As the K-5 music teacher at Eastbrook Elementary in Putnam County, Beth Nunley said she loves helping students discover and learn about music.
“My favorite part of music is teaching students to play musical instruments such as the ukulele, recorder, and many percussion instruments such as bucket drums and xylophones. More than that, however, I love helping students succeed. I consider the whole student in all that I do.”
As an educator for more than 30 years, Mrs. Nunley said when she began her journey into education, she had every intention of becoming a band director. However, sometimes plans can change.
“I had developed a passion for music through public school education and wanted to teach and share the arts with others. After graduating with a music education degree, an elementary music job became available in Putnam County. I applied and was offered the position. At the time, I believed this to be a stepping stone toward the goal of becoming a band director. Little did I know that this first job would lead to a lifelong passion that would surpass any previous plans. It would leave the desire of being a band director as nothing more than a distant memory. “
Making new memories is something Mrs. Nunley loves to do with her students, especially when watching students who have struggled to make good decisions turn themselves around.
“I make time to introduce different topics of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). I had a young student this year with severe anger issues. We spent time in my classroom singing select SEL songs and discussing better ways to handle situations. Toward the end of the school year, this first-grade child approached me on the playground and said, ‘I need to tell you something, and here’s the situation.’ He did not act out in anger and handled the issue perfectly. Giving our students the tools they need to make better choices is the most important aspect of my job.”
Mrs. Nunley said she believes a quality that makes the West Virginia school system successful is our small schools.
“Small schools allow more opportunities for students to grow individually and be acknowledged rather than hiding nameless in a crowd. Each student is seen as an individual and their needs can be met equitably. Along with the small schools come dedicated families, close-knit communities, and teachers who genuinely care and love their students, families, and community.”
When Mrs. Nunley isn’t busy in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Dennis, and two daughters, Samantha and Hannah. In her free time, she can be found outdoors taking a long walk, listening to music, playing instruments, enjoying church activities, and visiting with friends.