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Putnam Rotary “Education Summit”

Landau and First Lady Tomblin to Speak at Putnam Rotary “Education Summit”

America’s Got Talent winner and national recording artist Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. and West Virginia First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin will speak on the importance of education and how West Virginia is rising to the challenge of educating it’s youth at a special informal “Education Summit” meeting of the Putnam County Rotary Club Tuesday, March 24th starting at 11:30 AM. 

The event is free and open to the public and will be held in the community room of First State Bank located at 3754 Teays Valley Road in Hurricane, WV.  It will include remarks from both Murphy and Tomblin and a question and answer session with attendees.

Lunch will be provided by the Gallery of Teays Valley. The event is open to the public and the media.

 Murphy has often mentioned in his performances about his regrets of not finishing high school, and how the lack of a strong education helped contribute to his slide into poverty and homelessness in his early 20’s, before turning his life around and winning NBC TV’s “America’s Got Talent” by the largest voting margin in the show’s history.  Since winning America’s Got Talent, Landau has released two hit albums, toured the world and has used his celebrity to help raise over a million dollars for West Virginia charities, often for at-risk youth.  After his appearance at the Putnam Rotary event, Landau will also speak Tuesday afternoon to students at nearby Hurricane High School at 2pm.  

First Lady Tomblin has long been an advocate of higher education, including non-traditional and vocational education strategies to help better equip West Virginia’s young people for the challenges of the 21st century job market.  While serving as the state’s First Lady, Mrs. Tomblin has also done double duty, maintaining her position as President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, a role she’s held for the past 15 years.  Mrs. Tomblin recently announced that she will be retiring from that post on June 30th of this year.  

“Being part of the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College family for the last 33 years and serving as president for the last 15 years has truly been the opportunity of a lifetime,” Tomblin said in a recent statement. “My decision to leave my post at Southern has been an extremely difficult and emotional decision, and I will miss the great people and the students who have made this journey so enriching and worthwhile.”

She said she looks forward to working with her husband, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, during his final years in office to help advance his initiatives.

“As First Lady, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to visit communities across the state to improve education for all West Virginians.”

For more information on the Putnam County Rotary’s “Education Summit”, contact Dave Allen Communications at (304) 687-4002 or

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