More praise for Piedmont principal
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There have now been two recent pieces in the Gazette praising retiring Piedmont Elementary School Principal Steve Knighton. That is simply not enough recognition.
My child and so many others have thrived in the environment of Piedmont Elementary because of the creative, innovative and passionate leadership of Principal Knighton. At a school that should suffer from student demographics that are typically viewed as negatives (e.g., high turn-over due to the transient nature of many of the East End families), Knighton has fostered an inclusive and welcoming safe haven that serves as a springboard for real educational progress. It is hard to list his myriad accomplishments and innovations over the past three decades because they represent the norm at Piedmont as opposed to the exception. Under Knighton, students succeed and prosper because that too is the norm and expectation rather than the exception. While I recognize the high degree of credit that belongs to the teachers at Piedmont, it is my impression those teachers have been drawn to Piedmont in large part because of Knighton's leadership.
I wish Steve Knighton's successor the best of luck in filling the vitally important shoes his departure leaves vacant. His legacy, however, is well represented by the thousands of students whose lives he has positively impacted and who owe their successes to their early years under his care.
Mark A. Toor
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
Growing up in Charleston was blessing
I feel extremely fortunate, blessed really, to have grown up in Charleston. A half-century removed from my childhood home on Lee Street in the East End, I have been a New Mexican since 1963. Recruited by Don Gibson, a native of West Virginia, to play football at New Mexico Highlands, I stayed and became a lifetime school administrator.
But I take great pride in being a product of Kanawha Elementary, Roosevelt Junior High and Charleston High. My teachers over those dozen years helped provide the solid foundation for my success and that of my peers. Along with, in my case, parents, extended family and St. Marks Church.