes one way from her home to work every day. And there were lots of bad days that she had to drive to work.  The other memorable note on Carol McCray is that she was chosen as the Hospital’s very first Employee of the Month. That in itself is a milestone.

Carol Robison has been married to Jim since 1997.  The couple lives on Terrace Avenue.  Carol has a daughter and son-in-law, Michelle and Brian Wetzel of Clarksburg.  She is the very, very proud grandmother of Caden, 15, a student at Robert C. Byrd, and Abby, 14, a student at WI Middle School.

Carol is the daughter of the late T.D. Catron and Nellie Cayton, who is 91 years old and still lives in Weston.

She started at the Hospital in the admissions/registration department.  Occasionally those employees would also be required to act as emergency room receptionist. Carol left the Hospital in 1973 and returned in 1979 as a Ward Clerk.  Later she transferred to the Physical Therapy department under Jeff Powelson.  She then transferred to the Business Office to do insurance billing and serve as a relief for the cashier, console operator, and data entry processor. Her final position was that of insurance processor.

“In working with insurance processing I was always dealing with a variety of issues. I would send claims; deal with Medicare of all phases; make sure there are approvals and fulfillment of requirements,” she explained.  “There are three of us who work in this department.”

In her spare time, Carol is a volunteer at Lewis County Senior Center in bingo. She loves to read in her spare time and also spend time with her grandchildren.

“I want to say that Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital is an excellent place to work with great, great people,” she said. “Our community is blessed to have this great facility that saves us daily.”

Dr. Gus Penix, Director of the Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA) Retires

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) announced the retirement of Dr. Gus Penix, Director of the Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA).

Dr. Penix’s career spans over 43 years of service in the field of public education.

He has served in Kanawha, Nicholas and Preston counties.

During that time, he has held several titles such as teacher, school principal, county treasurer, county superintendent, director of a Regional Education Service Agency, and most recently, director of the OEPA.

The OEPA audits the performance of all schools and school systems in West Virginia.

Dr. Penix’s leadership as director of the OEPA has been instrumental in bringing about a new system of accrediting schools with focus on continuous improvement of student achievement and school performance.

Dr. Penix and his wife Carleen reside in Summersville, West Virginia. 

West Virginia Herb Association Celebrating 22nd Anniversary September 26-27, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia Herb Association is celebrating its 22nd Anniversary by having Mimi Hernandez, MS, RH, American Herbalist Guild Executive Director, as their keynote speaker.

Mimi Hernandez is a clinical herbalist and herbal educator whose courses balance traditional reverence with scientific understanding and intuitive awareness.

She has served as the Director of the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies at Frostburg State University in Maryland where she taught undergraduate Ethnobotany.

With roots in Asheville, NC, Mimi is a founder of the One World Healing Arts Institute and continues to mentor community herbalists through the One World Healing Community.

She holds a Master of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine and some of her favorite mentors have included James Duke,Simon Mills and Rocio Alarcon.

As an herbalist, Mimi draws upon her rich ethnic background and the Granny healers and Shamans in her life.  She believes that the handing down of plant wisdom is essential.

Mimi currently serves as the Executive Director of the American Herbalists Guild.  In her Appalachian region Mimi is probably best known for providing cultural heritage outreach to local mountain residents through the Maryland Mountain Herbalist Series and through the West Virginia Mountain Roots Series which put her in contact with thousands of landowners, herbalists, growers, and entrepreneurs in the area.

Mimi was also the coordinator of the Frostburg Grows project, an EPA funded local greenhouse complex serving to produce food for local use and nature trees for mine land restoration.  In her spare time, Mimi enjoys rapping for fun (as some of you may have heard), amateur astrology and nature time, especially around waterfalls, creeks and oceans.  Mimi’s a mom of two cool and unique kids, Anais and Evan.

The West Virginia Herb Association Fall Festival will be held at Jackson’s Mill, Lewis County, West Virginia on Friday September 26, 2014 and Saturday, September 27, 2014.

For Registration Find us On Facebook:  Friends and Members of WV Herb Association.  The schedule will be posted there.

