Dr. Frank Devono, superintendent of Monongalia County Schools, will speak at CEHS’s 2017 Commencement, set for Saturday, May 13, 2017, at 9 a.m. in the West Virginia University Coliseum.
Devono is a two-time graduate of CEHS, having earned both his master’s in education administration and doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the College. Prior to his 12 years of service as a superintendent, Devono was the administrative liaison for Harrison County Schools and a school principal for 25 years.
“It’s an honor to have even been considered to speak at Commencement,” Devono said. “I was blown away when I found out that I was selected. Professionally, this is one of the finest compliments I’ve ever received.”
Devono has been recognized as the West Virginia Superintendent of the Year (in 2011), Technology Administrator of the Year and a WV Department of Education Friend of Foreign Language. He is also a past National Distinguished Principal, having led schools that achieved National Blue Ribbon and state exemplary status.
During his time as a student at CEHS, Devono formed relationships with his professors and classmates that have impacted him throughout his career as an educator and administrator.
“While I was a graduate student, I formed strong bonds with my professors, who worked closely with me and helped me achieve success,” Devono said. “I also met good friends who became my professional colleagues. Over the years, we’ve all grown by gleaning knowledge from one-another.”
Devono found the process of preparing his Commencement speech to be a welcomed opportunity to reflect on his past.
“Writing my speech was a good way to go back and reminisce about all the happy and positive moments I had while I was a student at WVU,” Devono said.
In his speech, Devono hopes to illuminate the characteristics of the graduating class that make them poised for success as they take the next step in their careers.
“I don’t want to tell the graduates how to be successful,” Devono said. “Just that their presence in the room demonstrates they’re already doing the right things.”
Additionally, Devono will draw from some of his favorite works of children’s literature – Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree and Julia Cook’s But It’s Not My Fault – to demonstrate how the key lessons in these books can guide young professionals as they begin their careers.
According to Devono, the principles he’s found in children’s books have become a moral compass, a way of staying ethically grounded. Still, Devono acknowledged that some of the best lessons he has learned have come from uncertainty.
“Most of all, I want these students to know that they might not always be walking in the light – that sometimes, they’ll be walking in the dark,” Devono said. “But that’s okay. Sometimes the darkness leads to discovery.”