Partners in Education Honor Top Teachers

The Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce held it’s annual Partners In Education luncheon Friday at West Virginia Northern Community College’s Education Building to honor the work and dedication of local teachers and students.

This luncheon marked the eighth year for the Teacher-of-the-Year award. Recipients for 2014 are Kimberly Kochy of Woodsdale Elementary School; Kristy Villani of Bridge Street Middle School; Jill Hillberry of Wheeling Park High School; Ray Dague of John Marshall High School; and Michael Eskridge of Moundsville Middle School.

Each school nominates a teacher and the Chamber’s Education Committee picks the winners for this award. Teachers from both Ohio and Marshall counties are considered for the honor.

Each winner received a gift certificate from the Teacher’s Store, a recognition plaque and will serve as grand marshals in the 2014 Perkins Restaurant and Bakery Fantasy in Lights Parade.

“It brought tears to my eyes, I was so shocked and humbled,” Eskridge said of his award. “I would never be where I am today it it wasn’t for the teachers in my life.”

Grant Robinson, a senior at Wheeling Park, was also honored at the luncheon. He was the winner of a $1,000 scholarship which was presented by the Chamber and Williams Lea. He was presented a plaque and a $1,000 check will be sent to West Virginia University in the fall to help with his expenses. Robinson said he plans to major in biomedical engineering.

Robinson spoke of his work for the Cameroon Football Development Program, which sends sports materials to send to teams in Cameroon so they can play soccer.

“I was very interested in helping out with this cause and my love of soccer inspired me,” Robinson said.

The Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in the Upper Ohio Valley, representing over 800 members.

The Chamber strives to increase business advocacy designed to enhance profitability for all members and the quality of life of residents in the Ohio Valley.