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The Montgomery Herald SERVING THE UPPER KANAWHA VALLEY Montgomery, West Virginia

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

50 cents

Montgomery Outdoor Pool sets June 8 opening date


Valley High School graduate Breanna Tucker, center, was among those in a celebratory mood following Saturday’s commencement exercises at Martin Field.

Valley High graduates ready for next phase BY STEVE KEENAN

MONTGOMERY — The Montgomery Outdoor Pool will open this Saturday, June 8. The pool, operated by the Charleston Family YMCA, will stage hours from June 8 to Aug. 4. Hours of operation will be Monday to Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Also, Pioneer Park’s East Bank Pool opened on June 1 and will have the same daily hours through Aug. 4. Daily fees at Montgomery will be as follows: Under 2 years of age — free; 3-12 years — $2; and over 13 years — $4. Daily fees at East Bank will be as follows: Under 2 years of age — free; 3-12 years — $2; and over 13 years — $3. Monthly memberships at both pools for 3-12 years will be $36, and a monthly family membership at both pools will be $85. Fees for over 13 years of age will be $64 at Montgomery and $48 at East Bank. Seasonal pool memberships are available, as well. At Montgomery, fees are as follows: 3-12 years — $60; over 13 years — $96; and family — $130. At East Bank, fees are as follows: 3-12 years — $60; over 13 years — $86; and family — $130. Swim lessons will be offered at both locations from Monday through Thursday. Cost will be $25. Call the respective pools for dates. Two-hour pool party rentals are also available for $100 at both pools. Shelter rental is available for $65 at East Bank. For more information, call the Montgomery Outdoor Pool at 304-442-8890, East Bank Pool at 304-949-3500, or Charleston Family YMCA at 304-340-3527.


Whether it seemed to take forever or be over in an instant, the 68 members of the Valley High School Class of 2013 reached the ultimate crossroads Saturday. Addressing the crowd on a hot morning at WVU Tech’s Martin Field, Valley High Principal Lee Loy introduced the senior class as it assembled to accept highlysought diplomas and close the book on a significant phase of the members’ young lives. “This is a very exciting time for our students, parents and faculty,” Loy said. “It is also a time to reflect on just how fast time does pass by and also a time to reflect on the precious relationships you made along the way.” Referring to an area behind him, Loy said, “You will see that hanging on the back fence is a graduation gown and mortar board. These students before you signed their names to this gown and mortar board when they were in eighth grade, making a commitment to graduate. I am very happy to say that these students kept their promise. These students here today will receive the reward that they have earnestly worked for and that is a high school diploma.” Loy thanked the Fayette County Board Of Education for giving him “the privilege and opportunity of being the principal of Valley High School.” He also thanked “the fine faculty, support staff and many volunteers who supported the many changes and ideas that we as a team implemented at our school.” Addressing the students’ parents and guardians, he said, “I thank you for trusting in me.” “How did it go by so fast?” asked summa cum laude graduate Catlin Brouillard. Some, she said, may have looked at school as a “waste of time.” Others viewed it as a “stepping stone.” Regardless, they now must be ready to tackle the next phase of their lives, whatever that may be. “It seems like only a short time ago that we entered high school as freshmen eager to learn,” said senior class president Taylor Ruggieri. “I will miss you all. “Today it seems our hard work has paid off.” See GRADUATION on 2

Fayette residents discuss future of county’s schools Bryson Armentrout joins classmates in turning his tassel as the graduating class is presented.


Pending graduates walk into Martin Field at the start of Valley’s commencement exercises.

FAYETTEVILLE — Yesterday, Fayette County made one of its biggest decisions in decades. A committee of citizens met Tuesday evening in Fayetteville to search for a pathway forward on the stubborn school facilities issues that have stymied the county for years. Because of the paper’s deadline, the results of that meeting were not available at press time. Read below to understand the choices. Full coverage of the meeting will be in next week’s edition. A 60-member committee composed of leaders from each school was to recommend that the county either moves forward with a plan to repair and maintain all current schools through a bond measure, or not. “What I’m looking for is to receive the committee’s input on whether it is feasible for the community to support a bond to keep all schools open,” Fayette County Schools Superintendent Keith Butcher said on Monday. The vote Tuesday was the result of a monthlong community input process that included school meetings, polls and focus groups. “This whole process has been about collecting data and reviewing each school’s needs, and that’s where we are. Tuesday is for us, in a formal way, to ask: Do you recommend this or not?” The recommendation will have far-reaching implications for the future of the county’s school system, which was taken over in 2010 by the state in part because an audit report stated the county had too many schools and a thin, weak curriculum. The public meeting was held at Fayetteville High School. Each school was to give a twominute report on the school forum it held on the facilities issue. Then committee members had an opportunity to ask any final questions. Finally, it was to come down to filling out a recommendation form. A recent architectural assessment put the school system’s “critical needs” at $46 million. Add in a list of “recommended needs” and the bill jumps to $136 million. The recommendations were to be tabulated and announced Tuesday night. See SCHOOLS on 3

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2 ■ Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Montgomery Herald


Graduates Cassandra Cotten and Hunter Hughes sing a selection during the ceremony.

A graduation cap and gown signed by members of the Class of 2013 when they were in the eighth grade was on display at Saturday’s ceremony.

Above, members of the Class of 2013 toss their mortar boards high into the air at the ceremony’s conclusion.

At right, Melanie Long receives her diploma from Lou Jones, Fayette County Board of Education member. Superintendent Keith Butcher and associate superintendent Dr. Mary Lu MacCorkle joined with Jones in congratulating the students on accepting their diplomas.

Congratulations, Class of 2013!

Matt Whiteside accepts his diploma.

Summa cum laude graduate Catlin Brooke Brouil- Cum laude graduate Alex- Senior class president is Lanise Payne Taylor Nicole Ruggieri lard

GRADUATION ▼ CONTINUED FROM 1 Cum laude graduate Alexis Payne told her classmates they were “finally crossing the finish line” of this phase of their lives. “It’s a big step from high school to college or the real world,” she added. But, she stressed, “never forget the Greyhound blue and gray that runs through your veins.” The graduate speakers offered a special thanks to teachers, support staff and family members for helping them make it through their high school years. “This class is very unique to Valley High School,” said Loy. “Each student here today represents what can be achieved by working together to overcome obstacles. Each of you along

the way has assisted yourself and others to be the very best that you can be. You took pride in your accomplishments and thanked those who have assisted you. “You all have come from many different backgrounds and from other schools. With hard work, patience and a desire to learn, you have accomplished what many thought would not work. I am very proud of your efforts and accomplishments.”

While sharing quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Loy also shared this from Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” “With something to think about, this has been Mr. Loy,” he added. “Make this a great day — or not. The choice is now yours.” — E-mail:


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