Paine has served as West Virginia's 25th state superintendent of schools since July 1, 2005. Under his leadership, West Virginia has been nationally recognized for its 21st Century Learning Skills initiative, Pre-k programs, school technology implementation, reading initiatives and teacher quality efforts.
West Virginia's 21st Century Learning Skills initiative not only focuses on core academic courses, it also emphasizes information and communications technology literacy, critical thinking, communication skills, global awareness, and business, economic and civic literacy.
“I’m honored to be recognized for working to improve education in West Virginia,” Paine said. “The globalization phenomenon of the 21st century has changed how West Virginia and other states must think about educating their children. Subjects and skills once thought optional are now essential to be successful in today’s digital world.”
Paine, poverty expert Ruby Payne and the Pendleton County Board of Education were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Jan. 16, 2007, at the Edgewood Country Club in Charleston. Their inclusion brings the total number of Harless Hall of Fame members to 15.
“Superintendent Paine is a great example of the type of leader who exemplifies the commitment of the June Harless Center,” said Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp. “Our future success as both a state and a nation depends on people who embody this commitment. Superintendent Paine’s dedication to promoting quality education that results in high level achievement for the young people of West Virginia is inspiring. We applaud his leadership and efforts and welcome him to the distinguished group of Hall of Fame members.”
The June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development was created to maximize resources and help establish Marshall University as a leader in the field of rural education and community development. It has developed partnerships with the West Virginia Department of Education, businesses and other entities that encourage the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of the educational process for rural children.
The center was named in honor of June Montgomery Harless, one of southern West Virginia's most avid supporters of education and medical research. She and her husband Buck have contributed millions of dollars to worthy causes throughout West Virginia and the nation.