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Let's get back to basics

We keep reading about students in high school -- even college -- who can't read or do simple arithmetic.

We also discover that in most other countries, students are learning much more than our students. This is a disgrace! Our students should be first in most subjects.

Now, for the solution. Reading, writing and arithmetic have been the most important subjects for at least 200 years. I have a grandson in the eighth grade. For six grades, he was a straight-A student. But he doesn't write well enough for even a druggist to read it.

When I was in school 70 years ago, we were taught penmanship beginning in the third grade. Everyone was taught to write so that it could be read.

If we don't teach the three R's in grade school, we can't expect students to learn very well all the way through high school or even college.

Yes, the sciences, home economics, foreign languages and many other subjects are important. But the most important are reading, writing and arithmetic and, of course, spelling. Let's get back to basics and give our kids a chance to learn and compete with the foreign students.

Raymond Wilson

Lost Creek

A truly moving experience

On Friday, April 27, I had the distinct privilege of participating in the graduation ceremony at Robert C. Byrd High School for 30 veterans from Harrison County. After many years, they finally received their long-overdue high school diplomas. These individuals proudly served our country, state and county in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam Conflict while others were preparing to graduate from high school.

It was an honor for me to shake the hand of each of these men as they walked across the stage and were presented their diplomas. As I did, I noted the expression on each of their faces. There were smiles of gratitude, worlds of congratulations and thanks, and many eyes filled with tears which reflected their pride.

As the Robert C. Byrd High School JROTC Color Guard presented our flag and the band played our national anthem, I was truly moved by the moment. Woody Williams, West Virginia's only living recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, gave an inspiring speech, which added to the significance of the event. The crowd gave testimony to the support that family, friends and community members have for these men. This event was one filled with emotion, honor and dignity, and was one of the highlights of my year as superintendent of Harrison County Schools.

Not completing their high school education became another piece of the great sacrifice these men made as they answered the call to serve our country. These veterans deserve our personal congratulations and heartfelt thanks for what they sacrificed.

Carl H. Friebel Jr., Ed.D.

Superintendent

Harrison County Schools

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