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2015 West Virginia Teacher of the Year Named

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gail Adams, an English teacher at Wheeling Park High School in Ohio County, is the 2015 West Virginia Teacher of the Year. West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano made the announcement Wednesday night during a ceremony in Charleston that recognized each county teacher of the year. The event also honored earlier announced award winners, including the Paul J. Morris Character Educator of the Year, the West Virginia School Service Personnel Employee of the Year, the 2013-2014 Schools of Excellence and the 2014-2015 Premier Career and Technical Education Sites.

"It is my distinct privilege to honor such a fine group of educators in our state’s public school system," Martirano said. "Their dedication to their students and their schools has made them deserving of these awards. I am confident that they are part of the solution as we work together to improve graduation, attendance and dropout rates."

Gail Adams is a 10-year veteran who received a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education from West Liberty University. As an English and Fine Arts teacher, she earned her National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certification for Adolescence through Young Adulthood in English. Gail is a member of the Ohio County Schools Staff Development Council and Professional Development Schools Mentor Team for West Liberty University Student Teachers. As the assistant coach of Wheeling Park High School’s Interscholastic Forensic League, she has helped secure seven West Virginia Interscholastic Forensic League state championships. She advocates for parent involvement and believes in educating the whole family. Though many of her students have become doctors, lawyers, and teachers, her greatest joy comes from seeing her students become happy and productive in whatever field they choose.

As West Virginia’s 2015 Teacher of the Year, Adams will receive an educational technology package valued at nearly $15,000, use of a Toyota car for a year and cash awards from Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Horace Mann Insurance.

Adams was selected by a committee appointed by the state superintendent of schools to evaluate five finalists who were their county Teacher of the Year winners. Teacher of the Year, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers, is the longest-running awards program honoring classroom teachers in the country, granting its first national award in 1952. West Virginia has participated in the program since 1964.

Other finalists were Connie Scarbrough from Upshur County; Rosetta Epifano from Marshall County; Kathi McCormick from Kanawha County; and, Brenda Omps from Hampshire County.