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Gilmer County Board of Education Special Meeting Minutes

The Free Press WV
MINUTES
SPECIAL MEETING
The Board of Education of the County of Gilmer
Monday, September 25, 2017 – 4:30 PM
Central Office

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. by Vice President, Norma Hurley.


ROLL CALL

Members present: Norma Hurley, Dave Ramezan, Mike Triplett, Carl Armour and Patricia Lowther, Secretary. R.W. Minigh, absent. Others present: Nasia Butcher and Becky Minigh.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Becky Minigh led the Pledge of Allegiance.


EXCESS LEVY

Mrs. Hurley informed the board that she had a request to run the Excess Levy election in November 2017. She distributed a draft Class II publication, as required by law, to board members along with the Election Calendar and other information pertaining to the excess levy election. After much discussion, the Board decided to gather additional information and further discuss the topic at the October 09, 2017 regular board meeting.


ADJOURN

Mike Triplett moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:05 p.m. Carl Armour seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.


APPROVED: October 09, 2017

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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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Just saw this. Am so sorry.

By Betty Woofter on 09.06.2018

From the entry: 'Shirley F. Wilmoth'.

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Well, this is nice.

However, there have been promises and attempts more than I care to remember.

Canaan Valley, GSC deal.  Broadband to every holler.  Near twenty years ago.

Ole Joe spent money made promises. 
Little Missy Moore got on that wagon too.

Seems so much of this money chatter comes just before election time?
We be waitin’ though, but won’t hold our breath.

By Thanks EDA for trying. on 09.04.2018

From the entry: 'G-CommunityImprovement™: Gilmer County EDA Receives Community Block Grant'.

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The expectation is that the new board will provide a “tell it as it is”  status report on current student achievement with a comprehensive plan for improvements.

The plan should include a firm commitment for accurate progress reports at scheduled intervals.

If nothing is done by the board that would be a way to skirt accountability for the County’s school system.

By Need Measurable Results on 09.04.2018

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

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If the board wanted you to have the info—you would get it.

Otherwise you are likely wasting time thinking about it?

Remember how loud actions speak?

By no info flow on 09.02.2018

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

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Could the Board get Mrs. Mason’s report summarized and put on the GFP? This should be some of the most important information in years all citizens have a right to know.

By Gilmer County School Watch on 08.29.2018

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

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Appears the Governor will appoint 5 Supremes?

That means the 5 Supreme Court Judges will be beholding to the Governor?

Will the Governor ‘own’ the Supreme Court?

The Judge’s actions will answer that question.

By Hanshap on 08.28.2018

From the entry: 'Justice Appoints Jenkins and Armstead to West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals'.

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Something is wrong with the way storm water all of a sudden rushes down hill from GSC’s parking lot located at the front of the administration building.

Down hill from the south corner of the lot runoff is so bad during storms to make rocks wash out to litter the unnamed steep street up hill from property formerly owned by the Barker’s.

Rocks and other debris are beginning to deposit over a drain at the entry of the steep hill to cause more water problems.

GSC please fix the problem.

By Property Owners on 08.28.2018

From the entry: 'GSC Students Travel to Berlin'.

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Another dark day in WV history.

By Ronzel on 08.26.2018

From the entry: 'Justice Appoints Jenkins and Armstead to West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals'.

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We know that there were problems with accurate tracking of BOE finances, but nothing has been heard about what was found, who was responsible, and corrective measures to be taken. Board is requested to get a report out to the public. Nothing unreasonable about this good government request.

By Gilmer BOE Finances on 08.25.2018

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

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Accountability, you say?

When is the last time your heard that word used with any GC elected?

By accountability? on 08.25.2018

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

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It was apparent to citizens that under intervention the State practiced Machiavellian divide and conquer with the previous board and it never recovered from that type of treatment.

With a new board the county has a fresh start. Let us hope that it will function in a highly effective manner to include openness to keep the public fully informed.

By New Start on 08.22.2018

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

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The “Opportunity” comment should be addressed by Mr. Cottrill. He is the new board president and it is his responsibility to set an example of effective leadership.

