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Former governor among inductees into Harless HOF

Apr. 21, 2011 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The ninth annual June Harless Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21, in the Marshall University Foundation Hall, Home of the Erickson Alumni Center.

Among those being inducted into the Hall of Fame are former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, the Cabell County School system and Frontier Communications.

Stan Maynard, director of the June Harless Center, said Wise was all about education during his time as governor and has continued to fight for education since.

Wise, who pushed for and signed the legislation to fund West Virginia's PROMISE Scholarship, currently is the president of the Alliance for Excellent Education. He co-chairs the Digital Learning Council with Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida. Wise also chairs the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

"Their goal is to work with states to establish digital standards for education and learning," Maynard said. "What they are trying to do is what we're wanting to do is West Virginia."

Cabell County Schools is being inducted because of its Innovation Zones. With the recent additions of another elementary schools' consortium and a single elementary school plan, Cabell County leads the state with four Innovation Zones. When the new school year starts, nearly all the elementary schools and high schools will be part of an Innovation Zone.

"Because of that scope of restructuring, they can be really a model for a lot of counties in our state," Maynard said.

Superintendent William Smith will be accepting on behalf of the school system.

Frontier Communications, which is relatively new to the state, in February made a $200,000 contribution to the June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development to help advance a virtual S.T.E.M. Academy.

S.T.E.M., which stands for science, technology, engineering and math, is the main focus of the June Harless Center. Maynard said the money will help address key problems facing West Virginia in providing virtual learning communities to teachers and students and also emphasize S.T.E.M. fields from Pre-K through 12th grade.

Frontier Communications is being honored, Maynard said, for "their support in expanding bandwidth in our state so schools can upgrade and connect to virtual learning sources."

Dennis Bloss, the area general manager for Frontier, will be accepting on behalf of the company.

Heather Dawn Lockhart, a high school math teacher from McDowell County, also is being recognized with the Hallie Harless Distinguished Teacher Award.

"So many times we read some negative aspects in our state about education," Maynard said. "It kind of overshadows all the efforts that are taking place to change our standards and academic competitiveness. We try to recognize those who are attempting to provide access to the children and educators in the state of West Virginia."

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