Hello, my name is Graham Godwin and am running for the Upshur County Board of Education. Upshur County has given me so much and I want to help ensure the county’s future generations have the opportunities and encouragement that I received.
I was born and raised in Buckhannon. From a young age my grandparents, Frank and Ella Berisford and Charles and Wilda Godwin, along with my parents, Rod and Barbara Godwin, taught me the value of education and the importance of helping those around me. I was honored to receive the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 16.
Additionally, I enjoyed playing football at both B-UMS and B-UHS. I participated in Youth and Government all four years of high school, as I cultivated my love of politics and desire to serve the public.
I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Shepherd University in 2009. While at Shepherd, I was a mentor with the Boys and Girls Club and started the state’s first university-based UNICEF organization.
In 2011, I earned a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from West Virginia University. While at WVU, I was honored to serve as a facilitator at the 2009 peace conference in Nepal, which helped to facilitate the end to a 13-year long civil war.
After receiving my M.A., I became an NGO/Business Consultant for the U.S. Peace Corps and spent two years working in Kyrgyzstan. During this service, I promoted the U.S. Mission overseas in a country that was vital to the United State’s military and diplomatic interests.
In 2014, I returned home and started working as a grant administrator for World Vision, a Christian-based humanitarian organization. While at World Vision, I helped fund, plan, and implement after school programs in Barbour County. These programs included dinners, tutoring, and various hands-on learning opportunities.
Currently, I work as the senior researcher at Orion Strategies here in Buckhannon and serve on the boards of the Child Development Center and Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce.
As a board member, I would work to ensure that we have the best curriculum and materials for our teachers and students. This includes guaranteeing effective and modern training for the teachers and staff. I want to include all voices in the decision-making processes. This means seeking the input of administrators, teachers, service personnel, students, and community members. This will ensure that issues are seen from multiple viewpoints as decisions are made.
At the end of the day, I feel it is important that we focus on what we do well, building on our strengths to reach our full potential. As a community we must remain informed as we work together in order to ensure and establish the next generation of Buckhannon-Upshur.
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