Name: Bob Thompson

Occupation: Musician

High School: John Adams H.S. New York, NY

Statement: Math is useful to me in all three basic elements of music. Melody, harmony and rhythm all require some degree of mathematical thinking. It is essential for working with time signatures and rhythm. Thinking mathematically helps me to see the relationships between notes of different time value. It also helps with understanding harmony and melody. Music theory is very organized and logical. Having a mathematical way of thinking helps me to understand the relationships that occur in harmony and melody. This is great for performing, as well as creating my own music.
Mr. Thompson was inducted to WV Music Hall of Fame in 2015.

Name: Frederick H. Kitchen

Occupation: Funeral Director, Embalmer and Business Owner

WV High School: Huntington East High School (1986)

Statement: As a business owner, we use math skills in working with calculations of margins for services and products that we in return offer and provide to the consumer. We also use math skills in our offices, for business transactions, filing insurance claims, management of employee payroll and benefits such as retirement plans, health insurances, etc. The office math skills are also used for accounts payable and account receivables, for working with our accountants in preparing city, county, state and federal payroll, sales, and use taxes, etc. As an embalmer, we work with embalming chemicals for proper use of formulas and measurements to ensure we are using the correct chemicals for the proper embalming procedure. Math is a necessity in our profession on many levels.

What is West Virginia math4life?

West Virginia’s math4Life initiative is a comprehensive and intensive statewide effort to improve student mathematics performance throughout the state over the next five years.  The WVDE seeks to work with counties and schools throughout the state to institute best practices, challenging pedagogy, and student engagement strategies to improve students’ mathematics achievement.  The vision and goals of the math4Life initiative are found on the WVDE math4Life home page at

The WVDE is in the process of introducing and developing a 5-year statewide math4life plan. This plan will be designed around a statewide leadership team that will work collaboratively to create a system of mathematical improvement from the state level to the district level to the school level and, ultimately, to the student level.  The counties will use the state standards to select their instructional materials and to implement math programs, technology supports, and community engagement practices to market their local math4life initiatives. The WVDE has a national advisory team that consists of Dr. Jason Zimba, Dr. Cathy Seeley, and Dr. Lou Maynus. For more information about the national advisory team and the statewide leadership team, see


The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will: 1) ensure West Virginia educators are well-prepared to teach the West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Standards for Mathematics for all learners; 2) improve students’ mathematical learning and achievement through the use of proven educational practices; and 3) assist local county boards of education that are implementing the math4life Campaign. The WVDE, along with its dedicated shareholders, will support local county boards, schools, teachers, students, and families by delivering best practices, instructional resources/strategies, extended learning opportunities, technological supports, professional learning, and a more powerful focus to support achievement of the West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Standards for Mathematics by all learners.


The WVDE will ensure a comprehensive system of support to elevate mathematics achievement for all learners in our public school system, thus supporting the goals of the West Virginia Board of Education/WVDE Strategic Plan Goals, which:

  • Encourage a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and skills;
  • Promote a culture of responsibility, personal well-being, and community engagement; and
  • Respond to workforce and economic demands.


The WVDE will:

  1. Develop and share exemplars, rigorous mathematics standards frameworks built around best pedagogical practices, instructional resources/strategies, extended learning opportunities, and technology supports;
  2. Create professional learning supports for local school districts that focus on a comprehensive approach to mathematics instruction;
  3. Provide each county and school with their mathematics performance results so they can determine strengths and weaknesses to be addressed in schools and classrooms;
  4. Support county-level leadership teams focused on problem-solving, critical thinking, and creative thinking; improving student learning and performance in mathematics; as well as expanding educator content understanding and pedagogy;
  5. Encourage the utilization of extended learning opportunities to include blended learning through virtual schools and other types of learning beyond the classroom; and
  6. Collaborate with Institutions of Higher Education to align and strengthen offerings and programs for pre- and in-service educators.