By Rachel Dove
Mark Colegrove is one of several candidates seeking the available seat on the Mingo County Board of Education, and is sharing his credentials and ideas for the future needs of the many students who call this county home.
“I am a lifelong resident of Mingo County and currently reside at Myrtle,” Colegrove said. “I attended Lenore High School during my seventh- to 11th-grade years, and then graduated in 1988 from Mingo Christian School. I also completed computer business classes through Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and hold various certifications through the state Department of Highways.
“I am the son of Marvin and Maxwell Colegrove of Lenore. I have been married to Maxine Colegrove for 25 years and I have two children, Emily, 13, and Ethan, 11. My wife is a health occupations teacher at Tug Valley High School.
“I am currently employed by West Virginia Paving as the area manager for the Southern West Virginia division of this company. I started my career in road construction 25 years ago during the construction of U.S. 119 through Mingo County. I have 18 years experience in supervisory and management positions.”
Colegrove said that, throughout his career, he has successfully managed millions of dollars of work on both state and federal jobs, and has supervised hundreds of employees. He remarked that he has always strived to maintain a good working relationship with his fellow employees and the people of the communities in which he works.
When asked qualties he possesses that make him the best candidate for the position he seeks, Colegrove replied, “With my work experience, I bring qualities such as leadership, teamwork, balancing budgets and working well with others to the board. I’m familiar with the collective bargaining process and understand the rights of employees. When my company is awarded a contract, it’s my responsibility to operate that job within its budget and still produce a quality product. When I complete a job, I want to be able to face the taxpayer knowing that I gave them what they paid for.
“These same principles apply for the Board of Education position. They are given a budget; they should develop ways of providing a quality education for our children. If elected, I want to be able to look at the children knowing I did everything in my power to give them the opportunity to get the education they deserve.”
Colegrove said he feels the No. 1 issue as a board member that must be addressed and corrected is the state control of our school system.
“I feel very strongly about the state takeover that went into affect nine years ago and will work relentlessly to regain control for our county. I feel it’s time to hold someone accountable for our failing educational system. I’m committed to working with the local and state boards, the superintendent, administrators, teachers and parents to develop a plan to provide our students with the quality education they deserve.
“The first step to regaining control is to elect board members who are willing to put politics and personal feelings aside and work together for the good of Mingo County students. There is no room for politics in this office. It should not be used for political gain or a stepping stone for other offices. I hear so many people say, ‘Why would you fool with the board race, it is a waste of time.’ I say to anyone that feels this way, ‘It’s not a joke … , it’s not a waste of time … It’s one of the most important decisions you will make for our children.’
“Our kids are our future, and it is up to us to prepare them to be leaders of tomorrow. This is the most important seat on the ballot and we should elect members who are involved with our youth and really want to make a difference in our educational system. To me this is a very important step in regaining control of our county.”