For Hedgesville Elementary School first-grade teacher Beth Lyons, reading has always been her passion and it brings her tremendous joy to share that love of reading with her students.
“My favorite aspect of my job is watching and helping children learn and flourish. First grade can be such a magical time for students as they connect the dots between all their previous knowledge and finally become readers. Watching their discovery as they learn has always fascinated me; therefore, I am continuously researching new ways to make learning more accessible for each of my students. It is a true joy to witness the learning that takes place every day in my classroom.”
“I chose to become an educator because I loved children, learning, and reading. I was fortunate to have a mother who always encouraged my desire to become a teacher even though she did not have a college degree herself. With her as my cheerleader, I became the first woman in my family to earn a college degree.”
Mrs. Lyons said she has always known that the teachers, administrators, and support staff are the key to making the education system in West Virginia so successful.
“I have been a teacher in West Virginia for 31 years and my husband was a teacher and is a principal. I am blessed to work with so many dedicated, caring teachers and administrators. My colleagues and I are always brainstorming to find best practices and solve problems together. We love learning from each other and sharing ideas. We are fortunate to have administrators and a county elementary coordinator who recognizes good ideas and implements them on a county level.”
When asked about her favorite memories during her 31 years as an educator, Mrs. Lyons reflected on her end-of-the-year reading celebration she hosts for her students, which she calls a “poetry party.”
“I allow students to choose one of their favorite poems that we read that year to read in front of their classmates and invited families to showcase their reading ability. After one poetry party, a father thanked me for suggesting the bedtime reading habit and bump reading. He and his wife used these strategies not only with their daughter, but with their older son who was a reluctant reader. With a catch in his voice and tears in my eyes, he thanked me for making a difference in both his children’s lives.”
She graduated magna cum laude with her Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Fairmont State University, and she earned a master’s degree in reading from West Virginia University. Mrs. Lyons received her national board certification in literacy in 2008. She has served as faculty senate chair, vice-chair and secretary, been a member and president of the Berkeley County Reading Council and served on the state reading textbook adoption committee in 2021.
When Mrs. Lyons isn’t busy in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, gardening, and walking with her dogs. She has been married to her husband Ron for 31 years, and together they share four sons.