2013 County Government Essay Contest

 2013 County Government Essay Contest


April is “National County Government Month” and the County Commissioners’ Association of WV (CCAWV) is hosting our 2nd annual essay contest for 8th grade students across West Virginia.

This year we have broadened our scope of winners.  There will be a monetary prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place student winners. There will also be a monetary prize for the 1st place winner’s Teacher to be used for classroom activities.  1st Place Student will receive $300 and teacher will receive $300.   2nd place Student – $250 and 3rd place Student – $150.

One of CCAWV’s goals is to increase information and public awareness about county government and the office of County Commissioner.  As an initiative of this goal we are excited to partner with West Virginia educators to encourage students to learn and write about their local county governing body, the County Commission.  (Teachers, for your convenience, we are attaching our brochure about county commission responsibilities.)

Student participants are asked to type a 500-word essay on the topic…..


How does my county government make life better for me?”


Take a class fieldtrip to a county commission meeting!  Ask your county commissioners to come speak to the class!  Find out what your county commission is working on in your county and encourage your students to write about it from the perspective of an 8th grader and why it matters to them.


A committee of commissioners and CCAWV Staff will serve as judges of the contest.  All entries must be emailed by 5:00 pm April 30, 2013to qualify.  (Please see complete rules attached)


Entries should be emailed to:  vivian@ccawv.org

For more information, please contact Vivian Parsons at CCAWVvivian@ccawv.org or at 304-345-4639.

A winner will be announced by May 24, 2013


CCAWV County Government Essay Contest Rules 2013

  1. The contest is open to all 8th grade students who are enrolled in a West Virginia public or private school.
  2. The contest deadline is 5 p.m. on April 30, 2013 (see No. 8).
  3. Each essay is limited to a maximum of 500 words and a minimum of 400 words and must address the following question: “How does my county government make life better for me?”The essay must address specifically the county government of the county in which the student resides.
  4. Each student is limited to one entry.
  5. Each teacher must completely fill out an official application form (attached). Please submit each entry individually as a Word or PDF document with a copy of the application form attached.
  6. All entries must contain the student’s name, email address, and the county name in which the essay is about.
  7. All entries must be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format and must be submitted by the student’s teacher.
  8. All entries must be emailed to Vivian@ccawv.org prior to 5 p.m. on April 30, 2013.
  9. The winning essay will be announced by May 24, 2013.
  10. The 1st place student will receive $300, and the teacher who submitted the 1st place essay will receive $300 to be used for classroom activities
  11. The 2nd place student will receive $250 and the 3rd place student will receive $150.
  12. The winning students and his/her teachers will be invited to a County Commissionersmeeting in their home county to receive their awards.
  13. The 1st place winning essay will be published in Commissioners’ Corner, CCAWV’s official publication, and posted on the CCAWV website, (www.ccawv.org).
  14. Essays will be judged on the following criteria: understanding of the role of county government; grammar and spelling; clarity and organization of thought.
  15. By entering the contest, each student and teacher agrees to allow his/her name to be used in a news release announcing the contest winner in the event that their essay is selected as a winning essay. In addition, they agree to allow their photograph to be published in the Commissioners’ Corner and on the CCAWV Web site.
  16. Entries will not be returned.

Official Application Form

CCAWV 2013 County Government Essay Contest



Teacher’s Name:____________________________________________

Teacher’s Email address:_____________________________________

Name of School:____________________________________________

School Telephone #:_________________________________________

School Mailing Address:______________________________________




Submitting Student’s Name___________________________________

Submitting Student’s mailing address (if available):________________



(Teacher, you must submit a copy of this completed form with each student entry.)

 Thanks to:

Robert “Joey” Wiseman Jr.

