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Our Mission

To promote student achievement and enhance teacher excellence 


Our History

In 2008 the Kump family home and an endowed trust were gifted to the City of Elkins by the will of Mary Gamble Kump, daughter of H.G. Kump, 19th Governor of the State of West Virginia. The Kump Education Center, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, was organized in 2010 to fulfill the further declared wishes of Mary Gamble Kump that the property be used for preservation and educational purposes. 

Completed in 1925, the Gov. Kump House was the family home to the family of H. Guy Kump, a prominent attorney and the 19th Governor of West Virginia. Kump was in office from 1933 to 1937 and is best known for his work promoting public education and working with the federal government to promote public works projects throughout the state during the Great Depression.

The Kump House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Today it is owned by the City of Elkins.


Our Purpose

  • Professional development for educators

  • Student achievement

  • Good citizenship development of children and youth

  • Sustainability activities and studies

  • Historic preservation

  • Heritage education and cultural tourism

Board of Directors

The Kump Education Center is governed by a nine-member volunteer Board of Directors. Directors include individuals with varied backgrounds but are all committed to the KEC mission.

Priscilla Gay
Debra Barsy
Andrew Carroll
K. J. Shaffer

Crystal Krause
Bob Wilmoth
Judy Guye

Heather Biola

Laura Santmyer



Executive Director: Dr. Heather Biola is a professional teacher educator with an extensive educational background in classroom instruction, curriculum design, and program development. An experienced grant writer, Dr. Biola understands needs analysis, project program design, administration, and follow-up analysis and evaluation. She has supported student teaching and new teacher entry into the educational system.

Administrative Assistant: Denise Hass

Communications /Environmental Education Specialist: Nanci Bross-Fregonara


Kump House Endowment Trust Board of Directors

Jerry Marco, Mayor, City of Elkins

Chris Wood, President, Davis & Elkins College

Michael Parker, Prosecuting Attorney, Randolph County

Michael Riggleman, Senior Magistrate, Randolph County

Dr. Peter Vial, Minister, Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church


Historic Preservation

The Kump House preservation work utilizes a 10-year plan developed by the Mills Group recognizing that the KEC is an adaptive reuse of the property which includes the house and about 6 acres.

  • Designed by Washington D.C. architect Clarence Harding

  • Built in 1925 by T.R. Whiteman of Elkins

  • Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983

  • Completely furnished with all furnishings original to the house

  • Workshops have been offered on historically appropriate restoration techniques

​Heritage Apple Orchard and Elkins Tree Board Nursery

The Kump House property provides many opportunities for hands-on learning and supports tree-planting initiatives throughout the city of Elkins. We have:

  • Heritage apple tree orchard

  • Workshops on pruning and grafting 

  • Children’s Fun Walk winds its way through the apple orchard

  • Plans to create an arboretum/exploratorium

  • A full tree nursery supported by the Elkins Tree Board, Friends of Trees and WV Division of Forestry, Urban Forestry


Wetlands Nature Walk

Part of the Kump property are wetlands that offer many conservation and programming opportunities. 

  • Saplings have been planted along the creek border and at the wetlands edges

  • A wetlands nature path has been visited by many students and planning is underway to create interpretive materials for the path and improve accessibility.

  • Water monitoring in the wetlands area will begin again 

  • Thanks to the extraordinary work of naturalist Elizabeth Byers, the wetlands flora of Elkins' Kump Center is part of an international database: iNaturalist.


Summer Camp Activities

The KEC works with several groups to provide quality hands-on science curriculum. Recent summer programming with the Elkins Randolph County YMCA and the Randolph County SOLE program included tours of the wetlands and Project WILD and Project Learning Tree activities. 

Targeted Tutoring Program

The Kump Education Center began a new targeted tutoring program for twenty elementary students thanks to the financial support of Citizens Bank of West Virginia. The KEC is offering ten weeks of afterschool tutoring on basic math and reading skills, which will help prepare fourth and fifth-grade students for year-end testing. Trained tutors provide one-on-one assistance to students whom their teachers recommended. The tutoring takes place in the Altice Learning Lab at the Kump Education Center. 

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