High School

Coach Kellie: A Tiny West Virginia High School is Making Football History

Nov 12, 2018
Hannan High School head football coach Kellie Thomas speaks with players following their loss to Parkersburg Catholic.
Zack Harold / 100 Days in Appalachia

It took a few weeks for Hannan High School principal Karen Oldham to realize her school might have made history. She was so busy with the day-to-day grind of running the small, rural Mason County school that it didn’t cross her mind, until an elderly alumnus brought it to her attention.

Teens and Guns: Will School Shootings Impact First Timer Voters’ Choices at the Polls?

Nov 5, 2018
Morgantown High School senior Nicholas Chaffins sits in the bleachers at a recent football game at his high school.
Justin Hayhurst / 100 Days in Appalachia

Nicholas Chaffins saw a need for change.

On March 14, Chaffins, then a junior at Morgantown High School in Morgantown, West Virginia, joined his peers to walk out of their classrooms to protest gun violence.

“If you talk to pretty much any student, we’re pretty fed up with it and we want something to change,” Chaffins said. “We were doing something. We were participating in activism.”

New Survey Finds West Virginia Students Reject Party Lines, Vote on Issues Instead

Nov 1, 2018
Henry Cerbone, left, and Abby Pletcher, right, seniors at Preston County High School, sit with their teacher Danielle Barker. Barker distributed the survey to her students.
Ashton Marra / 100 Days in Appalachia

Red state vs. blue state. Conservative vs. liberal. Republican vs. Democrat.

These binary terms dominate the nation’s political narrative leading up to major elections, including this year’s midterms on November 6. The national media likes clear cut sides to a political story, but a deeper look at the thoughts and feelings of Appalachian youth show a generation struggling to fit their opinions about the nation’s most timely issues into those boxes.

alcoholic beverages
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia high school students can submit entries in an annual state-sponsored contest on the dangers of drinking and driving and underage alcohol consumption.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Ten tiny homes lined up in two rows at the National Guard air base in Charleston recently. West Virginia high school students built the homes for victims of the June, 2016, historic flooding who were still struggling to find adequate housing.

Kara Lofton / WVPB

Of the 718 public schools in West Virginia, 129 have school-based health centers (although note that some elementary/middle or middle/high schools share a center). Just over 30 percent of those, including Riverside High School in Belle, have mental health services.

“I think it’s [the mental health services] a good thing because a lot of teenagers struggle with depression or something wrong with them - they think that - especially in adolescence, the way the brain develops and all that stuff,” said Lillian Steel-Thomas, a senior at Riverside.

alcoholic beverages
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

The state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration has received a record 78 entries from high school students for a contest discussing the dangers of drinking and driving and underage alcohol consumption.

Sixteen high schools submitted essays or videos for the contest. Winners will be announced in late January. Prizes include $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place and $1,000 for third place. Prize money must be used for school-sanctioned events or equipment.

Slick-o-bot / wikimedia Commons

High school graduates can begin applying for West Virginia's merit-based Promise Scholarship on Monday.

Applications will be available until March 1.

Wikimedia Commons

A new report released this week shows students in West Virginia with disabilities are graduating from high school at a greater percentage than the national average. 


This week, students at a very small West Virginia school are wrapping up a very big science project…with help from NASA. They’re building a full scale model of a satellite. It’s something you might not expect to see at the second smallest school in the state...but one teacher had the ambition and enthusiasm to make it happen.