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Mingo County Teacher Named West Virginia Teacher of the Year

September 14, 2005

Charleston, W.Va. – Bridget Call, an English teacher at Matewan High School, was named West Virginia’s 2006 Teacher of the Year during an awards ceremony Tuesday evening at the Charleston Marriott. She will represent West Virginia in the National Teacher of the Year competition.  

State Schools Superintendent Steve Paine made the announcement during a ceremony that recognized Call and her fellow county teachers of the year.  

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“It is my distinct privilege to honor such a fine educator in our state’s public school system. Ms. Call exemplifies the meaning of highly qualified teacher not only by her leadership skills, but also by displaying an extraordinary dedication to her students,” said Paine. “Bridget’s dedication to her students by preparing them for college or the workplace has made her worthy of this award.”  

Call says that she sets the bar high for academic performance and students frequently return to say “Thanks” for having helped them develop critical thinking, listening and speaking skills that might have been difficult at the time, but proven useful in the long run.  

“Each day, I enter my classroom armed with a variety of strategies to nurture the belief that ‘No insignificant person was ever born,’” said Call. “As a product of our area myself, I daily model what they, too, can achieve through drive and determination.”  

Call believes one of the bigger challenges education faces today is an increasingly difficult high school curriculum and weakened literacy skills at the middle and high school levels. She believes that these issues need immediate attention that will lead to long-term solutions.  

Call works to be a strong role model for her students by staying current not only in educational trends but also in the adolescent culture. She works diligently to make content real and to demystify testing procedures so her students are more at ease with assessment. Her students have told her that the “business-like” atmosphere of the classrooms gives them reason to behave well and encourages them to think outside of the box.  

As West Virginia’s 2006 Teacher of the Year, Call will receive an educational technology package from the Smarter Kids Foundation valued at approximately $14,300. The award includes a SMART Board ™ , interactive whiteboard, floor stand and 25 copies of SMART Ideas® concept-mapping software from SMART Technologies.  

Call was one of seven finalists who came from a field of 50 Teacher of the Year nominees. A committee appointed by the State Superintendent of Schools to evaluate the county nominees selects the state Teacher of the Year. Sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the Smarter Kids Foundation, the Teacher of the Year is the longest, ongoing awards program honoring classroom teachers in the country.

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