As I reflect on Memorial Day, I am reminded of the words shared by Ron McVaney. He and his wife, Barbara, founded the Mountaineer Military Museum in Weston. Ron along with childhood friends were drafted into service, but only Ron would make it home. He made a promise to his friends, “I will never let anyone forget you guys.” That is the promise of Memorial Day that none of us forget the thousands of service men and women that gave their life to serve their country and fellow man. We must honor and remember Gold Star Families. We must remember and protect that for which they fought. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.”
This past week I met with representatives from the USDA and the Rural Partners Network. The RPN advances rural community projects to receive help with technical assistance, funding, and resource development. Representatives met with Jeff Campbell to highlight the Little Kanawha Trail, and Elk River Trail Towns Gassaway and Clay. Local owners of Bigfoot Braxxie Bikes, Beth and Nik Salvo were interviewed about their business that was inspired by The Elk River Trail. I am looking forward to seeing the opportunity and future businesses that will develop because of the trails and the work of the RPN to serve what have been traditionally underserved areas. Braxton and Gilmer are positioned to take advantage of the help for rural communities. If you are interested in starting a business, Advantage Valley and Faster West Virginia offers assistance.
School is out, but ideas for schools and our education system never stop. I had the
opportunity to learn more about specific programs, Math Nation and LETRS, that the state will have available to districts to assist with implementation of reading and math success. Throughout the summer teachers, educational leaders, and building custodians will be preparing for the upcoming school year. Take a moment and celebrate the good things that are happening in your local schools and push on to continue the work.
My husband, Will, and I spent a day traveling West Virginia to experience the Waterfall Trail. Our state is so beautiful, and we thoroughly enjoyed the day and are looking forward to visiting more waterfalls. I encourage everyone to get out and enjoy our scenic treasures.
I would like to congratulate 2023 Faculty and Staff Award of Excellence winners at Glenville State University. Dr. Kevin Evans, Professor of Chemistry, was awarded the Faculty Award and Jenny Boggs, Payroll and Benefits Coordinator, was awarded the Staff Award. I look forward to supporting GSU as they expand their academic presence in West Virginia.
I’d like to offer appreciation to the County Commission and local newspapers for supporting and encouraging our 8th graders with the Braxton County Essay Contest. This is part of a statewide contest sponsored by the WV County Commission Association. Thank you to Commissioner Melvin Gum and Ed Given, editor of the Braxton Citizens News and Braxton Democrat-Central, for joining us at the 8th grade graduation ceremonies at Braxton County Middle School. Congratulations to Braxton County winners Bailey McCallister (1st place), Audrey Duckworth (2nd place), and Emily Whitney (3rd place), and Alexis Herndon for her State Honorable Mention recognition.
I look forward to hearing from people in the district and hope to see you out and about enjoying all the great things our area has to offer. I can be contacted at [email protected] or 304-701-8600.