Top Teachers Are Honored

Each teacher honored Friday by the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce offered similar words of advice to students: Never stop learning.

The annual Partners in Education luncheon hosted by the chamber was held at West Virginia Northern Community College’s Culinary Arts Center, and honored three educators who teach at the elementary, middle and high school levels. They include Danielle Fuentes, a special education teacher at Warwood Elementary; Marsha Roth, a multi-categorical teacher of core subjects at Triadelphia Middle School; and Kevin Orth, a science teacher at Wheeling Park High School.

John Culler, chairman of the chamber’s education committee, served as master of ceremonies, with chamber President Erikka Storch presenting awards.

Storch said Fuentes works with students in grades K-5 who have varying degrees of functional performance.

“She writes her own curriculum to meet the needs of her students who benefit greatly by her ability to see past their varying difficult behaviors. … She has a passion for her students,” Storch said.

Fuentes said she was surprised by the honor. Accepting her award, Fuentes said, “I love my students and I love my job. I see myself doing this the rest of my life.”

Roth was chosen for an award because “she works tirelessly to see that her students reach their maximum potential … she exemplifies a lifelong learner and shows no sign of slowing down,” Storch said, noting Roth has earned state recognition for her specific course work.

“This is so not me to be in the limelight. … My kids would ask me, ‘Mom, why do you keep taking these classes?’ And I told them I wanted to become a better teacher,” Roth said. “I think learning is lifelong and I try to instill that in my students.”

Meanwhile, Storch said Orth, who teaches grades 9 and 10 at the high school, offers a different way of teaching.

“He is unique when it comes to his style in his class. He’s always trying something new and is never afraid of the outcome. Students definitely take away content from Mr. Orth’s classroom,” Storch said.

Orth is working with West Liberty and Carnegie Mellon universities to take students out of the classroom to learn.

“I personally would like to thank all the wonderful teachers I’ve had along the way because they’ve inspired me to do what I do in the classroom. I’d also like to thank all the bad teachers so I know what not to do in the classroom,” Orth said, drawing laughter from fellow educators.

Each teacher received a plaque and was presented a gift certificate to Oglebay Park and the honor to serve as grand marshals in the 2017 Perkins Restaurant and Bakery Fantasy in Lights Parade in November.