Teachers of the Year Have Place of Honor in Parade
By HEATHER ZIEGLER
Associate City Editor
WHEELING — Three Ohio County public school teachers named the 2016 Teachers of the Year, will be featured in this year’s Perkins Restaurant and Bakery Fantasy in Lights Parade on Nov. 18.
The teachers include April Branstetter from Wheeling Park High School; Stephanie O’Donnell, Bridge Street Middle School; and Sandra Wiseman from Woodsdale Elementary School.
The trio was honored in April by the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce, each selected for their dedication and for going the extra mile in the classroom.
∫ Branstetter, with 17 years in education, teaches social studies and uses technology to better the experience for her students. She has implemented a “flipped classroom” where she use technology to allow students to do portions of their work at home in order to free up class time for more challenging pursuits.
∫ O’Donnell, a special education teacher, is in her ninth year at Bridge Street. She works tirelessly to “make sure her students are reaching their full potential and is innovative with her approach to making learning both relevant and fun in the classroom.” She works daily with the general education teachers and sends personalized reports home to parents to review their children’s individual progress. She was praised for her positive attitude and the environment she creates. She, too, said she appreciated the recognition for a career she enjoys so much.
∫ Wiseman has been teaching for 33 years and is touted for taking “library and media to a whole new and innovative level” at Woodsdale. “She works with more than 450 students weekly and has a passion for thinking outside the box,” Culler said. She has brought Woodsdale recognition in the form of a $10,000 technology grant for her work in the “Hour of Code” program. She is involved in the Airbotist Program, teaching children about renewable energy sources. She also received a grant from First Energy for her STEAM project.