CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today joined State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mike Martirano, West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin, and representatives from Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virginia and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, to present the 2015 West Virginia Teacher of the Year, Gail Adams, with $5,000 and a new Toyota.
"Each year, our teachers gather in schools and classrooms across the state with a shared vision - to inspire our students and encourage a lifetime of learning," Gov. Tomblin said. "I'm proud of the work Gail has done to both share and spread this message, and I hope the gifts she receives today represent only a small token of our appreciation for her years of devotion and dedication to her students."
Adams has been a teacher for 10 years and is currently an Advanced English and Fine Arts teacher at Wheeling Park High School.
"I am proud to be here today as West Virginia's Teacher of the Year, but I'm also deeply humbled to represent the thousands of teachers across our state," Adams said. "I'm inspired each and every day by my students. They inspire me to be a better teacher, so this recognition is really for them."
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia presented to Adams with a $5,000 check.
"Highmark West Virginia is always pleased to be able to assist in rewarding our state's teachers who exemplify the outstanding qualifications and dedication to students that Ms. Adams possesses," said Fred Earley, Highmark West Virginia president. "She is a great example for our students."
In addition, Toyota donated a new car to Adams to use for one year as she travels across the Mountain State.
"Through the West Virginia Teacher of the Year Award, Toyota West Virginia is able to recognize teachers who are helping ensure the future of Toyota," said Doug Shields, Toyota Motor Manufacturing WV general manager. "We could not be a success without great teachers. We need to be at the cutting edge of innovation, with our products and with our plants, and the spirit of innovation always starts with the classroom teacher. Great teachers inspire great students, and those are the sort of folks we want to hire. In short, we absolutely believe there is a direct link between great teachers and our company's ultimate success. Thank you to Gail Adams for preparing our next generation of leaders."
Adams received a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education from West Liberty University. As an English and Fine Arts teacher, she earned her National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certification for Adolescence through Young Adulthood in English. She is a member of the Ohio County Schools Staff Development Council and Professional Development Schools Mentor Team for West Liberty University Student Teachers. As the assistant coach of Wheeling Park High School's Interscholastic Forensic League, she has helped secure seven West Virginia Interscholastic Forensic League state championships. She advocates for parent involvement and believes in educating the whole family.
"Great teachers like Gail Adams are the key to helping West Virginia children discover their own abilities and aspire to achieve more than they ever believed possible," said Michael Martirano, West Virginia superintendent of schools. "I am confident she will move forward the vision of all students graduating from high school on time and prepared for college or a career."
The Teacher of the Year Award Program is the longest, ongoing awards program honoring classroom teachers in the country. West Virginia granted its first award in 1964. For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education's Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.