CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- THE recent celebration of the naming of the Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School recognized an important figure in local civil rights history.
In 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court ended the "separate but equal" doctrine, West Virginia integrated its schools.
Snow was the first black principal of an integrated school. She also was one of the best educators in the county.
Snow died in 2011 at 98. Her sister, Josephine Wilson, 86, spoke at the renaming ceremony.
"May the many young lives who go through these hallways be reminded of the individual that this school is named for. As they grow in wisdom and knowledge, they will indeed keep the spirit of Mary."
Mary C. Snow overcame tremendous obstacles to change countless lives with education. That's what the school that bears her name must do.
Community leaders had to fight the Kanawha County Board of Education to have Snow's critical contributions to education properly recognized. They were right to do so.
Now, about that homework . . .
• • •
EFFORTS by disappointed Republicans to have their states secede from the United States are an embarrassment.
That is especially true in West Virginia, which will celebrate its sesquicentennial anniversary of statehood next year.
But such lunacy has become par for the course for losing parties since 2000, when Al Gore refused to concede that he had lost Florida by a few hundred votes, even after a media recount the next year found President Bush carried the state by 493 votes.
Then in 2004, Keith Olbermann and other hosts on MSNBC declared that Bush stole Ohio, a state Bush carried by a 2.1 percent margin. Oddly, President Obama carried the state by 1.9 percent this year and no one complained.
Republicans need to separate themselves from sore loser stunts. They accomplish nothing.
• • •
WEST Virginia University's decision to buy the old houses in Sunnyside to make way for new apartments drew some criticism, but officials have little choice. Enrollment keeps
This fall, 29,706 people enrolled at WVU, including 5,135 members of its largest freshman class ever.
That's a 32 percent increase in enrollment over 20 years. In 1992, the school had 22,500 students.
Despite leadership changes — the school has had five presidents in 20 years — clearly, the flagship university of the state has charted a good long-term plan and has stayed the course.
The football and basketball teams are facing challenges in the first year in the Big 12, but WVU continues to serve its students well where it counts: in the classroom.
• • •
ENROLLMENT in Wood County schools fell once again this year to 13,326 students. That is down from 14,640 students only 15 years ago.
Sue Woodward, assistant superintendent of school services, warned the Wood County Board of Education that the decline in enrollment means a decline in state funding and the possibility of reduced positions in the school system.
"Depending on how it pans out, it would be anywhere from seven to nine professional positions" lost for the 2013-14 school year, she said.
The 9 percent decline in enrollment in Wood County schools over 15 years comes despite the addition of pre-kindergarten classes to enrollment.
Most other counties have experienced similar decreases.
If enrollment drops, school systems must adjust. Such things happen in the private sector every day.