“Our state teachers dedicate themselves to molding the minds of tomorrow,” Manchin said. “I am so proud of our 2007 Teacher of the Year and the gifts are only a small token of appreciation for what Sarah gives to her students daily.”
Each year Toyota donates a brand new vehicle to the state teacher of the year, who can use the vehicle for a year. "Teaching is a profession worthy of the utmost respect because of the immense responsibility of preparing our next generation of leaders. This award honors teachers who epitomize the dedication, innovation and knowledge which characterize an outstanding educator,” said David Copenhaver, vice president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia. “Through the West Virginia Teacher of the Year Award, we are able to recognize those who go above and beyond the job description to infuse excellence into education. As a corporation, Toyota West Virginia is striving to honor and reward leading educators and to attract bright youth to pursue this noble calling."
In addition, Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield presented Morris with a $5,000 check.
“Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield recognizes that the children of today represent the future of tomorrow,” said Fred Early, MSBCBS senior vice president of external operations. “The responsibility for preparing children for any endeavor they choose rests with the men and women who proudly and unselfishly educate our children. In recognition of this honorable profession and as a small token of our appreciation, Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield is pleased to provide an additional award to West Virginia’s Teacher of the Year.”
Morris, an English teacher at Berkeley Springs High School in Morgan County, was named West Virginia’s 2007 Teacher of the Year in September. She will represent West Virginia in the National Teacher of the Year competition.
“Sarah exemplifies the meaning of a highly qualified teacher not only by her leadership skills, but also by displaying an extraordinary commitment to her students,” said State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “Her dedication to her students has made her worthy of this award.”
Morris began her teaching career in 2000 as a substitute in Preston County and has been full time at Berkeley Springs since 2001. Her classes include English, speech, composition, AP language and AP composition. She also has been an online instructor for English as a Second Language.
As West Virginia’s 2007 Teacher of the Year, Morris also will receive an educational technology package from the Smarter Kids Foundation valued at approximately $14,300.
She was selected by a committee appointed by the state Superintendent of Schools to evaluate 11 finalists who were their county Teacher of the Year winners. The Teacher of the Year is the longest, ongoing awards program honoring classroom teachers in the country, granting its first award in 1964.