WHEELING - West Virginia first lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin arrived at Warwood School Monday when a state helicopter landed on the school's basketball court. Students and faculty greeted her with waves and cheers.
Tomblin toured the school's Universal Pre-Kindergarten classroom. She also visited several other sites across the state Monday.
Tomblin read "Lady Bug Girl and the "Bug Squad" by Jackie Davis to the class and told them that "reading is very important and school is very important." The first lady donated a signed copy of the book to the classroom. Each student also received a copy.
"It's a very proud day. It was wonderful to highlight our Universal Pre-K program. That was the real reason that she was here and we were happy to be able to show off the rest of our facilities and our programs. ... It's nice to be able to show off to the state," Warwood Assistant Principal Susan Fox-Nolte said.
Administrators and Board of Education members led Tomblin on a tour of the school following the reading. The first lady took time to greet each classroom and stopped by the music room to meet the sixth grade chorus, directed by teacher Marla Mercer who sang to Tomblin.
"I'm just so impressed by all the things that are going on here. A lot of times you don't hear the positive things that are happening in our school systems," Tomblin said. "The enthusiasm of the staff and faculty and administration here is amazing. Students here have a lot of energy and share a lot of things and it appears that they're really working hard. I see music and the arts incorporated in what they're doing, so it's very very impressive."
"It is truly a pleasure to have the first lady of West Virginia visit Warwood School," Ohio County Schools Superintendent Dianna Vargo said. "The students were thrilled to see her and especially watching her land in the helicopter and getting ready to take off. We really enjoyed her visit. We thank her for her support as well as the Ohio County Board of Education for allowing this trip to take place."
Tomblin also stopped in Parkersburg to visit Blennerhassett Elementary School in Wood County. Along with being married to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, she also is president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.