Education is a vital component of the growth of any society. In West Virginia, there is a growing interest in the public education system and its effects on the greater economic development of our statewide communities.
Host, Jim Matuga, sat down with Scott Rotruck, Financial Officer of the West Virginia Department of Education, Donna Peduto, Executive Director of the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative, and Mary Cook, Principal at Nexus Now Consulting.
The concern for education leaders across the state, like Donna Peduto of the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative, is the growing divide between what she calls the haves and the have nots. Something she said has been further exposed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“[Coronavirus] has widened the gap between the haves and the have nots because of the lack of broadband.” Peduto went on, “You see it with parents trying to help their children, and teachers trying to teach remotely. The gap between [fair] access is widening.”
The West Virginia Department of Public Education (WVPEC) strives to inform public policy and improve the lives of the people of West Virginia by championing best-practice public education through eliminating silos, promoting productive dialogue, and developing sustainable communication networks.
Another group seeking change in the public education landscape is the West Virginia Department of Education.
“[Entrepeneurship in education] is a way of thinking about the order in which we do things,” said Scott Rotruck, the Financial Officer of the WVDOE. “We want to teach children to be open and expansive in their thought.”
The WVDOE exists for a singular purpose––To provide effective and equitable access to high-quality learning opportunities to empower West Virginia students by developing, demonstrating, encouraging, and promoting a culture of responsibility, personal health, and emotional wellbeing for the next generation of economic drivers in the state.
“Leadership should be about asking, ‘Who can you elevate,’” said Peduto. “It’s great to be a leader, but who can you bring up with you?”