Melissa Dennison, President of the WV Herb Association says, “I am excited and enthusiastic about having Mimi come to the WV Herb Association Fall Festival - it is a privilege and an honor to hear her.  I hope those who are interested and want to learn more about herbs and their uses come and join us.“

West Virginia Herb Association Celebrating 22nd Anniversary September 26-27, 2014

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia Herb Association is celebrating its 22nd Anniversary by having Mimi Hernandez, MS, RH, American Herbalist Guild Executive Director, as their keynote speaker.

Mimi Hernandez is a clinical herbalist and herbal educator whose courses balance traditional reverence with scientific understanding and intuitive awareness.

She has served as the Director of the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies at Frostburg State University in Maryland where she taught undergraduate Ethnobotany.

With roots in Asheville, NC, Mimi is a founder of the One World Healing Arts Institute and continues to mentor community herbalists through the One World Healing Community.

She holds a Master of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine and some of her favorite mentors have included James Duke,Simon Mills and Rocio Alarcon.

As an herbalist, Mimi draws upon her rich ethnic background and the Granny healers and Shamans in her life.  She believes that the handing down of plant wisdom is essential.

Mimi currently serves as the Executive Director of the American Herbalists Guild.  In her Appalachian region Mimi is probably best known for providing cultural heritage outreach to local mountain residents through the Maryland Mountain Herbalist Series and through the West Virginia Mountain Roots Series which put her in contact with thousands of landowners, herbalists, growers, and entrepreneurs in the area.

Mimi was also the coordinator of the Frostburg Grows project, an EPA funded local greenhouse complex serving to produce food for local use and nature trees for mine land restoration.  In her spare time, Mimi enjoys rapping for fun (as some of you may have heard), amateur astrology and nature time, especially around waterfalls, creeks and oceans.  Mimi’s a mom of two cool and unique kids, Anais and Evan.

The West Virginia Herb Association Fall Festival will be held at Jackson’s Mill, Lewis County, West Virginia on Friday September 26, 2014 and Saturday, September 27, 2014.

For Registration Find us On Facebook:  Friends and Members of WV Herb Association.  The schedule will be posted there.

Melissa Dennison, President of the WV Herb Association says, “I am excited and enthusiastic about having Mimi come to the WV Herb Association Fall Festival - it is a privilege and an honor to hear her.  I hope those who are interested and want to learn more about herbs and their uses come and join us.“

CELEBRATING 60 YEARS TOGETHER - 09.04.14

The Gilmer Free Press

John and Donzella Villers of Glenville, WV will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on September 04, 2014.

The couple were married in Weston, WV by Reverend Wilson in 1954. 

They have three children: Rebecca (Neal) Sprouse of Letter Gap, WV, Martha Clutter of Parkersburg, WV and Mark Villers of Cedarville, WV and five grandchildren: Mitchell and Molly Hicks, Billy and Brian (Kari) Sprouse of Glenville, WV and Betsy Villers of Sutton, WV. Sawyer Sprouse of Glenville is the couple’s great grandson.

Donzella is the daughter of the late Della Singleton Duckworth and Burke Duckworth.  She is retired from Hardman’s Home Center.

John is the son of the late Guy and Sadie Carroll Villers.  He is retired from the A&P Tea Co. and the Parkersburg News.

Friends and relatives are asked to join their children and grandchildren in celebrating this milestone by sending cards to the couple at 3896 U.S. Hwy 33 E, Glenville, WV 26351.

The Gilmer Free Press

CELEBRATING 60 YEARS TOGETHER - 09.04.14

The Gilmer Free Press

John and Donzella Villers of Glenville, WV will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on September 04, 2014.

The couple were married in Weston, WV by Reverend Wilson in 1954. 

They have three children: Rebecca (Neal) Sprouse of Letter Gap, WV, Martha Clutter of Parkersburg, WV and Mark Villers of Cedarville, WV and five grandchildren: Mitchell and Molly Hicks, Billy and Brian (Kari) Sprouse of Glenville, WV and Betsy Villers of Sutton, WV. Sawyer Sprouse of Glenville is the couple’s great grandson.

Donzella is the daughter of the late Della Singleton Duckworth and Burke Duckworth.  She is retired from Hardman’s Home Center.

John is the son of the late Guy and Sadie Carroll Villers.  He is retired from the A&P Tea Co. and the Parkersburg News.

Friends and relatives are asked to join their children and grandchildren in celebrating this milestone by sending cards to the couple at 3896 U.S. Hwy 33 E, Glenville, WV 26351.

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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