Valley Head gym dedicated to volunteer

VALLEY HEAD – The Valley Head Elementary School gymnasium was dedicated Tuesday in honor of a man who logged many hours as a volunteer for local sports programs.

Stanley Gould, who currently makes his home at Elkins Rehabilitation & Care Center, received an honorary plaque as members of the Randolph County Board of Education gathered at the school to dedicate the gymnasium in his honor.

Board member Harvey Taylor presented Gould with the plaque.

“I want to thank everyone for coming tonight,” Taylor said. “I have known Stanley Gould for pretty much my whole life. On behalf of the Randolph County Board of Education, we want to dedicate this gym the Stanley Gould Gymnasium. We appreciate all you have done for the Valley Head community and the upper valley. This is well overdue.”

Gould, 61, thanked everyone for the honor.

“I appreciate it,” Gould said. “This means a lot to me – more than you know.”

Superintendent of Schools Terry George said it was an honor to pay tribute to Gould.

“He has worked tirelessly in the valley, especially for the Valley Head School, Valley Head gym and its athletic programs,” George said. “To dedicate this gym to him is great. I think the community appreciates what he has done over the years, and we wanted to take the opportunity to show our appreciation.”

George said the Valley Head Elementary School gym floor has been refinished and Stanley was responsible for securing the funding for the wood and materials.

“I think this is a well-deserved honor for Stanley to have this gym named after him,” said Taylor. “He is a great volunteer and I am glad he was able to come tonight. The plaque is beautiful and this is a great name to put on this gymnasium.”

Melissa Wilfong, who serves as principal of Valley Head Elementary School, said Gould has a long history of service at the school.

“In previous years, Stanley was the basketball coach at Valley Head Elementary School,” Wilfong said. “If we need anything, he helps locate donors and funding. We received a canopy from him that we use for field day so the kids can go under it and cool off. He has done tremendous things for us.”

Delegate Denise Campbell, D-Randolph, is the administrator at Elkins Rehabilitation & Care Center where Gould is a resident. She said she is proud of Gould and glad they could arrange to get him to the dedication while still keeping the honor a secret.

“He knew nothing about this whatsoever,” Campbell said. “I told him they were doing something with the gym and that I was going so I wanted him to come as well..”

Campbell said Valley Head means the world to Gould.

“He is a big fan of all valley sports, and anytime he can do anything to help out he does so,” Campbell said. “One thing I can say about him is he is always positive. He will help anyone. We all need to copy that attitude. He puts everybody else first.”

BOE President Lisa Wamsley said she would like to thank Gould for all the work he had done over the years, not just in Valley Head and the upper valley community, but in Elkins as well.

“Stanley was instrumental in getting the handicap-accessible ramp built in Elkins for those who want to fish,” Wamsley said. “He is very involved in the community and has inspired children and adults for years. He is very deserving of this award.”

Board member Bruce Haddix said he is proud to honor Gould.

“We are honoring Stanley as a number one citizen in the valley district,” Haddix said. “He has dedicated his life to education of the community, and he helps out as needed.”