State Superintendent Steve Paine made the announcement during a ceremony that recognized county teachers of the year on Wednesday night in Charleston.
“It is my distinct privilege to honor such a fine educator in our state’s public school system,” Paine said. “MaryLu’s dedication to her students, commitment to creating a 21st century classroom and innovative, technology-rich teaching practices have made her worthy of this award.”
Hutchins began her teaching career in 1979 as a kindergarten teacher. In 1985, she moved to Kruger Elementary School, where she taught first grade until 1990. She has been teaching first grade at Steenrod Elementary since then. Hutchins also was named as the Teacher in Residence at West Liberty State College in 2006.
“With utmost sincerity, I believe that every student is entitled to sustained relationships with adults who truly care about that child’s total well-being,” Hutchinson said in her application. “Teaching from the heart informs every decision I make.”
Hutchins, who earned her National Board Certification in 2004, also holds a bachelor’s degree from West Liberty State College and a master’s degree from West Virginia University, where she is working on a doctorate.
“MaryLu Hutchins possesses what many others can only imitate,” said Susan Brossman, a fellow teacher, whose daughter was a student in Hutchins’ class. “The ability to teach has been born from the true gift that remains at her very core, a genuine love, appreciation and respect for ALL children.”
Hutchins is the 2006 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the 2005 West Virginia Science Teacher of the Year and a 2000 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award winner. She also is a program facilitator and mentor for the National Board for Professional Teaching Certification and serves on several local, regional and state education-related committees.
“Mrs. Hutchins is a devoted first grade teacher who dedicates herself to her students,” said Sue McGuier, coordinator of assessment for Ohio County Schools. “She knows her children, their diverse learning needs and the skills they must master in order to achieve academic success.”
As West Virginia’s 2009 Teacher of the Year, Hutchins will receive an educational technology package valued at approximately $14,300. She was selected by a committee appointed by the state superintendent of schools to evaluate six finalists who were their county Teacher of the Year winners. Teacher of the Year, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers, is the longest, ongoing awards program honoring classroom teachers in the country, granting its first national award in 1952. West Virginia has participated in the program since 1964.
Other finalists were Sharon Cuomo, a Title I reading teacher at Hooverson Heights Primary School in Brooke County; Ruby Dyer, an English and journalism teacher at Wayne High School in Wayne County; Nancy Ryan, a Spanish teacher at Hedgesville High School in Berkeley County; Tracy Samosky, a reading teacher at Lashmeet-Matoaka School in Mercer County; and Kelly Stanislawczyk, a business education teacher at Frankfort Middle School in Mineral County.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.
Visit the Picture Gallery for TOY 2009