By Mr. Cottrill Asked to Lead on 08.21.2018

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

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Why doesn’t Gilmer County do the same? Dr. Manchin has a long standing reputation for working closely with his boards and they function together as effective teams.

In Harrison County the public is kept fully informed of the goals and progress in attaining them.

When school systems lack well defined goals that eliminates objectiveness for evaluating performances of superintendents and boards too. The result is the elimination of accountability.

A major negative result of a lack of fully disclosed goals is lost opportunities for citizens, including business leaders, teachers, and parents, to do their maximum to contribute to improved schools.

By Opportunity For Gilmer's School System on 08.21.2018

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

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Noticed today that merchandise on sale at Foodland is shown on the GFP. Makes it easier to shop to get genuinely good deals. Thank you Morris family and the GFP.

By Grateful Consumer on 08.18.2018

From the entry: 'WV Impeachment Enters a More Partisan Stage'.

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The past couple months—-the first in likely 10 years, we have been filling a grocery cart at Foodland.
Usually shopping meant a trip to Weston or Gassaway, once in a while Clarksburg.
We certainly enjoy shopping and visiting right in Glenville.
Especially with the many visible improvements.
Why now, there is even and electric ‘buggy’ for those who need it.
The entire community and surrounding areas are enjoying Mr. Morris newest good deed!

By Yes---MANY happy Gilmer shoppers! on 08.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Impeachment Enters a More Partisan Stage'.

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In a couple years we will be right back where we are today.
Here come the payback and favorites appointments.
Several are all ready lining up for a gig even be it a short one.
Nothing changes in West Virginia.

As far as the ones run off.  They will get a bonus, maybe even a cush job, as well as sweet
retirement deal.
Its the West Virginia way.

By Bill.H. on 08.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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This supreme court debacle exposes where a LOT of West Virginia’s problems come.

Nepotism and cronyism.  Plain and simple.
I would vote for almost anyone who does not have tie to our state.

Never thought I’d ever say that.
We need the BEST elected for our offices.

Its clear that isn’t the case.  For a long time.
Flip-floppin-party-jumpers need to stay home.
We don’t want your ilk.  Big Jim included.

By Kanawha on 08.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Impeachment Enters a More Partisan Stage'.

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While GSC struggles to survive why not apply a college version of the Foodland model?

Offer academic programs in high demand, affordable to students, and second to none in quality in WV or better yet not available anywhere else in the State.

It does not require having an MBA degree to figure that out as a recipe for success. Works in business all the time for talented entrepreneurs.

By GSC's Opportunity on 08.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Impeachment Enters a More Partisan Stage'.

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If misconduct being reported about WV Supreme Court justices is truthful there could not be better way to cast suspicion on top-to-bottom corruption within WV’s legal system including what the State Bar is supposed to do to protect the public from unethical lawyers.

The justices should receive the highest punishment allowable. What a black mark on WV. Couldn’t make it up.

By Smelly Legal System on 08.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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To say that the Foodland Store is a major improvement is an understatement. It is kept well stocked with no empty shelves as a result of vastly improved inventory, reordering, and shelf stocking approaches, exceptionally clean store with excellent lighting, there is a price range to choose from for many items, milk does not spoil within 3 days after you get home, prices are fair to make it obvious that price gouging does not exist, and the staff is always friendly and noticeably committed to assist customers. Even the sharp dress code and personal conduct of employees demonstrates that teamwork and pride exist for being on a winning team. No more having to drive to Flatwoods or Weston to shop on a routine basis. Thank you I. L. Morris family.

By Appreciative Gilmer Shoppers on 08.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Impeachment Enters a More Partisan Stage'.

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One bad apple spoils the barrel.
Looks like that old ‘saw’ is proven
right again!  M-T the barrel!

By one bad apple? on 08.13.2018

From the entry: 'WV Impeachment Enters a More Partisan Stage'.

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Yeah, Manchin and former democratic governor Wise pretended to be deer hunters. They both know to be otherwise is political poison in WV. Mr. Morrisey being a republican will work hard for our 2nd amendment rights, whether he is a hunter or not, he does not have to pretend.

