Since 2013, Amy Yost has served as a first-grade teacher at Warwood Elementary School in Ohio County. When asked why she chose to become an educator, she said she was fortunate to grow up with many amazing role models who happened to be teachers.
“As I got older, I would find myself wanting to be more and more like them: compassionate, selfless, caring, kind, and smart. I knew if they could make such an impact on my life, I could do the same for my own students one day.”
Being a firsthand witness to a child experiencing pride in something they have worked so hard to learn is the very best feeling, according to Mrs. Yost.
“Instead of saying ‘I can’t,’ I encourage and remind my students to instead say, ‘I can’t…yet!’ This reminds them that anything is possible. I love playing a major role in making them feel confident in their education.”
Mrs. Yost said she believes West Virginia’s education community is so successful because of the passion our teachers feel for their communities.
“West Virginia is full of homegrown teachers – these are teachers who stayed in West Virginia and went to college here,” Yost said. “They decided to go back to their own communities and teach their neighbors and relatives. Many of us are teaching in the same schools we attended as students. We have a passion for our state. We have pride in being Mountaineers. We want to pass that drive and tenacity on to our students. West Virginia teachers want to see their students succeed because it means more wonderful things for the future of our state.”
As Mrs. Yost reflected back on her favorite memories as an educator, she said it is difficult to choose just one experience. However, during this particular school year, she realized she might have more of an impact on her students than she knew.
“I have more students who needed glasses than ever this year. Getting glasses is a big deal for young children, and in many cases, they feel embarrassed and hesitant to wear their glasses to school. I can say this with certainty because I was one of those children so many years ago. Even on a good day, wearing contacts usually isn’t an option for me. Instead, I wear my glasses proudly. I have had quite a few parents this year tell me their child was excited for their new glasses because ‘now I look like Mrs. Yost!’ or that they chose their new glasses because they are like mine. They can’t wait to come to school with their new glasses and show them off to the class. If that is what it takes for them to feel comfortable with their big change, it makes me happy to help. As teachers, we can make an impact that doesn’t necessarily have to be about reading, math, science, or history. Sometimes, our influence goes beyond what we are learning in the classroom.”
Earlier this year, Mrs. Yost was selected as the 2021-2022 Warwood Elementary School Teacher of the Year. She said she appreciates her students and staff members, and she was thrilled to be named as Warwood Elementary School Teacher of the Year.
“I love my job, and I’m so lucky to be teaching at the school that helped shape my love of learning,” Yost said. “Not everyone gets to spend every day working with their favorite first graders, but I do. To earn a recognition such as this is just icing on the cake.”
In addition to teaching first graders, Mrs. Yost serves as an assistant volleyball coach for Warwood Middle School and helps with the LEGO Robotics team with her husband, Josh, who teaches sixth and seventh grade science at Warwood School. Their two oldest sons, Kyan and Lucas, are Warwood Vikings, and their youngest son, Oliver, will be joining them in the fall for pre-K.
“Being a Warwood Viking is a family affair. We love living in the community of Warwood. It is where I grew up, and it is the only place I would want to raise my family.”