The education system in West Virginia is so successful because school leaders genuinely care about making a positive impact, according to Heather Haught, a first-grade teacher at McNinch Primary School in Marshall County.
“We take a holistic approach, which includes making sure kids can do their best learning by ensuring they are fed and feel safe. The wonderful people I work with truly care about making a difference in the lives of the children.”
As an educator for 11 years, Mrs. Haught said education has been her career choice for as long as she can remember.
“I even spent a lot of time as a child playing ‘school’ in my basement with a hand-me-down desk and chalkboard. It is such a rewarding feeling to watch the children learn and grow. I can’t imagine any other career choice that would be as satisfying as education. My favorite aspect of teaching is the daily interactions I get to have with my students. In particular, I love helping to develop their reading skills. The progress they make during first grade is amazing and fun to watch.”
Earlier this year, Mrs. Haught was awarded Marshall County Schools Teacher of the Year. In 2016, she was awarded the Eddie C. Kennedy Reading Teacher of the Year Award, a statewide honor given to educators who “made an outstanding contribution to helping students become proficient readers and motivating them to become lifelong learners.” Humbled by these honors, Mrs. Haught said she works hard to make sure they feel safe and valued, and they are educated to the best of her ability while they are in her classroom.
“Watching students learn, grow and improve throughout the year is the most rewarding part of being a teacher,” Haught said. “Additionally, an experience in my career that has positively impacted me was getting my LETRS Local Trainer Certification. Conducting the training has allowed me to work with teachers from all grades and within all schools in Marshall County. This has given me the chance to learn and to also share ideas with other educators at a county level while providing them with professional development that can be used to help our students grow.”
Mrs. Haught holds master’s degrees in elementary education and reading, both from West Virginia University and a Professional Administrative Certificate from Wheeling University. She said she is fortunate to have a wonderful support system of family and friends, for whom she is very thankful. When she’s not busy in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three wonderful children. Their favorite activities include going for walks on the local rail-trail and having movies nights – complete with popcorn, of course.