By Trespasser Will on 08.13.2018

From the entry: 'WV Impeachment Enters a More Partisan Stage'.

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Look at the bus run times.

Several over an hour.

And you know that’s not safe or reasonable for stop/go/loaded bus.

Someone has cooked the books to meet state regulations?

GC board of Ed? 
Is that the case?
What say you?

By parent on 08.11.2018

From the entry: 'GILMER COUNTY SCHOOLS BUS SCHEDULES 2018-2019'.

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Give the man the credit due him.

AG Morrisey has done a lot of work in support of 2nd amendment rights for West Virginia.

Reciprocal carry with many states as well as support of WV conceal carry.

Senate candidate Manchin worked former NYC Mayor Bloomberg (yes, that gun grabber) to raise money
to limit gun rights.

Who you going to vote for?

By who you going to vote for? on 08.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Impeachment Enters a More Partisan Stage'.

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Yep, ole Menace Catch-em…got caught and retired. Just a move to try to save his guilty butt?  lol

The so called “supreme gang” rolled the dice and played their game.  They knew.

Caught now, bringing shame to the good people of West Virginia.

Stirring up memories of A.J.Manchin and his ‘departure’.

Even brings up the memories of Governor getting his ‘due’ and being sent off to prison for a few years.

Pretty obvious, neither party is “quality” minded when they give us their candidates?

Or maybe its the “best” they have to offer??

By Harold on 08.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Impeachment Enters a More Partisan Stage'.

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The democrats whine about partisanship but they go against the will of the people. I choose to not carry on most occasions, but remember it was a Republican led legislature who voted to allow us to carry if we feel the need.

By The Silent Majority on 08.10.2018

From the entry: 'WV Impeachment Enters a More Partisan Stage'.

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There was a comment about need to be on a school board for 1-2 years before learning how to be an effective member.

Having been on a board for 22 years and observing how newly elected members respond I agree with the statement.

After getting elected it is normal for new members to feel overwhelmed with all the rules, regulations, and procedures in effect to address proper functions of school boards.

A new board member has two options. One is to simply show up at meeting as a seat warmer to get a pay check for doing nothing.

The second choice is to accept that being on a board is a serious responsibility with children’s futures at stake and it takes hard work and dedication to learn roles and responsibilities to carry out.

Consider personnel actions as one example. To attempt to protect as much independence as possible it is common for some superintendents to be parsimonious with material shared with boards.

To overcome this constraint new board members should demand written documentation on personnel information they are entitled to review before voting on a superintendent’s personnel recommendations.

What if there is not official documentation in your county defining a board’s entitled access to personnel information?

Instead of wasting money on lawyers to provide guidance get your board to submit a formal request to your superintendent to provide WV’s rules for boards applicable in all of the State’s 55 school systems.

The information exists and it is unnecessary to reinvent the wheel to waste time and money.

By Welcome New Board Members on 08.10.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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The new school board is commended for deciding to assign Mr. David Ramezan to serve on the audit committee and to be the rep to the Career Center.

There are expectations for the new board to produce and the decisions demonstrate openness to assigning the best people to serve in special capacities. 

We expect Gilmer County to be a WV front runner in educating our kids and that includes using finances optimally to get the most for education dollars and to provide superior career training for students electing to go that route.

By Audit and Career Center Assignments on 08.08.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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New board members know from initial training that an individual member has no more authority than a dog on a tight leash.

This means that individual members are not authorized to give orders to any employee in a school system, all directives must be through a majority board member vote directly to a superintendent reporting to a board, and that individual is held accountable for carrying out directives.

The message is that boards govern and superintendents administer.

If there is failure for a superintendent to perform as a board directs that can result in an unsatisfactory performance evaluation and in some cases be grounds for insubordination with penalties.

Two major problems with boards are failures to give a superintendents timely and clearly defined objectives for administration of a school system and failures to document substandard superintendent performances when annual reviews occur.

The clear separation of authority of boards versus superintendents mentioned above is designed to prevent tendencies by some board members to attempt to engage in personal micromanagement in school systems.

Imposition of the necessity of a majority board vote for what a superintendent is supposed to do functions to promote thoughtful input from all elected members to contribute to wiser school system decisions to lessen internal conflicts.

