February 14, 2014 - Volume 34 Issue 11




The West Virginia School Board Association’s Winter Conference will be held February 21-22. Sessions will commence at 1:00 p.m. Friday, February 21. The meetings will conclude by noon, Saturday, February 22. All sessions will be held at the Town Center Marriott Hotel in Charleston.

The association’s FY15 Annual Business Meeting will be held at 8:00 a.m., Saturday, February 22. Association executive officers and co-regional directors will be elected at that meeting.

Legislative visitations will occur Friday, February 21, commencing at 8:30 a.m. County board members are responsible for making their own legislative visitation arrangements.

The conference program will be included in the February 19, 2014, issue of The Legislature.



The West Virginia School Board Association this month will consider a resolution adopted late last month by the board of directors of the National School Boards Association. That resolution commemorates the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education, which rejected racial segregation in schools.

As Thomas Gentzel, executive director of the NSBA, wrote in a message to state school board associations, “That ruling truly changed the landscape of public education in America and, as the resolution notes, this milestone year provides an opportunity to reflect on how schools today can best serve students from divergent backgrounds and with varied needs.”

The NSBA board has urged state associations and local school boards to take similar actions and to encourage “student activities that will help to heighten awareness by our youngest citizens of the importance of Brown in our daily lives,” he wrote.

The WVSBA will consider the resolution at its Annual Business Meeting on February 22 at the Charleston Town Center Marriott in conjunction with the WVSBA’s 2014 Winter Conference. Here is the resolution passed by the NSBA board:

A Resolution of the National School Boards Association Board of Directors Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Historic U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Brown v. the Board of Education

WHEREAS, Public education is essential to an informed citizenry, the foundation of our democratic society; and

WHEREAS, Access to a public education is the gateway to opportunity, our nation's promise to all; and

WHEREAS, A public education for every citizen regardless of race, religion, ethnic background, or economic circumstance is a fundamental civil right under our form of government; and

WHEREAS, On May 17, 1954, in a historic and unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education ruled that public education is subject to the equal protection provisions of the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS, The Court based its decision in major part on the premise that to separate children according to their race was unfair, diminishing their hopes and their future aspirations; and

WHEREAS, The Court's pronouncement in Brown v. Board of Education validated the struggle and remarkable actions of countless Americans who challenged the destructive effects of segregation in our society though peaceful, lawful means; and

WHEREAS, The Court’s decision has had a profound, significant, and beneficial impact on all aspects of life in the United States; and 

WHEREAS, Many areas of our nation are still struggling with how to remove the vestiges of segregation in education.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution is to further a nationwide appreciation for the advancement of democratic principles through our system of law and justice using the unanimous 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education as a touchstone; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED to inspire all of our nation’s children, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability or economic status, to appreciate the value of public education and public service as a means to further the objectives of democracy, justice and equality; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National School Boards Association encourages direct student participation through essays, creative arts, lectures, research and writing, community projects, and other activities to foster personal commitment to democracy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the contributions of civil rights leaders and volunteers, parents and students be recognized, for it is only through their courage, conviction and sacrifice that Brown v. Board of Education became a reality; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that on the date of May 17th our nation’s public schools are encouraged to mark the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education with an appropriate ceremony and remembrance.




The West Virginia School Board Association’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee and Executive Board will meet at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, February 20, for a strategic planning retreat, as announced by association President Gary M. Kable (Jefferson).

The retreat will be held at the Town Center Marriott Hotel in Charleston. Bowles Rice, LLP, Managing Partner Thomas A. Heywood will facilitate the meeting.

Chaired by WVSBA Past President Richard V. Snuffer (Raleigh), members of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee include the WVSBA Executive Board and five at-large members:

At-Large Members
Scotty Miley (Grant)
Carroll Staats (Jackson)
Jim Jorden (Ohio)
Hanna G. Sizemore (Pocahontas)
Suzanne M. Oxley, Esq. (Cabell)

According to Kable, the “meeting product” will be fashioned into a strategic plan that will “guide the association into the future.” He said results will be made known to the WVSBA membership in summer 2014 with implementation of some plans to occur after the September 2014 Delegate Assembly meeting.

WVSBA Executive Director Howard M. O’Cull, Ed.D., serves as an ex officio non-voting member of the Executive Board along with Barbara A. Parsons, Ed.D. (Monongalia), who serves as membership liaison.



The West Virginia School Board Association Executive Board will meet Thursday, February 20, in Charleston. The meeting will follow the association’s strategic planning session set for earlier in that afternoon.

According to Association President Gary Kable (Jefferson), the board will consider several matters, including WVSBA’s FY15 budget, association programming and planning for various FY14 meetings and training sessions.

Kable also said the board will review possible revisions to WVSBA’s Constitution and Bylaws. (Refer to the November 15, 2013, edition of The Legislature for more information.)

The meeting will be held at the Town Center Marriott Hotel, Charleston. For more information, please contact the WVSBA office at 304-346-0571.



By Bill Rosenberger

Six students in Tolsia High School’s carpentry program, along with instructor Hugh Roberts, gave a presentation to the members of the West Virginia Board of Education Wednesday.

The topic was the Simulated Workplace project that several career-technical education (CTE) programs throughout the state are piloting. Simulated Workplace is a project in which CTE programs are operated as businesses to better prepare students for business and industry environments.

Instruction doesn’t change; it’s simply a new way of documenting student knowledge and skill sets within an authentic work setting, while also replicating proper business and industry processes and procedures. It also adds a new layer of accountability and allows for the development of more purposeful relationships with local and regional businesses.

Simulated Workplace programs, like the one at Tolsia High School called Rebel Construction Company, includes a time clock for students to clock in. (Tolsia has a biometric fingerprint clock.)

It also means being entered into a random drug-testing pool, which emulates what is done in a true workforce setting. At least 40 percent of students will be randomly tested.

Students also must go through an application and interview process when enrolling in the CTE program. A student cannot be denied admittance, except under extreme circumstances, but it adds to the workplace experience.

Students work with instruction to develop a company name and procedures, and all must receive quality safety training. The students and instructor also must submit quarterly and annual reports and establish work teams and an organizational system. According to the presentation, Rebel Construction Company realized a 22 percent profit last quarter.

Tolsia’s results were one of the reasons the school was asked to present to the state board, Kathy D’Antoni, the associate state superintendent for technical and adult education, said.

“The initiative is only six months old, but [we saw] from the students the phenomenal results,” D’Antoni said. “It’s turning the education process over to the students.”

Students are working on several projects, including picnic tables for Genoa Elementary and a Fraternal Order of Police in Kanawha County. They also will be building a chicken coop for Prichard Elementary.

One of the keys to the program’s success is participating in annual site visits by business professionals. Programs will be evaluated by outside business and industry inspectors and rated similar to a health department rating. Students also must use an online portfolio system to document learning, credentials earned and projects completed.

At least three additional Wayne County Schools CTE programs will make transitions to Simulated Workplace project next school year. D’Antoni said the vision is that, within five years, every CTE program at every school in the state will operate as a corporation.

The Tolsia students who participated were James Collie, Nicholas Caudill, Blake Roberts, Reece Messer, Alex Wellman and Adriana Halcomb.

Bill Rosenberger is the communications coordinator for the Wayne County schools.



The “2013-2014 Deadlines & Important Dates for West Virginia County Boards of Education” can be accessed by visiting the West Virginia School Board Association’s website, The direct link to the document, which is included in PDF format, is here. The document, published by WVSBA annually, is prepared by Bowles Rice LLP. Bowles Rice LLP’s Rick Boothby was instrumental in preparing this year’s document.