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Cabell Board of Education candidate: Mary Neely

Mar. 17, 2014 @ 10:41 AM

HOME CITY: Huntington


E-MAIL ADDRESS:  MaryNeely@Comcast.net

PERSONAL STATEMENT (100 WORDS OR LESS): I am a life-long resident of Huntington. I have a deep commitment and dedication towards the performance of public service. I strongly feel that there can be no greater reward than that of ensuring that each child has the opportunity for a rewarding education.


AGE: 73

EDUCATION: St. Joseph High School and Marshall University.

CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION (INCLUDE SPECIFIC YEARS SERVED): Member, Cabell County Board of Education, 5 years.

OTHER WORK HISTORY: City Clerk, City of Huntington, 22 years; member, Huntington City Council, 12 years.

CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Cabell County Planning Commission, 2 years; Tri-State Transit Authority, 10 years to present; KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission, 10 years; West Virginia State Ethics Commission, 9 years; City of Huntington Foundation, 2 years.

FAMILY: Married with two adult children.


1. 60 WORDS OR LESS: Do you think expeditionary learning is a good idea? Explain.

Expeditionary  learning (EL) is a specific, proven approach to student learning using the best practices known in education. EL schools across the country continue to prove the value of this approach through their student’s expeditions and projects, graduation rates, and assessment scores. I am pleased that Cabell County, partnering with the Harless Center and Marshall University, are pursuing Expeditionary Learning.

2. 60 WORDS OR LESS: What do you think needs to be done to the school calendar to ensure students meet the state’s 180-day requirement?

I believe that the calendar committee, led by Lenora Richardson, has already ensured that our students will meet the state’s 180 day requirement. They followed the guidelines mandated by the state code. They also added ten(10) additional days, after the final instructional day, that can be used if students miss more than seven days due to inclement weather.

3. 60 WORDS OR LESS: Should the number of Advanced Placement courses available to students be increased ?

Our high schools offer over fifteen Advanced Placement courses, a significant increase from nine years ago. While we should always entertain the inclusion of additional AP courses, we also need to be certain that all students , particularly our most under-represented ones, have access and support to pursue such courses if they have the desire and initiative to enroll in them.

4. 60 WORDS OR LESS: How can schools be made safer? 

Efforts are under way to secure additional funding to allow us to install Manlock systems for every school. Additional initiatives are also needed to allow us to fund the updating of school camera systems, shatter proofing of glass windows, hiring additional Security Resource Officers, as well as, the installation of new fencing and concrete barriers (Ballards) for every school.               

5. 60 WORDS OR LESS: Do you think enough is done for academically talented students?

I would hesitate to say that we do enough for any of our students. While I am confident that our teachers are continually pursuing ways to challenge all students, we should likewise be supporting the exploration of any and all new instructional strategies and learning experiences that challenge students at every level, including those who are more advanced academically.


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