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Cabell Board of Education candidate: Rhonda Smalley

Mar. 25, 2014 @ 10:53 AM

HOME CITY: Huntington.


E-MAIL ADDRESS: smalleybandlady@comcast.net

WEBSITE: www.facebook.com/rhondaforboe

PHONE NUMBER: 304-736-8496 (Home) 304-634-3317 (Cell)

PERSONAL STATEMENT: My life’s work has been serving the students of Cabell County. Through my 40-year teaching career involving over 4000 students, I gained insight, knowledge, and experience in all facets of public education. As a full-time board member, I would be an advocate for all children by regularly visiting every school to foster a climate of communication and cooperation. My goal is to provide all students, teachers, and support staff with the resources they need to prepare our children for success in the 21st Century. As an experienced educator and grandmother of a first-grader, I would appreciate voters’ support.


AGE: 64

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts in Music Education - Marshall University; Master of Arts in Music Education – Marshall University; Post Graduate Studies –supervision, curriculum, education, and leadership.

CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: 2011- 2014: Clinical Supervisor in College of Education at Marshall University working with student teachers.

OTHER WORK HISTORY: 1994-2011: Cabell Midland H.S. Band Director; 1993-1994: Barboursville H.S. Band Director; 1986-1993: Beverly Hills M.S. Band Director; 1971-1986: West Jr. H.S. Band Director.

CIVIC ORGANIZATIIONS: Huntington Area AARP, Cabell County Association of Retired School Employees, Democratic Women’s Club of Cabell County, WV Secondary School Activities Commission State Band Committee for 10 years, WV Bandmasters Executive Board for 10 years.

FAMILY: Husband, Coach Jerry Smalley; sons, Jason Smalley (RaShawna) of Huntington, Jerod Smalley of Columbus, Ohio; grandchildren, Brady and Tyler Smalley of Columbus, Chloe Smalley, 1st grader at Davis Creek Elementary.


1. Do you think expeditionary learning is a good idea? Explain.

Yes. This innovative design for learning will encourage students to discover their abilities, passions, values, and responsibilities. Students learn both individually and in small heterogeneous groups or “crews” to develop creative power, problem-solving ability, and respect for others. Teachers design learning situations, monitor progress, and act as advocates for each and every child.

2. What do you think needs to be done to the school calendar to ensure students meet the state’s 180-day requirement?

The calendar recently adopted by the school board is well-designed, meets state mandates, and can accommodate up to 17 emergency days. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring break days have been retained. By placing the OSE days near the end of the school year and adding 10 Extended School Days in June, the 2014-2015 calendar will ensure the completion of 180 days.

3. Should the number of Advanced Placement courses available to students be increased?

The decision to add AP courses is driven by student course requests during the scheduling process. If enough students request a course, it should be offered. AP classes are extremely important for college-bound students because they are engaged in high-level learning. The AP courses also enable students who score high enough on the national course exams to receive college credit.

4. How can schools be made safer?

Much has been done in recent years to make our schools a safe environment for all students. The installation of security cameras, securing all entrance doors, identifying and clearing all visitors, and the use of school resource officers have improved school safety. We must enforce anti-bullying and code of conduct policies to provide a safer, more positive learning climate.

5. Do you think enough is done for academically talented students?

It would be impossible to say that we have done enough for every group of learners within our schools. All students deserve our continued best efforts to provide a challenging curriculum based on their individual needs, special talents, and goals. Programs in the arts, career and technology education, and special education must be supported to provide opportunities for all students.

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