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Naming Request Would Honor Past Educators

February 19, 2014
BY LAUREN MATTHEWS - Staff Writer ( , Wetzel Chronicle

Shawna Yoho, of the Paden City Alumni Association, and Rodney McWilliams, of the Paden City Foundation, approached the Wetzel County Board of Education Monday night in regards to naming Paden City High School's multi-purpose building and fine arts wing after Jesse M. Brown and Ross "Ed" Hood, respectively.

The Paden City Foundation is partnering with the Alumni Association for fund raising and publicity purposes for this endeavor.

An informational packet passed out to board members states that Jesse M. Brown graduated from West Liberty State College in 1931 and taught in Paden City schools from 1931 to 1942, teaching math and science. Brown served the United States Navy as a commissioned officer stationed in Australia, returned to Paden City in 1946; became principal of PCHS in 1957 and served in that position until 1971.

It is further stated that, along with others, Brown engaged leaders and community residents in a move to pass the necessary bond for the establishment of Paden City's first four-year high school in 1950. Brown established an award and counseling program with Corning Industries as well as a test program.

The information states that Brown never hesitated to hold 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. study groups in math, science, and photography so students could excel in all three areas.

Furthermore, Brown awarded the first Paden City Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award, the Magnolia Boosters Life Achievement Award, and was a founding member of the Paden City Foundation.

The alumni association hopes to name PCHS's "multi-purpose building, which was constructed in 1986, "Jesse Brown Memorial Hall." The association proposes a plaque near the entrance of the building, with brass lettering, on the building.

The alumni association proposes that Fine Arts Wing of PCHS, housed at the bottom floor of the Berger Memorial Fieldhouse, be named the "Ross 'Ed' Hood Fine Arts Wing."

Hood became PCHS's band director in 1956 and served as such until 1981. He started an instrumental music program for the fourth grade, directed the cadet band, and taught students from fourth grade until their graduation.

Hood directed the band to hundreds of awards in marching band, concert band, and stage (jazz) band competitions. "Under his direction, the PCHS band became one of the best high school bands in West Virginia," the association's information packet states.

Furthermore, it is stated that Hood was responsible for the moniker being given to PCHS's band as "The biggest little band in the land." Hood was also awarded the honor of "Distinguished West Virginian" by Jay Rockefeller in 1981, and that same year he began teaching music at New Martinsville School.

The PC Alumni Association voted to pursue the building-naming project at its annual meeting in July 2013. The board was informed that Principal Jay Salva was notified of the associaton's intentions in September 2013. Contributions to date are $500 and county maintenance personnel are necessary to install the plaques and/or lettering.

Yoho stated the desired completion date is June 30, for unveiling during Alumni Weekend activities, July 3-5.

Board President Mike Blair stated that the board would defer the matter to Superintendent Dennis Albright to make sure no other details need to be examined. Blair stated the matter would go on the board's next agenda for approval. "We'll work with you and Mr. Salva," Blair stated.



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