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What a Wonderful Day it was...


On July 7th, 2010 Kody Souers and Aerron Whetzel, cadets at the Kenneth “Honey” Rubenstein Center, presented West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III a brand new podium to be featured in the Governor’s reception room and to be used for all state press conferences. Joe Thorton, Secretary of the WV Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety contacted Denny Dodson, Deputy Director of the WV Division of Juvenile Services, Dodson then contacted Stephanie Bond, Superintendent of the Rubenstein Center about the possibility of school’s Building Construction Class designing and building a new podium for the Governor.

Travis Hamrick, the Building Construction instructor was mailed a picture from a catalog and asked to try and replicate the model as a surprise for the Governor. The price of the catalog model was $4,650.00 but the students built the exact same model out of black walnut wood products costing approximately $450.00. The students, the instructor and the principal of the facility, Joe Michaels, then made the trip to Charleston to deliver the Governor’s new surprise.

After presenting the new podium, Governor Manchain was so thrilled with the work that the students at the facility did, he ordered a complete retrofit of the new podium so that he could use it for the live CNN press conference that same day. Mr. Hamrick is quoted as saying, “The value of the podium shows the cadets the value of construction skills”. We at OIEP are very proud of the students and staff at the Kenneth “Honey” Rubenstein Center in Davis, WV.

Posted: August 2, 2010