Fifth Annual West Virginia Education Summit Personalizing Career Readiness in West Virginia

Charleston, W.Va. – On November 1st, nearly 250 business, community, and education leaders gathered
in Charleston for the West Virginia Education Summit: Education is Everyone’s Business to discuss
personalizing career readiness to improve student achievement. This year’s Summit, hosted by The
Education Alliance, focused on the personalization of learning and necessary policy shifts to ensure that
West Virginia students are career ready.

“Teachers, principals, and other education professionals across the state are working daily to develop our
most vital resource, our children. They need partners from every sector of the state, especially from the
business community, to match their efforts and help them do more,” said Dr. Amelia Courts, president and
CEO of The Education Alliance. “The 2017 Summit will focus on ‘personalizing career readiness’ and
feature nationally-known speakers with examples of local innovation.”

The highlight of the event was the keynote provided by Susan Patrick from the International Association
for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) where she shared how school systems can use Personal Learning
Paths, Competency-Based Progressions, and Flexible Learning Environments to prepare students for
career and life readiness in the digital age.

“As we think about the tremendous opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for our state’s economy, it
is critical that we support innovative approaches to education,” said Mallie Combs, Chairman of The
Education Alliance Board of Directors. “Through gatherings like the Summit, we can learn from one
another and work together to develop new strategies and models of learning that will provide our students
with the very best.”

The Summit began with a panel of industry leaders and workforce development experts who explored
anticipated changes and strategic possibilities, and identified ways of creating better opportunities for all
learners. Berkeley County Schools was awarded the “Exemplary Partnership for Career Readiness
Award” for their Jump Start program in collaboration with Blue Ridge Community and Technical College.
Over lunch, participants had the opportunity to network during a Student Expo showcasing state
exemplars of “personalizing career readiness”.

In the afternoon, educators from South Carolina provided an overview of the policies and practices that
they have embraced to change the learning landscape in their schools. The event concluded with a
conversation with state leaders, Secretary Woody Thrasher and State Superintendent Steve Paine,
highlighting their vision for enhancing career readiness for all West Virginia students through a
personalized learning approach.

For more information on the summit, visit EducationAlliance.org/Summit or contact The Education
Alliance at 304-342-7850. Be sure to join the conversation online at #wvedsummit or tweet us your
thoughts at @theedualliance.

Sponsors for the Summit include: Appalachian Power (gold); Cabell Huntington Hospital (silver); AT&T;
Bowles Rice LLP; The Dow Chemical Company, FirstEnergy Foundation; Microsoft; Mountain Valley
Pipeline; Northeast Natural Energy; Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia; United Bank; West
Virginia Economic Development Council; and ZMM Architects and Engineers. Be sure to join the
conversation online at #wvedsummit or tweet us your thoughts at @theedualliance.

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About The Education Alliance
Founded in July 1983 as the first statewide public education fund in the nation, The Education Alliance is
a private-sector initiative to help businesses understand the importance of financially and resourcefully
supporting the state’s public schools and to give business a voice in public education that advances
policies and practices to continually improve public school student achievement in West Virginia.

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