Student Success Summit to focus on supporting students at every level

MORGANTOWN, W.VA. – More than 300 education administrators, teachers, students, military leaders and community group members will join forces next week to find ways to help students prepare for lifelong success. Education representatives ranging from pre-school teachers to college presidents to the students they serve will convene during the fourth annual Student Success Summit (Summit) to be held Wednesday, July 30 and Thursday, July 31 at the Waterfront Hotel and Conference Center in Morgantown. The two-day event provides a unique opportunity for participants to work together to create a more seamless, life-long education system.

“Collaborative initiatives such as the Student Success Summit are essential in supporting West Virginia’s goals of increasing educational attainment rates and meeting the demands of the global, knowledge-driven economy,” Dr. Paul Hill, chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, said. “This event unites a wide variety of individuals with a range of perspectives and talents. It’s a very energizing environment that has yielded innovative new strategies and stronger connections among our PK-12 and higher education systems. This year’s Summit will build on that momentum by focusing particularly on engaging the community in developing comprehensive educational experiences for students of all ages and backgrounds.”

The Summit will feature more than 60 sessions on topics ranging from dropout prevention to college access to on-the-job learning experiences. This year’s theme is Students soar when communities connect. Booth Goodwin, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, will serve as the keynote speaker during lunch on Wednesday. Goodwin’s message will focus on the role that public and community organizations play in supporting education goals.

“Engaging the community is a critical component of building stronger education systems,” Chuck Heinlein, state superintendent of schools, said. “Educational experiences and student development do not begin or end at the classroom door. A partnership between parents, faith-based leaders, non-profit social service providers, public agencies and employers is vital as we work to help students develop the personal skills and connections required for their ultimate success.”

Six high schools will send teams of students to participate in a focused Youth Summit track of the conference. Students will learn leadership skills and strategies to build and strengthen a college-going culture in their communities. Students from Berkeley Springs, Elkins, John Marshall, Logan, Phillip Barbour and Point Pleasant high schools will participate.

The Summit is sponsored by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Department of Education, with support from the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education, the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, and the State’s military service units. Registration is free and open to the public. To register or learn more, visit

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