CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The 2012 West Virginia Teacher of the Year, Robert Morris, is speeding ahead with his responsibilities as the state’s top educator.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Thursday joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia to present Morris with keys to a brand new Toyota and $5,000.
“Our state teachers dedicate themselves to molding the minds of tomorrow,” Tomblin said. “I am so proud of our Teacher of the Year and these gifts are only a small token of appreciation for what Bob gives to his students daily.”
Each year Toyota donates a brand new car to the state teacher of the year, who can use the vehicle for a year as she or he travels the state.
“As a corporation, Toyota West Virginia is striving to honor and reward leading educators and to attract bright youths to pursue this noble calling,” said Mike Lutz, general manager for Toyota Motor Manufacturing in West Virginia. “On behalf of the 1,000 plus team members at our Buffalo manufacturing plant, it is with great pleasure that we recognize the significant contributions that Robert Morris has made to West Virginia students as our 2012 Teacher of the Year.”
In addition, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia presented Morris with a $5,000 check to spend as he wishes.
“We are always pleased to be able to assist in rewarding our state’s teachers who exemplify the outstanding qualifications and dedication to students that Mr. Morris possesses,” said Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia President Fred Earley. “He is truly a role model for our children.”
Morris, an agriculture and forestry teacher at Clay County High School, is in his 24th year in the classroom. He has a master’s degree in agriculture and is currently working online toward an administrative certificate. He was selected by a committee appointed by the state superintendent of schools to evaluate finalists who were their county Teacher of the Year winners.
“Great teachers like Bob Morris are the key to helping West Virginia children discover their own abilities and aspire to achieve more than they ever believed possible,” said state Superintendent Jorea Marple. “I am honored to recognize him as the 2012 Teacher of the Year.”
The Teacher of the Year is the longest, ongoing awards program honoring classroom teachers in the country. West Virginia granted its first award in 1964. He will represent West Virginia in the National Teacher of the Year competition. For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.