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Marshall County School Personnel Receive Honors From State

Jennifer Schwertfeger, West Virginia Teacher of the Year for 2020, was honored Friday morning at Cameron High School school by fellow teachers, school administrators, staff members, county school staff members, two family members and House of Delegate member Lisa Zukoff.

The morning started with a faculty breakfast, followed by a program in the school auditorium at which time Kendra Dobbs and Alijah Kuhn made a presentation of a large card with the names of the students.

Schwertfeger thanked fellow teachers, the students and faculty members and the school administration for their support. A special thanks was given last year’s 11th-grade science students.

Schwertfeger has been a science teacher at CHS for 10 years, after one year at Sherrard Middle School.

Schwertfeger lived in the Woodsdale area of Wheeling as a youth, graduated from Wheeling Park High School in 1985, and graduated from West Liberty University in 1989.

The Schwertfeger family moved to the Cameron area as her husband, Todd, worked was in the area. The Schwertfegers have two adult children, Tyler and Eileen, who both graduated from Cameron High.

Schwertfeger was named as state Teacher of the Year Wednesday night in Charleston, and she became the third Marshall County teacher to achieve this honor. The other two were Danny Prado in 1997 and David Soltesz in 2004.

There have been four teachers who have been state finalists: Joy VanScyoc, Kathleen Fox, Jonna Kuskey and Tammy DeWitt.

At Friday’s event, Schwertfeger expressed thanks to school personnel and the students.

Schwertfeger teaches traditional and college level science courses. She was nominated as county teacher of the year by a committee of teachers and on April 24 that recommendation was presented to the Marshall County Board of Education members, who agreed that she should be the county’s representative. The 51 persons eligible for the state competition were reduced to six finalists.

As this year’s award recipient, Schwartfeger will receive a car from Toyota to be used to travel to Teachers of the Year engagements, $5,000 from Highmark West Virginia, $5,000 from the Horace Mann Insurance Company, and a $1,000 gift card from Coca-Cola Consolidated.

Each county winner will receive a $300 grant from the West Virginia Lottery, a technology package from SMART Technologies, an art glass piece from Blenko Glass, and a care package from Coca-Cola Consolidated, which includes a $500 gift card.

Actually, there were two state school awards presented this past week to Marshall County School employees, as Colisia Huff, a Pre-K Aide at Washington Lands Elementary School, received a plaque from the West Virginia Board Of Education for being one of three finalists in the West Virginia Service Personnel “Member of Year” contest. That presentation on behalf of WVBOE was made by Dr. James S. Wilson, a member of that board. Wilson is a Glen Dale resident.

Five months ago, Huff earned Service Personnel Member of the Year for Marshall County Schools.

Huff has been employed as an aide in Marshall County Schools for nearly six years. She was the project leader for the elementary school’s Little Free Library.

The WVBOE established the annual service personnel member of the year award program in 2010 to recognize outstanding school service personnel employees including aides, bus drivers, cooks, custodians, maintenance workers, office workers and other school service personnel who best exemplify the qualities of an outstanding employee.

The program honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional skill and dedication in the performance of their jobs, thereby earning them the respect and admiration of students, teachers, administrators, co-workers and parents. Each year the program honors one person for his or her contribution to the school and community.

The program is designated to work similarly to the state’s Teacher of the Year program, which honors a classroom teacher who inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues and play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school.

To learn more about the program visit website https:.//wvde.us/service-personnel-of-the-year/.

A third Marshall County honoree this week was Moundsville native Robin Capehart who was named president of Bluefield State College.

Capehart began his career as an attorney before going into the educational field. He has also been a part-time journalist, having contributed tax information to the Journal of Valley News.

While on the subject of education, Mrs. Julie Sturgill is the new principal at Washington Lands Elementary School.

The Marshall County Board of Education on Tuesday named Sturgill to this position.

Sturgill has been employed by the MCBOE for 10 years, and most recently was a second grade teacher at WLES. She has served as teacher-in-charge when the principal has been absent.

She has a background in elementary education, along with special and education administration. She will begin her new duties on Monday.

Long-time Marshall County teacher-coach Bob Montgomery will be honored at 10 a.m. Thursday at Valley Fork Park, when Moundsville City Council members and members of the city’s parks and recreation board will officially name one of the eight Valley Fork Park baseball fields in his honor.

Montgomery has been around baseball fields since he was 5 years old when he went to game with his father, Les, a long-time area umpire.

He took up baseball at an early age, playing on small fields in Moundsville. Many of these fields no longer exist. The fields were located in different areas in the city.

He began umpiring baseball games and refereeing basketball at the age 14, and at age 19 became an OVAC umpire/referee. He umpired with his father for three years prior to his father’s passing.

The former Moundsville High School and West Liberty College player was a pitcher, first baseman and sometimes outfielder. He also played for the Wheeling American Post No. 1 team as the Moundsville Legion did not have a team at the time.

Montgomery has been a baseball umpire for 58 years, and a basketball official for the same time period.

His involvement in baseball has not only on the field, but in preparation of the field as the baseball field at John Marshall has received honors for its looks.

Years ago the city of Moundsville had a recreation director during the summer months and for three years Montgomery served in that capacity. Montgomery has to date been inducted into five sports halls of fame.

Mrs. Heather Haught represented Marshall County Schools at a West Virginia State Board roundtable discussion in Charleston on Thursday, along with Superintendent Dr. Shelby Haines.

Each board member worked with a county superintendent to send a representative to discuss strengths and weaknesses of the current West Virginia education system.

Haines discussed at Tuesday’s school board meeting the top priorities of the county safety team, which includes an online emergency management training for principals, updates to school based plans and two-way radios for all schools.

She also discussed a principal mentor program that will begin in the county to support new principals and assistant principals.

People who may have in the past slid their tax payments under the door at the Marshall County Courthouse will no longer have to do that.

The Marshall County Commission on Tuesday approved the purchase of a drop box/mail slot where those paying their taxes can drop them in a lock box and to which tax office personnel will have the only keys.

Family planning which consists of a complete gynecological exam, including pap smear, pelvic exam and breast exam, will be offered at the Marshall County Health Department, on Sept. 19.

Appointments for the service are necessary by calling the MCHD at 304-845-7840.

Also, at the county health department, food handlers training will be at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sept. 24. This class is for those working with foods.

Registration is to be made prior to the day of the class. For more information call 304-845-7840.

Anyone wishing to learn the “in’s and out’s” of flower gardening might want to sign up for a workshop of the same name which will be offered on Sept. 23 (6-8 p.m.) at the WVU/Marshall County Extension Office on eastern Fourth Street, Moundsville. The cost of the class is $10.

To pre-register, or for more information, contact the Extension Office at 304-843-1170 or email: jocilyn.depetro@mail.wvu.edu

The 11th annual Hands on Ag Day will take place on Wednesday and Thursday at the Marshall County Fairgrounds in Moundsville, for all fifth graders from all Marshall County Schools,

Agencies participating will be the Farm Service Agency, West Virginia Department of Agriculture, WVU/Marshall County Extension Service, the Marshall County Fair, the Marshall County Farm Bureau, the Marshall County Commission, John Marshall High School Future Farmers of America and Marshall County Schools. In order to accommodate all the fifth graders in the county, different groups will be held each day. The event runs from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on both days, followed by lunch at noon, and continuing from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Katie Fitzsimmons, NRCS District Conservationist states, “The day is really great because students gain first hand knowledge about different aspects of agriculture in their county.” Retired Marshall County school teacher Mark Fitzsimmons serves as the NPCD supervisor and member of the planning committee.

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