By Kanawha County Observer on 08.07.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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Thank you for your update Mr. Boggs.
Couple things I’m wondering about.

First—the ‘roller coaster’.  That’s the first mile from Burnsville I-79 proceeding West on Route 5.

Almost immediately exiting the Interstate everyone is greeted with the rough, bumpy train tracks.  Been like that for years as we all know.  Then comes the dips and dives of the concrete road.  This has progressively worsened over the past 20 years.  Why is nothing done with it?

Next.  How about an accounting, a list of accomplishments if any, by the Little Kanawha Parkway Authority/Commission.

It is funded by the WV Legislature.  Has been for many years.  Manchin struck it from his first budget saying it wasn’t needed.  Couple months later it was funded again with the money doubled.

A list of income and expenditures would be nice to see, without having to file a FOIA for it.  It does appear at first glance, this Parkway deal only benefits one attorney and few elected officials.  Sort of closed club where the taxpayer picks up the travel expense and meals just for a day out?

A good explanation would build confidence and eliminate negative discussions?  Thank you.

By Orlando on 08.07.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is commonly heard that when the State was in control sensitive records in the school board office were shredded, hard drives were removed and replaced with clean ones, and selected telephone records were eliminated.

Mr. Cottrill a request is made to you and Ms. Lowther to get straight answers to the community.

Involving unbiased and competent investigators should occur. Board office employees who were there when the State was in control know one way or another what happened, but they may be reluctant to provide information out of fear.

If community perceptions turn out to based on facts what are the legal implications, exactly what records were destroyed, and why did the destruction occur?

This concern is too important for the category of “forget the past and move on”.

The “forget and move on” attitude seems to be code for cover up because it is repeated too often in Gilmer County.

By Provide The True Facts on 08.07.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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Gilmer.  Do not expect much from your new board of ed.  Think you have 3 new members?  It will take them a year at least before they get the idea of what they can and cannot do.

I believe some of your new board is connected to previous members who are likely owned by some faction with questionable intentions.  Left overs from your days of intervention I’d guess.

Good luck!  Gilmer BOE.  You will need it.

Citizens and school staff.  Hold your board members feet to the fire and do the job right.

That’s what it will take you.

By Lewis County on 08.06.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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Saw that a Mr. Paine was suggested for the assistant GCHS principal. If hired it would be helpful for the County to see printed background coverage for the person to get to know about him. The information would introduce him to those of us who do not know the gentleman.

By GCHS Needs Improved on 08.06.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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There is more scandal in the GCBOE and WVDE than people realize.

The entire local BOE that worked under Blankenship know just how many files and documents the had to run through the paper shredder..

Most likely Manchin’s cousin, state appointed superintendent, Devano did the same thing?  How about it, GCBOE employees?  You know.

The West Virginia Department of Education gave Gilmer the biggest scandal, the biggest black eye, of the past 100 years.

Now, when will your flood zone built school flood, Gilmer County?  Everyone knows it not ‘if’ but ‘when’?

THERE WAS *NO* ACCOUNTABILITY AND *NO* OVERSIGHT BY THE WEST VIRGINIA BOARD OF EDUCATION. 

If they claim there was, then the only other possible reason for the multiple failures, can be nothing other than complete incompetence?  Thank you WVDE.

By Kanawha on 08.06.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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Solid reporting about the BOE in the Democrat related to the no-excuse budget tracking scandal verifies that criticality important information was kept from the previous school board and the public.

GFP readers were warned for years that withholding of key information was occurring. Those who attempt to keep up on BOE business have a legitimate reason to question how much other information was kept secret during intervention.

Student achievement, personnel actions including involvement of nepotism and favoritism, and administrate decisions associated with consolidating schools are among subjects being questioned.

There was an underground effort in the County to discredit those in the past who questioned irregular activities under intervention. They were attacked by calling them busy bodies.

The excess levy was passed because we wanted to help children. With the recent budget scandal we question if that money was spent on its intended purpose in the past.

Henceforth we want every excess levy penny to be accounted for. If the money was misspent in the past we want that exposed.

