June 22, 2018
Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) today announced five finalists for the coveted West Virginia Teacher of the Year Award. The educators were selected from the 2018 county teacher of the year winners and represent excellence in the profession and dedication to students. This year’s finalists are: Adrin Fisher, Fairmont Senior High School, Marion County; Summer McClintock, Pleasant View Elementary School, Morgan County; Jada Reeves, Bradley Elementary School, Raleigh County; Clifford Sullivan, Mount Hope Elementary School, Fayette County; and Joy Van Scyoc, Moundsville Middle School, Marshall County.
The nominees include elementary, middle and high school educators from all regions of the state.
“These finalists understand that great teaching comes from profound caring,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steven Paine. “They care enough to invest in their own professional growth to implement innovation in the classroom and to ignite a passion for learning within their students.”
Adrin Fisher is Nationally Board Certified and an Arch Coal Teacher of Achievement at Fairmont Senior High School in Fairmont, W.Va. She teaches English and has developed and written curricula for middle and high school. Striving to impart a love of learning in diverse ways, Fisher worked with a team to hold a Read-In at her school. This event allowed students to choose works by African American writers and to read/present them on stage in front of their peers. Fisher has developed a detailed system to learn about her students and their interests that she uses early in the school year. The information allows her to build relationships with each of them. She encourages civic engagement among her students, and one of her endeavors has resulted in nearly $10,000 donated to the humanitarian organization Nuru International over the course of several years.
Summer McClintock is a National Board Certified fourth-grade teacher at Pleasant View Elementary School in Hedgesville, W.Va. She uses creative approaches to expose students to a diverse range of literature and authors, and she has implemented a workshop initiative that gives students options in selecting books they want to read. Her approach provides for a greater understanding of students’ strengths and weaknesses and has resulted in proficiency improvements among her special education students from 11 to 54 percent on the statewide assessment. Teaching in a school with 57 percent poverty, McClintock searches for ways to support student learning. As a result of securing funding for literacy activities, she was able to take her students to Washington D.C. to the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Jada Reeves is a National Board Certified fifth-grade teacher at Bradley Elementary School in Beckley, W.Va. She creates stimulating lessons that tap into her students’ interests and passions in order to increase engagement and learning. Reeves uses technology to increase STEAM activities in her curriculum and to cultivate curiosity, and she uses science-based activities to strengthen student writing. She believes more resources are needed to support student mental health, and has secured grant funding to develop and implement a mentor program for students with mental health vulnerabilities.
Clifford Sullivan is a fifth-grade teacher at Mount Hope Elementary School in Mount Hope, W.Va. who also serves as the school’s Technology Integration Specialist, Building Level Coordinator and on the PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support) Leadership Team. He believes in strengthening teaching and especially math instruction through the use of daily scenarios that his students experience. With a high-poverty population in his region, Sullivan applies aspects of jobs familiar to his students to his instruction through blended learning. Technology has opened the window to the world for his students as he guides them on virtual field trips to points worldwide. His students and community support an array of fundraising activities, which allow students to travel to Washington, D.C. at the end of the year as well. He also introduces them to STEM and STEAM activities involving engineering processes, block coding, and robotics. He and the PBIS team implemented an initiative that involved faculty, staff and service personnel support for transformational changes at his school. The successful transition led to a dramatic reduction of disciplinary issues.
Joy Van Scyoc teaches rotational art at Moundsville Middle School in a year-long art studio course, and instructs a Project Lead the Way class called “Design and Modeling.” She sponsors an art club where students participate in school-wide activities including set design for school musicals, community art shows and competitions, and school-wide artistic designs for athletic events and activities. The opportunities given to her students have resulted in many local and regional awards. She also created a new chapter of the Technology Student Association that focuses on completing challenges and competing in various areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. She has used art to transform the culture at her school and to build bridges with other schools and the broader community.
The 2019 State Teacher of the Year will be announced on September 12, 2018 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston. The winner will represent West Virginia at the National Teacher of the Year Program.
For additional information, contact Kristin Anderson at the WVDE Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or Kristin.Anderson@k12.wv.us.