Webster County High School Special Education Teacher Kimberly Tenney said children need love and someone to believe in them.
“I believe in them, and I want to reach them wherever it may be. I want them to know that they are teachable and important, and they are loved. I love to watch them reach new heights and be confident and proud of what they have done. I want to learn from them,” Tenney said. “My favorite aspect of my job is when I can ask a child, ‘See….who did that? Who figured that out?’ In return, they can smile and say…’I did!’”
An educator since 1986, Mrs. Tenney has taught at six different schools throughout her teaching career. Earlier this year, Mrs. Tenney was named the 2021 Webster County Teacher of the Year and served as one of 10 state finalists for the West Virginia Teacher of the Year. In her 30-plus years as a teacher, she said it’s evident that West Virginia has an abundance of adults who are dedicated and willing to do what it takes to help our children succeed.
“Children are facing many uncertain and difficult times in their lives. In our classroom, we give the students two things that are important to them and to their lives. For their birthdays, each child gets to make a special dessert of their choice they’d like to cook and share with their friends. They are an important part of our class, and they deserve a special treat and may not get one at home.”
However, the most special tradition occurs during the holidays, according to Mrs. Tenney.
“We make an actual full dinner and sit down together as a ‘family’ and share what each of us are thankful for while around the table. The students take great pride in their meal prep. We also set the table and invite a special guest to our table for dinner. It’s a very special time in our classroom. We try hard to teach them that sit down meals with friends and family are very important. We have set a tradition for our meals and so they plan on them and look forward to them. These are treasured memories that our students will carry with them in their later years and hopefully help them to make a difference in another’s life.”
When Mrs. Tenney isn’t busy in the classroom, she is spending time with her husband of 35 years, her son and daughter-in-law, and her first grandchild, Reed. She also enjoys kayaking, hiking, and spending time with her three dogs and two horses.