Three to be inducted into Harless Hall of Fame

The College of Education and Professional Development’s June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development will conduct its 12th annual Harless Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Thursday, May 15.

The ceremony will be held in the Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center.  A showcase of the center’s work begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner following at 6:30 p.m.

Dr. Stan Maynard, executive director of the center, said the ceremony provides an opportunity to show appreciation and give recognition to those peoplewho have been identified as outstanding contributors to West Virginia’s educational system with special focus on the rural areas of the state.

Inductees into the Hall of Fame typically include one teacher, one administrator, and one business/educational partner or organization that has provided exemplary leadership to ensure the success of the education of all students in West Virginia.

This year’s inductees are:  Dr. Kathy D’Antoni, Assistant State Superintendent of Schools with the West Virginia Department of Education, Division of Technical and Adult Education Services; Michael J. Farrell, Esq., founding member of Farrell, White & Legg, PLLC, a Huntington law firm, past interim president of Marshall University and current Commissioner of the Higher Education Policy Commission; and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), which assists 16 member states including West Virginia to improve public education from pre-K through Ph.D.

A showcase of the Harless Center’s work and the presentation of the Hallie Harless Distinguished Teacher Award will also be part of the evening’s activities. This year’s awardee is Amanda Sowards, a second-grade teacher from Midway Elementary School in Lincoln County.  In addition, Cathy Walker, retiring Math Specialist with the June Harless Center and Dr. James Phares, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, will be recognized for their strong support of West Virginia educational initiatives.

The mission of the June Harless Center is to provide leadership in educational initiatives for West Virginia educators and students, and provide 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.  The June Harless Center currently has ongoing projects with several counties in the state focused on providing support and professional development.