Cumberland Times-News

March 16, 2008

Romney students pick state reptile

Middle-schoolers learn law-making

From Staff Reports

ROMNEY — The Eastern timber rattler is now the West Virginia state reptile, and Gov. Joe Manchin is expected to pay a visit soon to help Romney Middle School eighth-graders celebrate the proposal they made to the Legislature for the bill to be considered.

Rob Wolford, West Virginia studies teacher at the school, said that he and his eighth-graders started the project to better learn the twists and turns of law-making.

“It has been a rather interesting if not inspiring experience,” he said.

Wolford said that the timber rattler was selected by way of a secret ballot election process from all the reptiles listed on the Marshall University Web site.

“The rattler won out against formidable opponents like the box turtle, Stinkpot and the Northern green snake,” he said. “The most enlightening element of the whole project was the interest shared by my students.”

Hampshire County Superintendent of Schools Robin Lewis told the county commission Tuesday that the governor plans to visit the school this spring.

Senate and House concurrent resolutions designated the timber rattlesnake as the state reptile for its important part in the state’s ecology.

Copies of both the House and Senate resolutions were directed to be forwarded to the mayor and city council of Romney and the class at Romney Middle School.

“The students are really excited and looking forward to the governor’s visit,” said Lewis.

Delegates Ruth Rowan, Daryl Cowles and Allen Evans, along with Sens. Dave Sypolt and Clark Barnes helped shepherd the students’ proposal through the Legislature for passage into law and adoption as the state reptile.