The Times West Virginian

Local News

April 26, 2014

BOE candidate Brunett opposes consolidation

‘Keep those neighborhoods intact and keep kids on shorter bus rides’

FAIRMONT — Sam Brunett is running for Marion County Board of Education.

He is representing the Palatine District and lives on Pleasant Valley Road.

He is currently an art teacher and department chair at Morgantown High School.

After obtaining his Master of Fine Arts from West Virginia University, Brunett substitute taught for a few years before serving as the art teacher at Cheat Lake Middle School for 15 years.

He lives with his wife, Kim, and 5-year-old son Cameron, who attends the Marion County Pre-K Program at East Fairmont High School and will attend Pleasant Valley kindergarten next year. His oldest son, Jack, attends school at Simpson in Harrison County.

Concerning Marion County Schools facilities, Brunett is strongly opposed to consolidating Mannington and Monongah middle schools. He does not feel the consolidation will better serve the students, he said.

“I believe that two smaller schools offering the same amenities can be as cost-efficient short-term and even more cost-efficient the long term than an unnecessary consolidation,” said Brunett.

“If we are going to put kids first, then the bus travel alone should determine that outcome. Those communities rely upon those schools as a hub, and they should continue doing so as close, if not on the same footprint they currently sit.”

Brunett is a self-proclaimed advocate of keeping schools as the close hubs of neighborhoods and communities, and as a BOE member he feels it would be his duty to consider the input from the taxpayers of Marion County before any decision was made.

After the issues surrounding the middle schools is addressed, Brunett would like to see the next wave of improvements focused on the county’s older elementary schools, using the same method of keeping those neighborhood schools in their neighborhood, he said.

“East Park, Barrackville and some of our other structures have experienced difficulty due to their age,” he said. ”Again, neither busing nor consolidation in those schools is the solution. We need to keep those neighborhoods intact and keep kids on shorter bus rides.”

Concerning education in the classroom, Brunett believes middle school students should be introduced to Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in middle school by bringing back classes like tech ed and family consumer science.

“Students can then build upon that foundation through class offerings in CTE in ninth-12th grades so we have the option to graduate students career ready,” he said.

“We have to embrace the fact that not all students are going to go to college,” said Burnett.

“We must prepare those students to be successful upon graduation. We should expand the Career and Technical Education program so that an introduction and exploration to these career options are available.”

Marion County can apply for waivers to allow room academically for those students who choose a career path, and that will allow for a successful graduation without the confining requirements by the state for the college-bound student, he said.

“We can also establish partnerships with business, industry and unions to aid in establishing training and resources geared towards a career-ready graduate.”

Brunett would also like to see Marion County Schools expand the Advanced Placement program, enabling students to take more college-credit courses during their high school years, he said.

“Expanding AP will provide future savings for those college-bound parents who will eventually be paying the college rate, while affording our students greater opportunities and course offerings during their high school years,” he said.

As far as staffing is concerned, Brunett’s number one objective is to put a highly qualified, certified teacher in every Marion County classroom.

“I would also strive to achieve the lowest possible teacher/student ratio with the smallest possible class sizes to ensure the best possible opportunity for our children,” he said.

He also believes education dollars should be directed to classrooms where it is most effective for children.

“I have spent my entire career actively reaching to improve the teaching profession and advocating for students,” said Brunett. “I have served and continue to serve on many school, county, state and national committees to improve education.”

He currently serves as an executive board member of American Federation of Teachers West Virginia/American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations and president of Monongalia County AFT/AFL-CIO. He serves on the West Virginia Department of Education’s Teacher Evaluation Task Force, the WVDE Safe Schools Committee, The Reconnecting McDowell Project and various other groups and projects that advocate for the children, teachers and the schools of West Virginia.

He is also a member of the Marion County Democratic Men and the Moose No, 9 in Fairmont.

“I want what is best for my children as every parent does,” Brunett said. ”I am confident that my expertise can bring what is best for not just my children but all children in Marion County.”

Email Chelsi Baker at or follow her on Twitter @cbakerTWV.

Text Only
Local News
  • Christian Lewis-EG.jpg 10-year-old Christian Lewis first in national karate tournament

    Moments before the announcement of the winners at the USA National Karate Federation (USANKF) national tournament, Fairmont resident Christian Lewis said he was very nervous.
    The 10-year-old had just finished competing in the tournament, which was held in Reno, Neveda. Lewis went to the tournament with fellow martial artists from the Mushin Do Dojo in Fairmont.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Manchin brothers embroiled in lawsuit

    A $1.7 million civil lawsuit has been filed by John Manchin II against his brothers U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III and Roch (Rock) Manchin.
    The suit involves funds that John Manchin claims he gave to his brothers in the late 1980s so that their carpet business could avoid bankruptcy.

    July 26, 2014

  • STEM museum project planned

    Christine Meek loves science.
    She and her son moved here a year ago from Denver, where she worked as a middle school science teacher and volunteered with the Denver Museum of Science and Nature.

    July 26, 2014

  • Blood Drive-RB.jpg Blood donations help save lives

    Marion County-area residents helped save lives today.
    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage due to there being 80,000 fewer than expected blood donations made since May. Citizens from the area took time to donate blood.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire at old Rusty Spur battled

    Emergency responders were called to a structure fire at the old Rusty Spur in Monongah Friday night.

    July 25, 2014

  • American Red Cross Blood Drive today

    Marion County residents have the chance to save lives today.

    July 25, 2014

  • Boil water notice for the City of Fairmont

    On July 25, the City of Fairmont had a water line break in Barrackville on School St. and surrounding areas

    July 25, 2014

  • UPDATE: Senator won't comment on lawsuit filed against him by brother

    A $1.7 million civil lawsuit has been filed by John Manchin II against his brothers U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III and Roch (Rock) Manchin.

    July 25, 2014

  • Energy Express 1 - CB.jpg Students at Energy Express gain ‘sense of community’

    Children have been learning at Watson Elementary School, even though it’s summer break.
    Thirty-four students in grades one to six started the Energy Express program June 13 and will participate until Aug. 2. It is run by West Virginia University’s Extension Services and AmeriCorps.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • FRESH FRUIT AND VEGGIES -TS.jpg WIC participants to get vouchers

    Participants in the Marion and Monongalia County Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) will soon have another way to get access to fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs.
    Through the West Virginia Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, WIC program participants will be able to receive vouchers for use at their local farmers’ market.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads