Governor Northam taps two to board of New College Institute

Stowe named to SOL Innovation Committee

RICHMOND — Gov. Ralph Northam has announced one new member and reappointed one member to the board of the New College Institute (NCI) in Martinsville.

Also, an NCI official has been named to a committee on the state Standards of Learning (SOL).
Richard Hall of Martinsville, managing director of Orion Capital, and Naomi Hodge-Muse of Martinsville, president of the Martinsville-Henry County NAACP, were name to the board of the New College Institute, Northam announced recently.
Also, the Northam Administration recently announced the addition of 10 new members to Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL) Innovation Committee, including Melany Stowe of Martinsville.
NCI, in Martinsville, is a state-funded educational entity that provides access to higher education through partnerships with colleges and universities. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as other academic programs.
In addition, Melany Stowe of Martinsville has been named to the SOL Innovation Committee.


Richard Hall

Hall, a life-long resident of Martinsville, has a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech. Before joining Orion Capital, he was a consultant to the transition team when Eastman Chemical bought Commonwealth Laminating and Coating. Hall was co-founder/chairman of the board/managing director of Commonwealth Laminating.
Before that, he worked for J.C. Bradford/UBS/Pain Webber from 1994 to 2000 and Martin Processing/Courtaulds/CP Films from 1986 to 1994.
Hall is co-founder of the Center for Advanced Film Manufacturing at NCI and Patrick Henry Community College; was on the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. (EDC) board and received the Gardner/Summerlin Award for Economic Development efforts for the area; and was 2008 Red Cross member of the Year. He is chairman of the Patriot Center Advisory Board, serves as an economic development industry liaison and also has worked with the United Way, Chamber of Commerce, YMCA and Piedmont Youth Soccer League.

Hodge-Muse, who was reappointed to the NCI board, has a bachelors degree from Virginia Union University and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She also attended The University of the South School of Theology’s Theological Education Extension Education for Ministry.
She worked in management at DuPont for two years and Miller Brewing Co. for 30 years before retiring in 2008. She is the assistant pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, a member of the Sierra Club and president of the Henry County Voters League.
Hodge-Muse is a local grassroots organizer for Democratic campaigns and also is NAACP Area 8 chairman representing Henry, Patrick and Franklin counties.


Melany Stowe

Stowe is the assistant director of academics and communications at the New College Institute in Martinsville. She has worked at several levels of education, including as administrative leader at a higher education center, instructor at Patrick Henry Community College, and teacher and administrator in K-12.
Stowe served as a program reviewer for multiple national programs facilitated by the U.S. Department of Education. She also serves as an evaluator for the Virginia Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program and has been instrumental in bringing funding and programs to Southern Virginia, according to the NCI website.
She received her undergraduate degree from Radford University and master’s degree in administration from the University of Virginia. She is as president of the Southern Piedmont Technology Council and on the boards of Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (VASCD) and Henry County/Martinsville Social Services, and is an alumnae of LEAD Virginia.
The SOL Innovation Committee provides the Board of Education and General Assembly with recommendations on changes to the SOL assessments, authentic individual student growth measures, alignment between the Standards of Learning and assessment, and ways to encourage innovative teaching in the classroom. New committee members were selected by Secretary of Education Atif Qarni.
In recent years, committee proposals which have been approved and adopted include the Profile of a Graduate, a new Virginia Assessment System Framework and performance-based assessments.
Several SOL Innovation Committee recommendations were adopted by the state Board of Education last year when the board revised the commonwealth’s accreditation standards. These include awarding school credit for students making progress toward grade-level proficiency and increasing the focus in high school on skills referred to as the “Five C’s”: critical thinking, collaboration, communications, citizenship and creativity.
The committee includes teachers, principals, school board members, curriculum and development officials and others as well as state legislators.
It will hold its first meeting of the Northam administration Oct. 9 in Richmond.


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