RED JACKET – Mingo Central High School welcomed some important guests on Tuesday afternoon, the presidents of West Virginia University, Marshall University and Southern W.Va. Community and Technical College for their College Day assembly.
Presidents Gordon Gee of WVU, Jerome Gilbert of MU and Robert Gunter of SWVCTC (Southern) all addressed the students, faculty and parents in attendance for the special day. Gary White of Logan, the former interim president of Marshall, was also at the event with Gilbert. Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of West Virginia’s four-year public colleges and universities was also one of the speakers.
All of the college presidents gave short speeches and talked about the importance of getting an education after high school.
MCHS Principal Teresa Jones welcomed the dignitaries and those in attendance. She was flanked by her counselors Tish Marcum, Christine Harmon and Riley Browning.
Three students who have joined the military were introduced first and greeted by Sgt. Shannon Justice of the W.Va. National Guard.
Those students who will be heading to Huntington to attend Marshall this fall were first introduced and each signed a letter of intent then were welcomed by both Gilbert and White.
A large group of seniors that will be attending Southern in September were introduced and greeted by Gunter.
Finally those who will be headed to Morgantown to WVU in the fall were met and hugged by Dr. Gee, who was wearing his signature bow-tie.
One student from Mingo Central, Faith Hensley, was given a special presentation. The honor student was presented with a Yeager Scholarship to Marshall, which is a full-ride for her academic achievements.
Adam Green, Vice-Chancellor for Gear-Up, also gave a short presentation and talked about that program. West Virginia Gear-Up is a federally funded program that helps students in ten counties prepare to succeed in education and training beyond high school. “Gear-Up” stands for “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs,” and the program’s goal is to help more students pursue their dreams of earning a college diploma or skillset certificate.
“Today was such a big day for Mingo Central. A lot of attention goes to promising athletes when they select a college of their choice,” said Principal Jones. “We, at Mingo Central, want all of our students who have committed to a college, certificate program, or to military service to receive the recognition they deserve and have the same feeling of importance.”
“College Decision Day offered us this unique opportunity – to celebrate our seniors, showcase our student leaders, and inspire more young people to commit to higher education. We feel that excellence in the classroom should be given as much, if not more attention, as excellence on the field or on the court. To have Chancellor Hill, President Gee, President Gilbert, and President Gunter celebrate this day with us shows just how significant this event is and just how significant Mingo Central students are. It says to our students and families – we believe in postsecondary education and we believe in Mingo Central students,” Jones added.
“The event was unbelievable. It has been long overdue to recognize all students going on to further their education and/or training, not just athletes,” said senior class counselor Tish Marcum. “The stars were aligned in scheduling the attendance of the three presidents and Chancellor Hill. Actually, I don’t know if that has ever been achieved before. “
“These students have worked hard and deserved this recognition. They’ve set the bar high for underclassmen, but I believe we will only see more students “Reaching Higher” in the future. This event wouldn’t have been possible without WV Gear-Up,” Marcum concluded.
Nearly 75 percent of Mingo Central’s seniors have completed their FAFSA (financial paper work) for college. That is one of the highest in the state of W.Va.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)