The mothers, the millennials, and the mavens. Changing our communities.
This is our seventh annual unveiling of 50 amazing women who are raising the bar in their communities, serving as beacons of light in their industries, and forcing change for the greater good. Meet this West Virginia Wonder Woman, Anna Jean Carpenter, and many more that are creating a better West Virginia with their can-do attitudes and Mountain State spirit
Anna Jean Carpenter credits her daughter, Angie Cowger, as her biggest influence and support. Upon Cowger’s encouragement, Carpenter began her post-secondary education and earned her first college degree at the age of 40. By the time Carpenter was 50, she had earned her master’s degree in adult and technical education from Marshall University. She retired from teaching after 20 years in the Webster County school system, where she was recognized as a West Virginia ProStart Teacher of the Year and earned her National Board Certification.
Carpenter first ran for Webster County Commissioner in 2010. Her reason is simple: “Because I care.” In 2013, she was appointed county commissioner when the existing commissioner retired, and she ran again in 2016 and was elected. Her main priority as commissioner is the economic growth and sustainability of Webster County. She enjoys attending County Commissioners’ Association conferences, where she can discuss problems and their potential solutions with other county commissioners.
A master gardener and certified National Garden Club Accredited Flower Show Judge, Carpenter serves on the West Virginia Resource Advisory Committee, which was recently awarded $90,000 in grants that will benefit tourism and economic stability in Webster County. “The thing that really gives me gratification is having an impact on the community,” she says.