We are counting on Mrs. Lowther and the new BOE to end secrecy. That expectation is reasonable for the benefit of the County’s children and taxpayers.

By BOE School Finances Scandal on 08.06.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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Far, far worse with contractor work at the new grade school. We learned early not to rock the boat when we noticed problems with contractors. Should be a record if paper work and hard drives are still available.

How about checking on this on Mr. Cottril?

We were warned not to say anything to anyone about the new school being too small while knowing that Leading Creek was built too large and it still has vacant rooms.

The State was in total control from start to finish with everything and local involvement was forbidden. You see what that got us, and we will be paying the price for years to come.

By Classified Staff on 08.03.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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Reference in the Democrat to the County’s mess about the school budget because of improper record keeping is a red alarm.

It is evident what the previous school board was faced with during intervention with the State keeping sensitive information secret. What else will emerge from the wood work?

Who are the candidates and their special qualifications for the assistant principal job at the GCHS? The selection will be one of the most important ones in the near future to help get the school back on track with a winning administrative team.

Will politics and taking care of special families be put aside on this one or will we have business as usual?

By BOE Tracker on 08.03.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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Yes, “The State Was Fully Responsible” for the immense waste of tax dollars in both Lewis and Gilmer counties.

There are a few who know well the story.  None with backbone to tell it.

No investigative news source to dig the truth for public information.

Millions of dollars lost.  The trail leads straight to the West Virginia Board of Education.  With willing underlings to help every step of the way.

By Kanawha on 08.03.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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Service personnel spoke out clearly and often about shoddy work at the GCHS. They were not listened to and worse yet they were told to keep quiet. There should be a detailed accounting of where all the County’s facilities money went after intervention, who was involved with project oversight, who got money, and what went undone and botched. Take the issue to Governor Justice. He would get involved as he battles corruption, waste, and mismanagement. Start with Leading Creek, go on to the Arbuckle site, on to Cedar Creek, and finally to Hays City. The horrible story is there and it must be exposed.

By The State Was Fully Responsible on 08.02.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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If board members are only permitted to see names for personnel being recommended by the superintendent without reviewing all applications themselves how do they know before voting that the best applicants are recommended by the superintendent?

Sounds like personnel decisions are really a token procedural formality made to look like an objective way of doing business with full involvement of the board.

By Doesn't Make Sense on 08.01.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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There have been reoccurring concerns expressed about GC school board members not being allowed to review credentials of individuals selected for new positions.

End it by getting clarification from the Board’s lawyer pertaining to personnel information a board is entitled to review opposed to what has to be kept confidential from it.

The same WV laws for personnel information apply to all 55 counties.

By Remove Doubt About BOE Access To Information on 07.31.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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When Gilmer’s superintendent recommends personnel actions how is it done? Does she provide back-up information for board members to review before voting or are just names provided? Where do checks and balances apply as they should to ensure that the best qualified are always selected?

By Question to D. Cottril BOE Pres. on 07.31.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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Mr. Boggs. Could you give us an update as to what is happening, action, meeting discussions, etc. with the Little Kanawha Parkway?

We know the Legislature sets aside a goodly amount of money every year, and has for years, but never see any mention in the news of any progress.

Thank you.

By Orlando on 07.31.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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One of the biggest reasons for failure in WV education is the generations of Preferential Treatment.  Few will admit.  Fewer see it. A diagram would look more complicated than a spider web.

By Kanawha on 07.31.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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to/WVDE insider.  ‘do we know how its done in Gilmer’....Ya’ boy do we!

We know the WVDE has messed up our school system, schools, administration, test scores….to the point it will take a generation or more to straight out.

Administration is leveling blame at service personnel for the shoddy design and substandard build issues.

Gilmer’s issues would make 2 week PBS mini-series.

Observant individuals understand well the 2 former state appointed superintendents and the ‘retired’ former college prez were the ‘call’ boys.  The ‘call boys’ who were way in over their heads with site selection, construction, design, etc.

The money squandered, has been estimated to be well over a million dollars. The question of flooding with the new elementary school is not “if” it will flood, but rather “when”.

