Shepherd alum recalled as strong advocate for teacher education

July 26, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Paul Vernon Yost, a leader in academia in West Virginia for many years, was remembered Tuesday as a strong advocate for teacher education who earned the respect of his colleagues and peers.

"Paul Yost was, first of all, a real gentleman in every sense of the word," said former Shepherd University President James Butcher.

"He and his wife (Mildred), they were just fine people," Butcher said of Yost, who died recently.

A graduate of Shepherd, Yost was recognized by Butcher in the 1980s for his contributions, including stints on the university's alumni board and board of advisors.

A residence hall in Shepherd's West Woods complex was named in his honor in the 1980s while Butcher served as the college's president. Yost Hall opened in 1986.


"He really had made a genuine contribution to higher education in the state," said Butcher, noting Yost's advocacy for improving the quality of new teachers.

"He was very much at the forefront of that."

Born in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., Yost received a master's degree from West Virginia University in Educational Supervision and Administration, and took a post-degree of graduate education at the University of Virginia and the University of Chicago.

In 1967, he was appointed as dean and vice president of administration at Fairmont (W.Va.) State College and retired in 1973 after 40 years as an educator. He was named professor emeritus following his retirement.

He was appointed by then-Gov. Gaston Caperton to the West Virginia Board of Directors for the State College System of West Virginia and was named Shepherd College Outstanding Alumnus for 1990-91.

Butcher said he remained friends with Yost socially through the years, meeting him out for dinner and hearing his friend's optimistic perspective on matters.

"He was a very positive person," Butcher said.

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