A Salute to James "Buck" Harless

James “Buck” Harless has consistently supported and encouraged the initiatives of the June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development named in honor of June Montgomery Harless, one of southern West Virginia’s most avid supporters of education and medical research. The educational support has been enhanced with the addition of the Hallie Harless Distinguished Teacher Award honoring outstanding southern West Virginia educators.

The mission of the June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development, which reflects the philosophy of the Harless family, is to provide leadership in educational initiatives for West Virginia educators and students. As a result of Buck’s vision the Center provides educators and families of rural West Virginia with a support system that addresses educational issues, sustains school improvement, and provides positive growth in all educational factors.  Among the current initiatives of the Center are the Global 21 Model Schools Project, the Appalachian Math-Science Partnership, and the MU Partnership Schools Project. The Center provides statewide professional development in school reform, standards-based mathematics, best practices in literacy, place-based instruction, and hands-on science and robotics. The Center is actively involved in facilitating the transitioning of schools to 21st century teaching and learning through the Harless Retrofit Process.  Another current initiative is the STEM Academy  which will provide Global 21 educational opportunities for educators and students.