At this Thanksgiving season I have been thinking about the systematic progress that I see in Elkins and Randolph County.
It seems to me that many institutions in our community now have excellent leadership with industrious employees. The Arts Center is creative, the Chamber of Commerce is energetic, the City Hall is well-organized, the Davis & Elkins College is very vibrant, the County Commission is proactive, the Development Authority is interactive, Davis Memorial Hospital is more caring, the public schools are innovative, the senior center is adventurous, the YMCA is active and Youth Health Services are nurturing.
We hear on the news that the economy is declining and our world is a dangerous place, but I see real signs of hope in this community. The generous local response to the new Kump Education Center shows that we want teachers to have local opportunities for professional development, and we believe we can build a brighter future. The fact that Davis House is being restored shows that our community is willing to help people who are suffering with cancer. The very idea that our local senior center would plan a trip to Russia is something that we would not have dreamed of when I was a child. When I go to the college, the YMCA and Youth Health day care, I see happy young people doing worthwhile activities with caring adults.
During my years as a teacher, I have heard a great deal about developing critical thinking. Now I believe critical thinking is more than knowing what is wrong with the world; it is also being able to recognize when something works well. I am thankful that Elkins is a good place for my grandchildren to grow up, and it is a good place for my husband and me to grow old.
Heather R. Biola
Kump Education Center