Ditching Mitch and Moving On

Published:October 31, 2020

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

– Lao Tzu

Many of life’s most important actions require us to exercise patience, which works against our natural tendency to desire instant results.  Teachers distinctly possess an understanding of the importance of playing the long game.  We work to establish routines and a smooth learning process.  We instruct, drill, simulate, provoke, and repeat to lay a proper foundation for knowledge and skills needed for the future.  This profession requires patience and long-suffering.  Yet, when the year has ended, we see a difference.


After two years of strikes, frustrations, and poor legislation from Charleston, educators in West Virginia now see our patience and work producing results at the ballot box.  After the June 9th Primary Elections, voters ousted 10 Republican legislators who voted against teachers during the last two sessions.  Of course, the biggest victory belonged to Amy Nichole Grady, a Putnam County elementary teacher who ousted Senate President Mitch Carmichael.

West Virginia teachers rejoiced at these election results.  The primaries undoubtedly sent a signal that poor policy decisions have consequences.  We struggled to listen to poor explanations about charter schools, and we tried to laugh off Carmichael’s terrible videos and unnaturally tight sweaters.  Yet, after more than two years, we witnessed voters making a difference.

What now?

We have an opportunity to act again.  Some of public education’s biggest foes won their primaries and we hope to unseat them next week.  Patricia Rucker, Craig Blair, and Robert Karnes are among the most notable names we hope to see defeated in November.  You have the unique opportunity to send these people home and elect sound leadership who will assist public education.

In the Election of 2020, the presidency can easily steal the spotlight, but remember to make good choices in choosing your state and local officials.  The West Virginia State Legislature creates most of the laws which govern our day to day lives.  The right to vote imparts a great power to citizens.  You possess a voice.  Use it!  If you have not already voted, make sure to do so this Tuesday!



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