is losing two long-time employees to retirement in November and
Nancy Weekley (35) and
“Pokey” Hardway (31) have over 66 years of experience in the local
“I will miss the students very much. Many students
would come into the office just to say, ‘Hello,’ and see how I was
doing. The students made sure that I wasn’t left out of anything that
was going on, such as club day and other activities,” said Nancy Weekley,
in remembrance of students she has known during her over 35-year tenure
as administrative secretary at
a post she will be leaving on Dec. 19.
A 1978 graduate of both Calhoun County
High School and the career
center, where she completed the business program, Weekley said she left
the center thinking, “Boy, it would be nice to have a job here.”
She had no idea that unforeseen events would
culminate toward fulfillment of that dream and bring her back to the
center in barely over a year.
She had gone to
with her husband, Dwane, shortly after graduation to seek employment.
During her time there, their first child, Trudi, was born.
“One day, Dwane saw an ad in
The Calhoun Chronicle. I thought I would like to apply for the job.
There were approximately 30 applications,” recalled Weekley.
Believing that she had only a minimal chance with
so many other applicants vying for the position, Weekley submitted her
resume to the school’s first director, Tex Gainer.
Weekley said, “He felt that, if he couldn’t give
his alumni a chance, how could he expect others to. I will be eternally
grateful to Mr. Gainer for giving me that chance. He was a great person
to work for, and I learned a lot from him.”
Speaking of opportunities the career center has to
offer, Weekley said, “If you have a child in the school system, I would
encourage you to inform them about the educational opportunities
available at the career center. There are also many opportunities for
“People still believe that kids who go here will
not be able to do anything else, because they cannot prepare for
anything else, including a college degree. I believe we have something
to offer everybody, and it’s important to have a trade, as well as a
She cited her own daughters’ attendance at the
center and the benefits of their having done so.
County school nurse,
completed the center’s CNA
program, and that enabled her to work at a Glenville nursing home, while
she completed her degree as a registered nurse.
Terri, a physician’s assistant, completed the
health occupations program at the center.
Weekley said that there were no computers at the
center in 1979: “The first ones were installed in the administrative
offices and the business lab.”
Other curricular changes that she noted were
additions of the criminal justice and natural resources technology
programs, and elimination of the sewing program.
Bryan Sterns is the sixth career center director of
Weekley married her high school sweetheart, Dwane,
in 1978. They are parents of two daughters, Trudi Anderson, who
resides with her husband Shannon at Pleasant Hill, and Terri
Malona, who resides with her husband Jeremy in Texas.
Nancy and Dwane have three grandchildren, Emily and
Ezra Anderson, ages eight and three, respectively, and Ezra Malona,
Weekley’s retirement plans include spending more
time with family, working outside, landscaping, flower gardening, and
traveling. She will serve one day per week, through June, at the career
center, training and assisting her replacement.
“I would like to personally thank all of the people
that I have worked with over the years. Many of them are like family to
me and I will miss them. Good luck to all the staff and students of the Calhoun-Gilmer Career
Center,” said Weekley.
“Pokey” Hardway began his teaching career in August 1983 at Calhoun County
High School, four years
after graduating from the school.
He taught social studies until August 2003, when he
transferred to the
alternative learning program.
Alternative learning is defined by West Virginia education policy 4374 as “a
temporary authorized departure from the regular school program designed
to provide educational and social development for students whose
behavior places them at risk of not succeeding in the traditional school
structure and in adult life without positive interventions.”
“There are two reasons students participate in the
alternative learning program, behavior and credit deficiency due to
student transfers into the school system from other systems that do not
have the same type scheduling, and those who simply fall behind for
whatever reason,” said Hardway.
Based upon decreases in behavior incidents and
dropouts, and increases in school attendance and credit recovery, the
state department of education has identified the center’s program as
successful during Hardway’s tenure there.
He will conclude his service to Calhoun and Gilmer
schools and their students on Nov. 20: “Several of my students have
given me great joy over the years, and many administrators and teachers
have been helpful to work with throughout my career.”
Hardway has been married for 27 years to 2014-15
Calhoun Schools’ Teacher of the Year, Vicki Knotts Hardway. They have
two children, Andrea Stevens and husband Brad of Sinking Springs and
Chance Hardway of Euclid-Nicut; and a grandson, Aaron Jase Stevens, age
Regarding his departure from education after 31
years of service, Hardway said he cannot just stop. He will continue
working for others or for himself: “Change is inevitable. I could stay
where it’s steady, safe and secure, but I don’t want to look back at age
60 and say, ‘What if . . .?’.”