Putnam County Schools to honor employees
WINFIELD -- Putnam County Schools will honor its top employees during the regular board meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at the Board of Education office in Winfield, according to a news release from Rudi Raynes, Putnam County Schools communications and events coordinator.
The school district has named its Teacher of the Year, Administrator of the Year, Service Employee of the Year, and Elementary and Middle School Teachers of the Year for the 2014-15 school year.
Here are brief profiles of each winner, courtesy of Putnam County Schools:
Teacher of the Year
Tina Kirk, of Winfield High School, has been named both Teacher of the Year and High School Teacher of the Year.
Kirk received her bachelor's degree in mathematics education from West Virginia State University in 1999 and is now pursuing her masters at Marshall University. She began her teaching career in Kanawha County at Capital and South Charleston High Schools. Since 2004 she has taught in three Putnam County Schools -- Hurricane High, Winfield Middle, and presently at Winfield High School, where she has been since 2008. At Winfield High she has taught all grade levels in classes like AP Statistics, Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry, Algebra 2 and Honors, Algebra I, Computer Science I & II, and Robotics.
Kirk said in the news release that one of her greatest joys in the classroom is hearing a student say, "Now I understand it" or "I wish someone had explained it like that before." Kirk says she tries to present math in several ways so students are encouraged to become independent thinkers and come up with their own processes to get answers.
Kirk, who was also named Winfield High School's Teacher of the Year in 2014, has been serving as the Mentor for FIRST Robotics FRC Team in Putnam County since 2010. She is a current member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Administrator of the Year
Martica Dillon, principal of Eastbrook Elementary, is the Administrator of the Year.
Dillon grew up in Winfield and attended the area's schools from elementary through high school. She graduated from West Virginia State University and also received her Masters in Leadership at WVSU. She taught in several resources rooms in Putnam County Schools before she began teaching full time at Winfield Elementary for 10 years.
Dillon later served as interim assistant principal at WES from November 2010-June 2011 and was named the assistant principal at WES from July 2011-August 2011. She served as the principal at Rock Branch Elementary from 2011 until she accepted the position as principal at Eastbrook Elementary in 2013.
Dillon was nominated by several teachers at her school and was described as a "walking, talking example to both her staff and students." She also has "the heart of a parent... mind of a teacher... and the spirit and resolve of a Marine."
"I have a passion for the classroom and still prefer to spend my time there," Dillon said in the news release. "I love the relationships that are formed in the classroom. It is a sense of family and a safe, happy place."
Service Employee of the Year
Poca High School Secretary Judith O'Dell is the Service Employee of the Year.
O'Dell has been an employee of Putnam County Schools for 24 years. She has spent the majority of that time working as the secretary at Winfield Middle (1991-2004) and Poca High School, where she has currently worked for 10 years. She has worked heavily in child nutrition and attendance among her day-to-day secretarial duties. In the past she was also selected as one of the two secretaries to represent Putnam County when it came time to update the state's secretary exam. She also been selected as Poca High's Service Employee of the Year multiple times.
O'Dell, who graduated from Poca High School, says "Once a Dot, always a Dot."
"Sitting at the front desk, I am the first person the visitors see at Poca High School," she said. "I do my very best to make them feel welcome and treat everyone the way I would want to be treated."
Elementary Teacher of the Year
George Washington Elementary School's Sherri Lyons is the Elementary School Teacher of the Year.
Lyons has been working in the district six years, and has spent the past two teaching fifth grade at GWES. She graduated from Malone University in Canton, Ohio, and received her master's in elementary education from Marshall University.
Lyons is nationally board certified and is a current member of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the American Federation of Teachers. She participates in several leadership activities throughout the year, including GW's Lighthouse Team and Leader in Me. In the past, she has provided mentoring to other 5th grade teachers in Putnam County and in 2014 she was nominated as George Washington Elementary's Teacher of the Year.
Middle School Teacher of the Year
Winfield Middle's Erika Klose is the Middle School Teacher of the Year.
Klose has been with Putnam County Schools for more than six years, teaching science the whole time at Winfield Middle where she is currently the science department chair, two-time Teacher of the Year, and boys tennis coach.
She received her undergrad in geology from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and her MS in geology from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She received her MA in teaching from Marshall University Graduate College.
She is a member and presenter of several state and national organizations such as the National Science Teachers Association and WV Association of Geospatial Professionals. Klose has also trained West Virginia teachers in the use of GIS in the classroom and says her goal is to give her students the "opportunity to imagine themselves in real 'science' situations. Sometimes that means a treasure hunt with GPS units, or turning my classroom into a 'fake' crime scene, or a water quality testing lab."
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