Don is originally from East Bank, West Virginia and attended Marshall University. He currently teaches social studies at Cabell Midland High School in Ona. When not teaching, he is a fan of running, good coffee, and all manner of books. Don and a number of his co-workers helped form Future of 55 in the wake of the 2018 Strike in an effort to promote the interests of teachers and attempt to positively influence education policy in the Mountain State.
Another founding member of Future of 55, Kenny grew up in Rainelle, West Virginia and attended Marshall University where he earned a degree in Music Education. Kenny lives in Huntington with his wife, Meghan, who teaches elementary TAG in Cabell county. After teaching in 7 different positions as well as substituting over the course of 9 years, Kenny has found his niche teaching Project Lead The Way Engineering at Cabell Midland High School. Having seen education in West Virginia as the wearer of many hats, Kenny understands the need for every educator’s unique experience and voice to be represented in the policy-making process. Future of 55 is working to make this a reality.
Matt grew up in Williamstown, WV, attended Marshall University and now resides in Barboursville, WV. Matt and his wife, Whitney, are both teachers in Cabell County and enjoy traveling, Marshall sports, concerts and spending time with their 3 children. Matt believed teachers and other education professionals & support personnel needed to be more involved in West Virginia politics and helped start Future of 55 to do just that.
Lauren has taught math for 5 years. She currently teaches 8th grade and Algebra I at Milton Middle School in Cabell County. When she found herself listening to the senate floor sessions in the car, following local politicians on Twitter, and holding picket signs in the cold last year, she knew something had to be done. Future of 55 is here to make that change.
Cade grew up in one of the many coal towns in Lincoln County, WV; to get there you just keep driving up the road until it starts going down again, then you take the driveway that is still going up. He attended Marshall University and earned a degree in English, then afterwards did the obligatory English-major stint working as a barista. He met his future wife, Anna, a nurse practitioner who suggested he try teaching, and Cade has worked at Huntington High School ever since. Cade was voted as Huntington High’s Teacher of the Year in 2019, and currently teaches junior and senior co-taught English. His vantage point from teaching in special education co-taught classes gives him a special concern for the “difficult” kids, and the kids who sometimes are forgotten in educational policy discussions. He is also an identical twin, and readily uses that novelty during demonstrations at the Capitol.
Angela has spent her entire teaching career as a social studies middle school teacher; (gentle reminder, one year of middle school is like 3 years of regular school; so by that logic she’s taught 45 years). She attributes her love of social studies to the simple fact that she was born in California and spent the majority of her childhood traveling around the world as an army brat. Eventually she ended up in West Virginia and went to Marshall University. When she is not teaching, you can either find her working at Sip Wine and Whiskey bar (where she can help you find the best wine for any occasion), reading trashy thriller novels, or whipping up a grand feast for no reason.
Billy, the son of a coal miner, grew up in the rural coalfields of Mingo County. He attended Marshall University and has been teaching in Cabell County since 2004. He currently resides in Milton with his wife and two daughters and teaches social studies at Cabell Midland High School. During the 2018 Strike, Billy realized that ignoring the shenanigans of our state legislature was no longer a sound strategy. Therefore, he decided to join with several of his co-workers to found Future of 55.
Justin is a Social Studies teacher at Cabell Midland. He is originally from Rainelle, WV. He came to Marshall University in 2000 and graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in 2007. He is married to his wife Ashley, who is a teacher at Village of Barboursville Elementary. He has two daughters Riley and Tinley. He has coached many sports in Cabell County in the past including golf, football, basketball and track. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family, Marshall sports and anything else sports related.
Jay is originally from Ripley, West Virginia but currently lives in Huntington. He attended Marshall University where he completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in secondary education. He currently teaches at Cabell Midland High School, where his wife Elizabeth teaches Spanish. Together, they have twin boys, Peter and Ezra.