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Combined 66 Years Experience:
Weekley, Hardway Retire
From Local Career Center
by Gary Knight

Updated on Wednesday*:

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The Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center is losing two long-time employees to retirement in November and December.

Nancy Weekley (35) and Wayne “Pokey” Hardway (31) have over 66 years of experience in the local school system.

Nancy Weekley:

“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 Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center, 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 Parkersburg 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 adult students.

“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 degree.”

She cited her own daughters’ attendance at the center and the benefits of their having done so.

Trudi, Calhoun 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’s tenure.

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, three.

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.

 

Wayne Hardway:

Wayne “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 Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center’s 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 County 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 two.

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 . . .?’.”

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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