Straley Elementary School Instructional Interventionist Samantha Dove said she chose to become an educator to make a difference in as many lives as possible.
“My favorite part of my job is seeing, firsthand, individual student growth. I love to meet kids where they are and tailor instruction to their specific needs. I love to build relationships and include families in the process of their child’s educational journey. Teachers and families working together will always produce amazing outcomes.”
Prior to her position at Straley, Mrs. Dove taught kindergarten for 10 years at Princeton Primary School, also in Mercer County. She said she believes the best part of West Virginia’s education system is the genuine love and care from all school staff.
“Culture is everything. When you walk into school buildings and you see these loving hearts pouring into the children of West Virginia, it is so inspiring. From cooks to custodians to teachers to foster grandmas to all support personnel, this is the heart of education in West Virginia. It’s the hardworking people that truly are invested in the future of our state.”
In 2021, Mrs. Dove earned her National Board Certification in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood. This is one her special memories from her time in education, but Mrs. Dove believes some of the most special are the moments that has allowed her to discover she is making a bigger impact than she ever imagined.
“It’s the little moments that add up to the big ones: the warm smiles, the sincere gratitude from families, the hugs as you run into former student. That makes this job so special. I remember receiving a handwritten letter once from a single mom that was working such long hours to provide for her family. She explained that having me teach her child to read was an answered prayer. It’s moments like these for educators everywhere that confirm our calling.”
Mrs. Dove said it is so rewarding to have “a full circle experience,” which has allowed her to serve in the same county from which she graduated.
“Being an educator allows me to pay it forward to the amazing educators that saw me through all the years as a student at Straley Elementary through Princeton High, and all the way to my college years at Concord University where I was blessed with some of my previous schoolteachers.”
When Mrs. Dove isn’t busy changing lives in her classroom, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Patric, who she said has been an amazing support system through her growth as an educator from her master’s degree in Supervision and Leadership to her National Board Certification. Together, they spoil their beloved nieces, nephews and their fur baby, Brutus.