The June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research & Development Hall of Fame will gain three new members Thursday, May 7. They will be inducted during the 13th annual Harless Hall of Fame Dinner and ceremony at the Marshall University Foundation Hall, Home of the Erickson Alumni Center.
The event begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m.
The ceremony is a time to show appreciation and give recognition to those people who 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 hall of fame inductees include:
- West Virginia First Lady Joanne Tomblin, who has served as president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College since 1999. The First Lady is a spokesperson and advocate for education at all levels.
- The West Virginia Women’s Education Forum (WE). The WE group has partnered with the June Harless Center on educational projects including raising money to purchase iPads for use in Southern West Virginia schools for the Flipped Classroom Project. Currently the WE group is partnering with the June Harless Center to support the opening of an early childhood education research center in Gilbert, West Virginia.
- Ron Berger, Chief Academic Officer for Expeditionary Learning. His philosophy of how schooling should be experienced has been a major influence in the creation of the Explorer Academy in Cabell County as an educational research incubator for West Virginia.
Another highlight of the evening is the presentation of the Hallie Harless Distinguished Teacher Award which this year goes to Amanda Lester who teaches middle school science at Sandy River Middle School in McDowell County. She has been named teacher of the year at both Iaeger High School and Sandy River Middle School.
The Harless Center also will recognize Charles (Chuck) Heinlein, Deputy State Superintendent of Schools, and Dr. Jennifer Seydel, School Designer for Expeditionary Learning, for their unwavering support of June Harless Center initiatives and West Virginia educational programs.
The evening also will showcase the diverse initiatives in which the Harless Center has participated, such as partnership with Cabell County to open the Explorer Academy, the Shewey Science Academy, the Flipped Classroom initiative, the early childhood centers, Improving Teacher Quality grants in mathematics and science, and the Create Lab satellite with Carnegie Melon University.