The Thrasher Group

McKinley Architects & Engineers

Williamson Shriver Architects

September 21, 2012 - Volume 32 Issue 23



Controversy over Idaho's Students Come First laws, which curtail union collective bargaining, introduce merit pay measures, and call for greater investment in education technology, continues as the clock ticks down to Election Day. Opponents of the laws managed to put the choice to repeal all three on the statewide ballot, and the referendum could spell a repeal for the 2011 legislation. (, 09/11/12)


It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age. – Margaret Mead (1901 – 1978) was an American cultural anthropologist  who was frequently a featured writer and speaker in the mass media throughout the 1960s and 1970s.




“Your power comes in your group. Your power comes in your ability to work with a superintendent. But one of the biggest things you can do is look for data. Figure out what’s going on in your school system and try to understand that as best you possibly can.” – Turnaround expert Joe Frontiera on how school board members can make changes in their systems

“You can’t just talk about where you want to go. At a certain point, you have to start walking in that direction.” – Turnaround expert Dan Leidl

“We don’t have that dynamic in education, which means we should be able to sustain the gains that we make a lot longer.” – Monongalia County school board President Barbara Parsons, comparing school systems to the restaurant business

“It’s up to us to keep defining what success is, because it never stops.” – Dan Leidl

“We don’t have the workforce now. We’re busting our hump, and we have been for several years, in getting training programs in place, but it’s not keeping up with the activity. And it won’t keep up with the activity, without your-all’s assistance.” – Corky DeMarco of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association on the need to train more West Virginians to work in the drilling industry

“This is dangerous work that we do, and we’ve got to have clean people.” – Dave Drennon of the Independent Oil & Gas Association on the need for students to remain drug-free to get industry jobs

“They need to take rigorous math and science classes in high school, not just what it takes to get by and graduate.” – Sam Gray of First Energy on the type of students his company needs

“We are very anxious to partner with you, so we can provide whatever resources or supports are necessary to get these programs off the ground.” – Chris Hamilton of the West Virginia Coal Association on the industry’s willingness to work with schools on training programs

“They need to get out in the real world and realize there is a difference between a screwdriver and a hammer.” – Kanawha County school board member Bill Raglin on getting more education officials to help steer students toward jobs that don’t require college degrees

“We certainly take the audit very seriously. Even though the state board hasn’t issued a [response], we certainly have begun a lot of work around that report.” – Supt. Jorea Marple

“We have been very judicious, and over this past year, we actually have not filled over 20 positions. We’re looking at every single position, evaluating it and actually expanding people’s responsibilities and duties.” – Supt. Jorea Marple

“At a time that we have actually a 5 percent increase in poverty in one year in this state, it does make it more difficult to reach those outcomes that we want to reach with continued budget reduction, although we perfectly understand we have to balance the budget.” – Supt. Jorea Marple

“I know you can’t wave a magic wand and have enough funds for everything, but I do truly believe that everything is dependent on how effective the education system is.” – Supt. Jorea Marple

“You just can’t pay everybody the same amount either. No other profession does that.” – Sen. Erik Wells

“It’s not about adding more days of school; it’s about spreading those days out over the year. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a break where it’s most likely to have significant amount of cold weather and snow? We really could gather more time on task.” – Supt. Jorea Marple

“That low threshold allows the judicial and executive branches to intervene early and take action swiftly to correct challenges students have that prevent them from going to school.” – Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis, thanking the Legislature for reducing the number of unexcused absences students may have from 10 to five.

“It is such a huge issue with so many monstrous ramifications that unless we address it at the front end, we are going to continue to fight the battle at the back end.” – Judge Alan Moats on truancy

“Truancy is not a school problem, it is not a court problem, it is not a probation problem, it is not exclusively a parental problem or a [Department of Health and Human Resources] problem, but it’s a component. It is a problem that the entire system has to address successfully. That means the courts, the board of education, probation, DHHR – we all have to work together to address the issue of truancy.” – Mike Lacy, director of probation services for the Supreme Court

“In the life of a teenager, six weeks can very quickly turn from truancy to disaster, and we’ve acknowledged that. So we’ve tried to identify these at-risk students early on.” – Judge Eric O’Briant

“Until somebody cares whether they go to school or not, you got a hard job. It sometimes broke my heart about kids that were just cast off.” – Delegate Brady Paxton

“We’re behind the technology curve because of the process we have to go through.” – Sen. Greg Tucker on the requirement that school districts must go through Pomeroy, a Kentucky company, for technology purchases if state funds are used

“Poverty is not only a cause but as well is a consequence of early child-bearing. Having a baby during adolescence only makes matters worse.”  -- Cybele Boehm of the Office of Health Schools

“I don’t want any more teen pregnancies if we can prevent it. I don’t want children to drop out of school because they don’t feel they have a future because they got pregnant.” – Delegate Meshea Poore

“Please, please come to McDowell and do something. This is totally unacceptable, and I don’t know what to do… We don’t have anything of significance that is making an impact in McDowell.” – Delegate Cliff Moore on the teen pregnancy problem in McDowell County.

“Our whole goal here is to prevent dropouts, to help these kids graduate and to help them move on into the next phase of their lives. This is totally a voluntary program, and we encourage students to stay at their home schools, if that’s what they want to do.” – Brenda Isaac, head nurse in the Kanawha County schools on a program for pregnant students

“In a lot of cases, these girls have a lot of other issues going on in their lives. Their self-esteem is at a low point, and they see having a baby as having somebody to love, somebody that’ll love them, and they don’t really know a whole lot more.” – Brenda Isaac

“We’re talking about the health of kids. Above everything else, we should be able to look after the safety of kids.” – Sen. Bob Plymale on making sure health care providers are legally protected when volunteering their services at sporting events

“There’s like four times better chance of a girl having a concussion playing soccer as there is a football player. That’s why we want to emphasize this in every single sport.” – Ray Londeree of the WVSSAC on new steps to deal with concussions in school sports.





The Legislature is published by the West Virginia School Board Association. It provides county board of education members, state policymakers, school administrators and the education community information and opinions regarding West Virginia legislative issues. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect official opinion or policies of the WVSBA, unless specifically stated.

West Virginia School Board Association PO Box 1008 Charleston, WV 25324 Phone (304) 346-0571 • Fax (304) 346-0572 WVSBA.ORG

Jim J. Crawford Sr. (Kanawha).

Howard M. O’Cull, Ed. D., Executive Director, Editor Shirley M. Davidson, Administrative Assistant, Production and Circulation

Vincit omnia veritas “Truth conquers all”