While serving as West Virginia’s governor, Gaston Caperton was known for his efforts to improve education in the state. West Virginia built 58 new public schools during his two terms as the state’s top administrator, and he secured the money to renovate 780 more.
Caperton and five other education advocates lead the class this weekend at West Virginia University, when the College of Human Resources and Education ushers them into a new Hall of Fame to honor their work.
The ceremony will be at 8:30 p.m. Saturday (May 15), in the fourth floor lobby of Allen Hall, the home of the college that turns out teachers in an acclaimed five-year degree program.
Along with the former governor, inductees in the inaugural class are:
- Alfred N. Renzella, who oversees special education instruction and administration in West Virginia’s northern panhandle;
- Gloria Salucci Cunningham , who guided WVU student-teachers for 27 years;
- Edward C. Keller III * , a local educator who developed instructional programs now used by science teachers nationwide;
- *Jeanne Marcum Gerlach , who coordinates teacher education at the University of Texas at Arlington;
- A. Lynn Williams , a speech pathologist who founded the Speech-Language Pathology Program at Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley.
Caperton is the only one who isn’t a graduate of WVU , or the College of HR&E.
The inductees, HR&E Dean Anne Nardi said, are doing vital work in the field of education.
Their plaques on the wall, she said, will serve as powerful symbols of that work that benefits students and teachers across West Virginia, the country and the world.
All six have made such an impact,Nardi said,and all six still have their best work ahead of them. They aren’t done yet.
Here are more detailed biographies on the inductees:
Caperton currently serves as president and CEO of the New York City-based College
Board, a nonprofit membership association best known for its SAT college admission exam and Advanced Placement Program for top-achieving high schoolers.
During his two terms as West Virginia governor from 1988-1996, he tackled economic, environmental and infrastructure issues, and was especially concerned with the state’s educational needs. He developed and implemented an aggressive $800 million school building program which constructed 58 new schools and renovated 780 schools.
His comprehensive technology initiative introduced computers in the classroom to students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Under his leadership, teachers’salaries rose from 49th in the nation to 31 st and more than 19,000 teachers were trained at the Caperton-implemented statewide Center for Professional Development.
In 1996, he received the Computerworld Smithsonian Award, hailing him as avisionary who fundamentally changed the education system in America.After leaving the Statehouse after his second term, he taught as a fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics, and then founded Columbia University’s Institute on Education and Government.
His efforts with the College Board to motivate middle school students from economically disadvantaged families and schools to attend college prompted _ USA Today_ to label theeducation crusaderas one of the most influential people in America in 2001.
He’s a graduate of the University of North Carolina.
Alfred N. Renzella
Renzella is director of special education and attendance for Marshall County Schools, a
post he’s held since 1984. Before that he was principal of J. T. King Special Education Elementary School in Moundsville, where an innovative behavior management program he developed is still in use today.
He is known for his commitment to the cause, offering extensive training and other resources to school faculty and staff who deal daily with special-needs children.
Partnership programs he established with Bethany College, Wheeling Jesuit University and West Liberty State College give education majors there frontline experience in actual classrooms, in front of real students.
He earned a B.A. in social studies and speech in 1964 from West Liberty State College, an M.A. in special education in 1968 from WVU ’s College of Human Resources&Education. He also holds graduate degrees in gifted education and one in school psychology from Marshall University.
Gloria Salucci Cunningham
For 27 years Cunningham was the teacher who taught the teachers-in-training at WVU .
She helped place fledgling educators in area public schools and supervised them once they got there.
That’s how she got her reputation as an educator who genuinely cared for her students. And that’s because she was a kindred spiritpublic school classrooms are familiar ground for Cunningham. She taught business education at Morgantown’s University High for 12 years, before joining WVU in 1970.
She retired from the College of HR&E as an assistant professor emerita in 1985, but she still lends her name and support to the college. She became the first honorary chairperson of the HR&E Planned Giving Program in 1996, and has created a gift in her will to endow the Gloria S. Cunningham Endowed Scholarship and the Gloria S. Cunningham Dean’s Fund to benefit HR&E students and the College. She is a life member of the WVU Alumni Association, a charter member of the Irvin Stewart Society, and the past president of the WVU Emeritus Club.
She also helped reestablish the HR&E Alumni Association and is a founding member of the Committee for the Preservation of Italian-American History and Culture.
In 2000, she received the Dave Jacobs Award in recognition of her service to the University, and was honored in 2001 with the HR&E Dean’s Award for exceptional service to the College.
The WVU graduate earned a B.S. in 1943 and an M.A. in 1963 in education from the College of HR&E.
Edward C. Keller III *
Keller’s work is known in Monongalia County’s public school systemand beyond.
He has developed three science kits available nationwide for teachers today and received funding for 16 years to create materials and instructional strategies for Marine Science programs for students with disabilities.
Science is his expertisehe taught the subject for 26 years to Mon County’s elementary, middle, and high school studentsand that run was marked with lots of acclaim from his peers in the profession.
He earned the National Science Foundation Teachers Association Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in 1986 and took home the first Milken Family Distinguished Educator Award in 1990.
He was honored in 1991 with the West Virginia Education Fund’s Outstanding Elementary Educator Merit Award and the West Virginia College of Human Resources&Education Alumni Association’s Award for Distinguished Achievement in Classroom Instruction in 1991.
Keller received a B.S. in secondary education in 1976 and an M.A. in curriculum&instruction in 1985 from WVU .
*Jeanne Marcum Gerlach
Gerlach brings a Texas-sized commitment to education in her job. The associate vice president for K-16 education at the University of Texas at Arlington oversees the efforts of student-teachers from that school as they learn their craft in classrooms from kindergarten on up.
She also heads the College of Education at UTA , a school she helped grow from what was a Center for Professional Teacher Education there.
Gerlach has also been recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English as anOutstanding Woman in English Educationand holds an Outstanding Alumni Award/Higher Education from the University of North Texas, where she earned a doctorate in higher education in 1992.
She also holds a doctorate in Curriculum&Instruction/English Education from WVU ’s College of HR&E, along with an undergraduate degree from West Virginia State College and a master’s from the College of HR&E at WVU .
She is a fellow at Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s Advanced Management and Leadership Institute, and has taught in England, New Zealand, France, Germany, Thailand and Australia.
A. Lynn Williams
You should hear what you’re learning.
The above statement has long been Williams’clinical philosophy, and the researcher has been widely recognized in her field of phonological treatmentwhich sets out to correct hearing flaws that cause children to incorrectly process the language sounds they learn as infants and toddlers.
Williams founded the Speech-Language Pathology Program at Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley, and her research over the years has been supported by three separate grants from the National Institutes of Health.
In 1983 she was recognized nationally for the work that went into establishing the hospital program: she was presented the American Speech and Hearing Foundation Award for Outstanding Clinical Achievements in Human Communication Science and Disorders.
Williams earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in speech pathology and audiology in 1978 and 1980 from WVU ’s College of HR&E. She was awarded a doctorate in speech and hearing sciences in 1988 from Indiana University.