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3 inducted into Harless hall of fame

Apr. 15, 2010 @ 11:13 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Three people who have made significant impact on the education system in West Virginia were honored for their efforts during the 8th annual induction ceremony into the June Harless Hall of Fame at Marshall University on Thursday.

Dr. Lowell E. Johnson of the West Virginia Board of Education, West Virginia State Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin and Ralph Baxter, CEO of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, were inducted into the Hall of Fame during a dinner and ceremony at the Marshall University Foundation Hall. Dr. Stan Maynard, director of the June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development, said the three men have each made a tremendous impact on education in West Virginia.

"This is a time to celebrate the inductees and also reflect on what we've accomplished in the past year and talk about where we hope to be this time next year," Maynard said.

Johnson was appointed to the West Virginia Board of Education in January 2004 and completed his second term as state board president in 2007. He taught in Greenbrier County and has also served as president of the West Virginia Education Association. Currently, he is the president of the National Association of State Boards of Education's Board of Directors.

Senator Tomblin is the longest-serving Senate President in West Virginia's History, having first been elected to that position in 1995. Harless Center literature credit Tomblin for being instrumental in advances in public education, such as new building construction, expansion of computer technologies and curriculum development.

Selected as one of "The 100 Most Influential Lawyers" by The National Law Journal, Baxter has served on the steering committee for former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spelling. He also works on the board of directors of the West Virginia Education Alliance, a statewide public education organization whose mission is to create positive, systemic change in public education.

Since 2001, the June Harless Center has worked with school districts around the state to help them achieve at a higher rate, provide state-of-the-art academics and arm students to be academically competitive with other students around the world.

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