Administrative incompetence will almost always try to blame their own failures on others.  Who are usually in a defenseless position.

By watcher on 07.30.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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It is factual that in school systems where openness prevails there is less suspicion, more trust, and citizens at all levels unite to contribute to having outstanding schools.

In closed systems with strict censoring there is constant strife detracting from having united fronts to help improve schools.

A symptom of closed systems is that word is always sent from administrators that everything in fine,  but when achievement test scores come in students fall short. Then, the cry from those in control is that the assessment tests were wrong!

By Retired Gilmer Teacher on 07.30.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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In high performance counties superintendents review applications to boards when jobs open and when a matrix is used they see that information too.

When only a matrix is disclosed that can be too subjective because of the way entries are made by evaluators. Biased individuals inflate scores to show favoritism. 

It is known that in several counties most information about applicants is kept secret from boards and superintendents recommend individuals they want with expectations for rubber stamping.

Does anyone know how it is done in Gilmer County?

By WVDE Insider on 07.30.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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If you want to do something interesting diagram how certain individuals in Gilmer’s school system connect to one another through cronyism, nepotism, and other special relationships. That is what happens when organizations are ingrown and the best qualified “outsiders” are locked out when job openings occur.

By Preferential Treatment Thrives on 07.28.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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Governor Justice preempted the Blue Ribbon Commission by opposing the consolidation of governing boards for selected small institutions of higher learning including GSC.

That is the way business is done in WV. Money is paid for competent and unbiased professionals to recommend better ways of doing business. If recommendations do not mesh with preconceived ideas entrenched bureaucrats attack the messengers.

The problem with individual Boards of Governors is several fold. Appointees on boards are usually chosen through local politics and it is rare for most of these individuals to have note worthy credentials for governing.

Another problem is that over time a select group of families and their close associated become in control of all aspects of an institution..

The result is that institutions can take on personalities of a small circle of individuals and innovative ideas from persons outside the power circle are unwelcome.

If a centralized governing board is rejected for some of the small institutions including GSC and it is decided that local boards know what is best for them, full funding State money should be withheld to require shortfalls to be made up through enrollment increases.

The way it is now there are no penalties for failures.

By SAVE GSC ALUM on 07.28.2018

From the entry: 'University President Calls Proposed Funding Model 'Flawed''.

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Its more than likely this school board will fall(jump most probably) into the trap of crony hires.

Give friend, family, or someone a ‘payback’ job.

Probably we will wind up with a family connected name calling the shots.
Why do you think we so often come up short on scores?

Nepotism favored job hires, rarely if ever, gives you the BEST person for a job.  To get the best you need to advertise outside the ‘circle’.

By parent 3 on 07.28.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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The research findings are evidence that leadership over principals sets the stage for success or failure of schools. This means that the weakest link to contribute to failures can be superintendents who lack experiences and skills to be outstanding administrators.

In WV too often superintendents are chosen for the wrong reasons and that is why our education system lags behind other states. It is about corrupt power plays instead of doing what is right for kids.

One clue to not hiring the highest quality superintendent is if the individual would not be competitive for the position in a high performance WV school system.

By DOE Education Researcher on 07.27.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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An appropriate achievement would be for Mr. Cottril and Mr. Shackelford to get personally involved to help produce a comprehensive plan for positive changes in the County’s school system.

There are serious deficiencies with student achievement and nothing will improve unless there is an official and outstanding program in place to make needed changes.

We eagerly await hearing from the two new new board officers to learn their plans. Campaign promises were made for changes to make and we will learn if they will be carried out.

By Tell Us BOE Master Plan on 07.27.2018

From the entry: '5 ways to truly help principals succeed'.

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The state of education here will be affected by the quality of the deputy principal for the GCHS. We want an outstanding individual with a background in high school teaching who understands curriculum and how to use it to goose English, reading, and math. We do not want a retread or someone who must learn on the job at our expense.

We request the superintendent to post resumes of applicants for the job so we will know that the best person was selected for the vacancy.

We do not want friends of friends, relatives, or any other irrelevant criterion to be used to simply provide someone employment at the expense of children. We have had enough of that and test scores show it.

