Leadership West Virginia (LWV) is a statewide program aimed to develop, strengthen and connect emerging leaders for the Mountain State. During the eight-month program participants are taught how to enhance their personal leadership skills and enrich their knowledge of not only the problems facing the state, but also its diverse and unique attributes. This program is an extension of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and was established to help cultivate a new leadership, which is critical to West Virginia's future prosperity and progress. LWV works to develop and motivate a cross-section of leaders who will use their talents and abilities to inspire others and to foster a new spirit of energy, enthusiasm and vitality throughout the state.
LWV Alumni Education Committee
In 2014, following graduation from LWV, several classmates formed the LWV Alumni Education Committee after discussing education issues in West Virginia with local and state educators. These committee members have offered their talents, skills and resources to support initiatives that will aid in the progress and success of our state’s education system.
In 2015, this committee partnered with members from the state’s Board of, and Department of Education to help us achieve our statewide goals to provide every student (k-12) with a computer/device; promote simulated workforce classrooms/programs; and support technology-focused professional development for teachers. Although every West Virginia would benefit, millions of dollars of funding are needed. Below are a few immediate benefits we’d see:
If every student had a computer/device this would require less time for student measuring tests, allow for more classroom activities and more efficient classrooms. It would also help to ensure our students know how to use technology as they merge into the workforce.
The promotion and implementation of simulated workplace classrooms in West Virginia – which are now part of the school system in every county of West Virginia – is critical to ensure students learn the necessary skillsets and hands-on training they need to compete in the workforce. These “real-life” classrooms offer training and real-life experiences students simply cannot get in a traditional classroom, and it is time to change our education curriculums to incorporate the needs of today’s employers. Therefore, technology-focused professional development for teachers has to be a priority. Providing them with resources, training and the proper tools will allow them to better teach our students. Teachers and students alike must be comfortable with, and sufficient in, a digital classroom environment.
Mentoring opportunities that connect industry (business), community and education must also be a priority if we plan to continue to move West Virginia forward. (Note: This part of our initiatives needs to be further discussed and planned as this is an activity that will require extensive support and resources from a number of parties. We hope though that as we continue to work with educators and other audiences about the one to one ratio of technology/student and professional development, others will value this initiative as well.)