A partnership at Fairmont State University that began with three schools in Marion County expanded to include 40 schools in six counties and continues to grow. The Professional Development Schools (PDS) Partnership today includes schools in Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Taylor and Wetzel counties.
“The PDS Partnership enables a truly collaborative relationship between the public schools and Fairmont State that benefits each partner and directly impacts education throughout this region,” said Dr. Maria Rose, FSU President.
An event to celebrate the Spirit of PDS is planned for 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Bridgeport Conference Center. During the event, two new Professional Development Schools will be welcomed to the partnership: Lincoln High School and Mountaineer Middle School in Harrison County. In addition to President Rose and Barbara Owens, Director of Clinical Experiences and the PDS Partnership, Dr. Carolyn Crislip-Tacy, Interim Dean of the School of Education, and Dr. Van Dempsey, Interim Vice President for Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness, will be on hand to recognize the work of FSU Teacher Education students.
The keynote speaker will be Gayle C. Manchin, President of the state Board of Education. Manchin was appointed to the board in 2007 to serve a nine-year term and was elected president in 2013.
She attended West Virginia University, where she attained her bachelor's degree in language arts and education and a master's in reading. She also holds a second master's in educational technology leadership from Salem International University.
Manchin, a native of Raleigh County, taught in Marion County schools and at Fairmont State University. She also was the director of the college’s first Community Service Learning Program. While living in Marion County, she was active in her children's activities and community advocacy. She has been integrally involved with AmeriCorps projects and America's Promise for many years. In Charleston, Manchin worked at the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts, where she implemented the WV PASS (WV Partnerships to Assure Student Success) initiative.
In addition to her duties as a member of the state Board of Education, she served as West Virginia's first lady; a commissioner on the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service; the chairwoman of the Governor's Healthy Lifestyles Coalition and the West Virginia Citizen's Council on Children and Families; and as co-chair on the Governor's 21st Century Jobs Cabinet and the Intellectual Infrastructure of Vision Shared.
She is distinguished in the way of an emeritus board member for the Education Alliance and past president of the Vandalia Rotary Club of Charleston and the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE). As she assumes the duties of her new appointment as president for our state Board of Education, Manchin continues to serve on the boards of Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), Horton's Kids and The Clay Center.
To date, the PDS Partnership has attained more than $1 million in funding support from the state of West Virginia and the participating counties.
“This continued funding is a testament that the state and local superintendents and Boards of Education see the importance of higher education and public schools working together toward common goals in the field of teacher education,” said Barbara Owens, Director of Clinical Experiences and the PDS Partnership.
“As the PDS Partnership continues to grow, expand and prosper, it is becoming more apparent that educators from our institution and the public schools recognize the importance of collaborative work. We feel it is this transparent process that will keep us all guided in the same direction as educators who are dedicated to this profession and our children. The Spirit of PDS Celebration is our opportunity to showcase that work.”