By Select Best Assistant At GCHS! on 07.26.2018

From the entry: 'State Superintendent of Schools Delivers the State of Education'.

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What kind of convincing case could be made that corruption associated with building the new GCES has not occurred too?

It is believed that there were short cuts, sweet heart deals with contractors, failures to hold contractors accountable, and failures in the board office to monitor contract work effectively.

Why not ask proper authorities to investigate the history of the way business was done for the new consolidated school starting with Linn, the auction barn site, Cedar Creek, and the Hays City site?

Everyone in the County knows that construction and site problems still exist at the GCES. Teachers and staff are afraid to speak out and we hear that scape goating toward the County’s maintenance workers is beginning from the Central Office.

Those workers were shut out of the construction process and their warnings of problems fell on deaf ears. With revamping of the WV School Building Authority and emphasis on accountability why not bring those officials in to investigate?

By GC SCHOOL EMPLOYEES on 07.26.2018

From the entry: 'WV Judges Remove Richwood Mayor From Office'.

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Gilmer County has a crisis on its hands with what is going on at the GCHS. It is no secret that student proficiency with math, science, and ELA must be upgraded to enable our graduates to be college and career ready.

When the public learns results of the State’s new SAT scores being kept secret it will become increasingly evident that positive changes for academic improvements must be made.

The most important change now must be to select the best qualified person to serve as the vice principal at the HS.

The person must have the best qualifications we can get to do the job. Instead of that happening it is feared that the hiring decision will be driven by pure politics and business as usual.

For too long decisions have been made in Gilmer County on the basis of who you know, how much money you have, which family you are from, and how much support there is from elitists expecting favors in return to always keep them in firm control.

Our children are suffering. Let us hope that Mrs. Lowther, the new superintendent, will help ensure that the best qualified candidate with a proven track record for improving academics will be chosen for the VP position.

By Watchful Voters on 07.26.2018

From the entry: 'State Superintendent of Schools Delivers the State of Education'.

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Reading the local newspaper would lead one to believe we have a non-functioning county prosecutors office?

The county commission has gutted the workforce at the court house seemingly as well?

Not even a janitor now?

Are we going to see Chapman, Kennedy, and Bennett with brooms, mops, and lawnmowers now?

Where did all that money go from the rainy day fund?  Back when Ramsey and Kennedy were running the county, there was over a million dollars in the fund?

Who is driving new cars and trucks?

By Prosecuting attorney office closed? on 07.25.2018

From the entry: 'WV Judges Remove Richwood Mayor From Office'.

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Why hasn’t Gilmer come up with a similar approach to improve STEM and English language arts proficiencies?

Mr. Cottril, You are the newly elected board president and you campaigned on change.

How about keeping your campaign promise by developing a clearly defined plan with specifics for STEM and ELA achievements?

If Doddridge can do it why not Gilmer? Having an easily understood plan without all the education jargon would get the entire County supporting it.

Besides, there would be an objective basic for establishing accountability for the Board and the superintendent.

By Gilmer Can Be A Winner Too on 07.25.2018

From the entry: 'Doddridge County Schools'.

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OK.  One WV state supreme court judge resigns.
Next, the second is under indictment?  Well publicized his crimes.

That’s 40% of the WV state supreme judges.

The other three were almost certainly aware of what their buddies had been doing?
Did they blow the whistle on them?

Are they guilty by association and doing nothing?
Forty per cent of the apples in the barrel are bad?

Very good chance the other 60% are no better?  Just been covered up to this point?

Here is one voter that has zero trust or confidence in the WV State Supreme Court.
Can you?

By Job Johnny on 07.24.2018

From the entry: 'WV Judges Remove Richwood Mayor From Office'.

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So the WV state supreme court judges are going to take out a mayor?

While the legislature is taking out the state supreme court judges….as some resign.

SNL material this is!!??

By laughable judges? on 07.23.2018

From the entry: 'WV Judges Remove Richwood Mayor From Office'.

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Good job keeping vehicle operators safe on the road.

By Aaron Smith on 07.23.2018

From the entry: 'Public Service Commission Officers on the Road for Operation Safe Driver Week'.

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