CINDERELLA – Dr. Johnny Branch, Principal at Tug Valley High School, recently discussed Cole White’s recognition by the Mingo County Board of Education. According to Branch, White’s recognition is an example of the grassroots initiative which has led to successful renovations to the high school’s athletic facilities.
White was presented with an award at Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Board of Education in recognition of his hard work and dedication. An article appeared in Friday’s edition of the Williamson Daily News which discussed the recognition.
Branch recently provided further detail regarding the BOE’s recognition of White to the Williamson Daily News. “Cole White became aware of our stakeholders’ desire for gymnasium lights, which could be switched on and off instantly. Changing the lighting would enable the development of lighting effects for pre-game activities,” Branch explained.
White then began fundraising efforts to raise money for the new lighting system after receiving permission from Dr. Branch. “He explained not only could the lights be switched on or off, instantly, they would provide an energy savings of over $5000 annually. Cole composed a letter to give potential donors and several donations came in right away,” Branch said.
As the fundraising efforts continued, more people and businesses came on board to assist in the fundraising efforts. Local attorney Nathan Brown, also a Tug Valley parent, told White he wanted to talk to the principal about making a donation. “Mr. Brown’s law firm, Ferrell and Brown, donated the remainder of the purchase cost for the new lights, over $5000. It should also be noted that the State Electric Supply Company worked with their vendors to find the best possible price for the lamps. Cole White and his fellow maintenance employees spent several days installing the new lights and the first permanent lighting effects have now been ordered. Tug Valley High School is grateful to our donors: Ferrell and Brown; First National Bank of Williamson; Ramona and Timothy Mahon: and Lyall Law Office. The school also recognizes Cole White for efforts making the lighting upgrades a reality,” Branch stated.
Branch explained that White’s actions serve as an example of the community partnerships that enable Tug Valley High School and their athletic program to thrive. “Cole White exemplified the spirit and willingness to lend a helping hand that Tug Valley High School has relied upon in our efforts to make improvements to the athletic facilities. Our community partners have moved our improvement plans forward at a pace we have not experienced in years. We are grateful to all of them,” Branch said.
Branch also commends the Board of Education for allowing Tug Valley High School the flexibility to engage in community partnerships which has allowed the school to renovate its athletic facilities. “It is important to note the freedom the Board of Education and our Superintendent have given us to develop grassroots solutions to our facility’s needs. Not only have they given us a wide berth to act, they have been active and supportive in the process and progress,” Branch concluded.
Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.