Social Studies Coordinator

Office of Instruction


Building 6, Room 617

1900 Kanawha Boulevard East

Charleston, WV 25305-0330

304.558.5325 P

304.558.1834 F

E-mail: rjwisema@access.k12.wv.us


the WV Classroom

-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopediais a valuable reference resource. With 2,300 articles and thousands of photos, maps, and other illustrations, e-WV has the answers to nearly any question about the Mountain State. This e-WV Classroom section offers a selection of lesson plans designed by West Virginia teachers on a variety of topics. e-WV Classroom also directs students to useful articles and interactive quizzes.

e-WV has a number of other features that are valuable in the classroom:

  • Interactive Maps that display aspects of the state during different time periods
  • Portfolios where teachers and students can store items from e-WV
  • Forums where teachers, students and anyone with a free account can discuss anything of interest




World History for Us All


World History for Us All Offers:

  • a treasury of teaching units
  • presents the human past as a single story rather than unconnected stories of many civilizations
  • helps us meet our standards
  • enables us to survey world history w/o excluding major peoples, regions, or time periods
  • helps students understand the past by connecting specific subject matter to large historical patterns
  • draws upon up-to-date historical research
  • may be readily adapted to a variety of world history programs

World History for Us All is a national collaboration of K-12 teachers, collegiate instructors, and educational technology specialists.  The Teaching Units may give you some good ideas to spring from as we guide our students to learn about our world.  The depth and scope of this site offers strong unit based instructional design. Check out the site at:



Next Gen Standards NOW!

“The Next Generation Social Studies Standards and Objectives in West Virginia were approved by the State Board of Education in February, 2012.  They became effective on July 1, 2012.  There will not be a roll out as there has been for ELA and Math.  The Next Generation Social Studies Standards and Objectives are in effect in grades K-12 during the 2012-2013 school year.  They can be found both on the Policy Page of the WVDE site and they can also be found on Teach21 under the interactive Next Generation Standards and Objectives along with the new ELA and Math.”

-Joey Wiseman, WVDE social studies coordinator

The Living Room Candidate


“The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal is the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.”
-Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson, 1956

“Television is no gimmick, and nobody will ever be elected to major office again without presenting themselves well on it.”
-Television producer and Nixon campaign consultant Roger Ailes, 1968

In a media-saturated environment in which news, opinions, and entertainment surround us all day on our television sets, computers, and cell phones, the television commercial remains the one area where presidential candidates have complete control over their images. Television commercials use all the tools of fiction filmmaking, including script, visuals, editing, and performance, to distill a candidate’s major campaign themes into a few powerful images. Ads elicit emotional reactions, inspiring support for a candidate or raising doubts about his opponent. While commercials reflect the styles and techniques of the times in which they were made, the fundamental strategies and messages have tended to remain the same over the years.

The Living Room Candidate contains more than 300 commercials, from every presidential election since 1952, when Madison Avenue advertising executive Rosser Reeves convinced Dwight Eisenhower that short ads played during such popular TV programs as I Love Lucy would reach more voters than any other form of advertising. This innovation had a permanent effect on the way presidential campaigns are run.


Summer Camp for Social Studies and the Arts

W.Va. Schools to Mark West Virginia Birthday with Summer Camp for Social Studies and the Arts

 The West Virginia Department of Education in collaboration with other state agencies is commemorating the state’s 150th anniversary with a student summer camp that celebrates social studies and the arts.

This West Virginia Ambassadors Camp will be a week-long event conducted at the University of Charleston June 17 through June 21. Campers will stay on the UC campus during the week while they learn about West Virginia history as well as participate in classes taught by West Virginia artisans.

“As both an educator and parent, I believe that we cannot afford to overlook the significant and dramatic effect social studies and the arts have on student achievement,” said state Superintendent Jim Phares. “Research shows that the study of the arts can have a positive effect on student performance, while the study of social studies leads to a well-informed and civic-minded citizenry. This camp will allow our students to experience both.”

County superintendents have been invited to work with the middle schools in their area to select two ambassadors as well as two alternates per county to participate in the program. The students are to be eighth graders during the 2012-2013 school year. Students selected to participate are expected to return to their home counties and serve as ambassadors. Activities throughout the year following the camp are to include presentations at school-wide assemblies, scheduled classroom events at local elementary schools and the creation of an exhibit at county commission buildings.

During the camp, students will spend a day at the West Virginia Capitol Complex, where they will participate in a mock Legislature, tour the state museum, capitol, state archives and state library. In addition, the arts experience will include hands-on art projects as well as a workshop with the West Virginia Dance Company and dress rehearsal with the Charleston Light Opera Guild.

The ambassador program is sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, the Sesquicentennial Commission, the City of Charleston, the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, the West Virginia Power baseball team, the University of Charleston, and various other state agencies and non-profit organizations.

For more information, contact Joey Wiseman or Jack Deskins in the Office of Instruction at 304-558-5325, or the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.