CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice greeted students, teachers, and other leaders at a pair of schools in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle today, recognizing recent successes at Martinsburg South Middle School and Paw Paw High School.
The Governor’s first stop of the day came at Martinsburg South Middle School in Berkeley County. This school was among last year’s wave of new participants in the state’s Communities In Schools Program. Working alongside partners in the local community, the program provides resources to engage students in the classroom and to encourage better attendance and graduation rates.
In just their second year in the program, Martinsburg South Middle School has already seen its attendance rates improve. With the help of their community partners, the school has added an outdoor science lab, organized a “personal hygiene closet” for all students to use, taken students on trips to career fairs, and much more.
Gov. Justice met with several of these community partners to thank them for their participation in the program. Then, the Governor made his way to an assembly, speaking to several classes of students and reminding them how much they’re cared for in their school and in their hometown.
“Life is a journey and while you’re on that journey, it can be pretty tough,” Gov. Justice said. “But you know what? With this program, you now have a network of people that are trying to help you.
“You have the tools. And you know what else you’ve got? You’ve got you. Look how good you really are. It’s amazing.”
The Governor’s next visit of the day came at Paw Paw High School in Morgan County for a full-school assembly to celebrate their academic accomplishment as one of the top-performing schools in West Virginia on the statewide Balanced Scorecard Accountability System.
Alongside state and Morgan County education leaders, the Governor presented Paw Paw High School’s principal with an award to commemorate the school’s achievement.
“You ought to be congratulated beyond belief for your accomplishments,” Gov. Justice said. “You have achieved in attendance and you’ve achieved a graduation rate that’s off the charts.”
High School students were joined by Elementary students for the assembly – where the Governor also provided words of inspiration to those in attendance.
The “Balanced Scorecard” paints a picture of where schools are succeeding and areas where they need to improve. Every elementary, middle school, and high school in the state receives a Balanced Scorecard each year that looks at five areas.
Paw Paw High School was one of the only schools in the state that exceeded standards in three of these categories this year.
“You’ve done great, but now’s a chance to dial it in and do even more,” Gov. Justice said. “You have every opportunity in life to do everything in the world. You have to decide to get after it right now.”