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The Spirit of Innovation is Alive in the Mountain State

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May 13, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) today had a front row seat to a showcase of entrepreneurial expertise. Members heard from several groups about innovative business ideas and projects taking place everywhere from the classroom to the Capitol.

"Our entrepreneurial spirit is what will help our state thrive in the future so it is important to take opportunities to feature innovative minds and best business practices occurring throughout West Virginia," said Board Vice President Michael Green. "I am committed to growing innovation and giving individuals a chance to succeed."

Today's presentation featured Liz Adams, the winner of the Second Annual Statewide High School Business Plan Competition and her teacher Deborah Hartshorn. The Wirt County High School student won a $10,000 college scholarship for a business plan which combined art and occupational therapy. Adams was chosen as the top entrant in the state from a field of competitors that included 36 schools.

Larry Malone, director of policy for the Governor's Office, shared Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's vision for the future of entrepreneurship education. The Governor's Office is focused on apprenticeship experiences, the community technical college system and entrepreneurial opportunities.

"Governor Tomblin is very supportive of the efforts and activities going on to expand youth entrepreneurship educational opportunities for students across West Virginia," said Malone. "Encouraging young West Virginians to explore a business idea and create their own businesses is another workforce opportunity that should be encouraged and nurtured."

In addition, Cory Dennison, president of Vision Shared, presented an overview of their yearly Lemonade Stand Project; Kathy D'Antoni, chief of West Virginia Department of Education Career Technical Education, shared details about the Simulated Workplace Program; and, Gene Coulson, executive director of the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education briefed the board on a recent entrepreneurship workshop focused on reaching our youngest students.

For more information about entrepreneurial education contact the WVDE Communication Office at (304) 558- 2699.

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