Toman earns Paden City alumni award

By The Pennsboro News staff

The Pennsboro News of Harrisville, West Virginia

The following article had been reprinted with permission from the Tyler Star News.

"It's something about my hometown and the whole Ohio Valley; we grew up knowing that working hard would pay off and that we were being raised to be successful."

Those are some of the words Ed Toman, Paden City High School Class of 1982, used in describing his feelings upon hearing that he is being awarded the 2015 Paden City Schools Distinguished Alumni Award.

"I am so honored and humbled by all of this." Toman, currently the Superintendent of Ritchie County Schools and the father of three, will be feted at a reception on July 4 beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Main Hall of Paden City School. The reception is part of entire weekend of events scheduled for alumni of PCHS and their friends and families.

The slate begins with a Memorial Service Thursday, July 2 in the Jesse Brown Hall at PCHS, class parties Friday, July 3 the annual Alumni Golf scramble Saturday moming, the parade Saturday afternoon, the DAA reception at 4:30 and the Green and White Banquet also in Brown Hall Saturday evening. The schedule wraps up with a dance at the Barker Building.

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes graduates of PCHS who have excelled in a chosen field and/or contributed to the betterment of humanity either through their professional accomplishment or through serving their community and who have inspired others to carry on the traditions learned in Paden City schools.

Toman's compliments and recognition of the environment in which he grew up specifies his family life and that of nearly everyone he knew growing up. "Almost all of us were fortunate enough to grow up in a household where one or both parents held good middle class jobs, mothers often were at home full-time and entire families were involved in many facets of community life, from school activities, the various clubs and service organizations in town and in church.

I owe a lot to my parents, Frank and Judy, an also John and Mike (brothers) and Becky (sister). "Additionally, Toman cited several teachers and coaches he encountered along his life's path including elementary school teachers Ralph Wolsten croft, Roberta Starcher and Linda Hill along with high school teacher/coaches Bob Burton, Frank Knight, Jack Starcher and Mike Roscoe.

He made special mention of the discipline he learned from being a member of the Wildcat band and its director, Ed Hood.

Toman also noted the guidance and leadership displayed by Principal Henry Healy and life lessons taught by Owen McKay. He remembered McKay saying, "I'm not just teaching you chemistry, I am teaching what you need to know to be successful in college and in the workforce."

He even recognized the coach of a formal rival, Sistersville High School's former football coach, Lou Nocida. "Coach Nocida talked to me about returning to college and playing football while he was coaching at Glenville State College. That helped me decide to finish my degree in education and pursue my current career.

It is not a far stretch to realize that these influences may have guided Toman into a career in education.

After starting at Marshall after high school, Toman, took a short break from school before returning to Glenville State College and playing football there.

Upon graduation from GSC, Toman began teaching Behavior Disorders classes first at Clay-Batelle High School and then at Morgantown High School.

In 1997, he became principal at Wirt County High School and then moved onward in administration and was named Superintendent of Wirt County Schools and in 2004, he moved over to Gilmer Country and served as their Superintendent.

He left Gilmer schools and returned to Glenville State and led a program known at the Jason Project. A year later, Ritchie County Schools came calling and recruited him to be their Superintendent, a position he still holds.

One accomplishment Ed is proud of while serving superintendent at Ritchie County is his Superintendent/Student Advisory Council. The group meets regularly to discuss issues and solve problems with a collaborative approach.

When asked about future plans, Toman stated, "I just want to keep working and making a difference in the lives of students and children." Ed doesn't have to look far for inspiration in that area as he works alongside his wife, Michelle.

Mrs. Toman is a National Suicide Prevention Advocate and has traveled locally and to many other states speaking with school-aged children and encourages open dialogue on the topic of suicide and ways to identify at risk youths.

She and Ed were instrumental in passing a West Virginia state law called Jamie's Law. The law, named for her late brother, requires all schools to facilitate a safe communication about suicide. The couple will be traveling to Washington, DC to speak about the law.

Together the couple has three children, son Jordan who is working in the welding profession in Ripley, daughter Tristin, a student at West Virginia University and son Campbell who is at home and a student in Ritchie County schools. The family resides in Pennsboro.

While in high school Toman was a member of the PCHS Wildcat band, a standout player on the Wildcat football, basketball and track teams and served on numerous committees.

He was a member of the 1982 Class "A" state runner-up basketball team. The team, struggled through a 6 win and 14 loss regular season only to catch fire in tournament play and knocked off one state ranked team after another en route to the state championship game where they were defeated by Mullens High School.

He continued to garner awards and honors during his time after high school, as well. He was named as Principal of the Year in 1999 and was named the Glenville State College Distinguished Alum in 2003.

Ed serves on the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission Board of Directors and the Glenville State College Board of Governors as well as the RESA VII Board of Directors.

The reception to be held in Toman's honor is open to the public and free of charge.

A spokesperson for the committee noted, "this is a very nice addition to the annual Alumni weekend. We have held it since 1998 and is the brainchild of PCHS alumnae Sue Miles Nichols.

"Toman will be featured at the reception and then introduced again at the Green and White Banquet which follows in Brown Hall at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are required for the banquet.

Nominations for future Distinguished awards can be mailed to P.O. Box 233, Paden City, WV 26159 and applications can be obtained at the municipal office building, the Paden City Museum and the Paden City Public Library.

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