CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today joined State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano, West Virginia Board of Education President Mike Green and representatives from Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virginia and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to present the 2016 West Virginia Teacher of the Year, Andrea Santos, with a check for $5,000 and a new Toyota car.
"Our state’s teachers work hard to ensure our students develop the knowledge and skills they need to compete in today’s global economy," Gov. Tomblin said. “I'm proud to recognize the work Andrea is doing to share new perspectives with her students in Logan County, and I’m grateful for her dedication to caring for our kids.”
Santos has been a teacher for 22½ years and is currently a Spanish teacher at Logan High School in Logan County.
“I am humbled to have been chosen to represent teachers across the state as West Virginia’s Teacher of the Year,” Santos said. “The real recognition today should go to my students, as they are the people who make my job so rewarding. I feel fortunate to stand every day among a diverse group of students who come to me with worries and doubts and ambitions and dreams. As a public school teacher, it is my privilege to teach all of them.”
Toyota donated a new car to Santos 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 show enthusiasm, dedication and go above and beyond job requirements to instill excellence into education. Teaching is a profession worthy of our utmost respect,” said Tim Hollander, Toyota Manufacturing WV General Manager.
In addition, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia presented Santos with a $5,000 check.
“Highmark West Virginia is honored to recognize our state’s Teacher of the Year for the 15th consecutive year,” said Fred Earley, Highmark West Virginia president. “We know that Andrea Santos will serve as a role model for her students and peers throughout West Virginia, inspiring others by demonstrating how the highest standards of her profession can be achieved in the classroom.”
Santos received a Bachelor of Science degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Education from West Virginia State University. She is known for her positivity, inspiration and ability to reach out to troubled students. Teaching grades 9-12, she shows her students how to strive for excellence, respect others, appreciate and explore cultural diversity and language, and break down barriers that attempt to hold them back. She believes that her students are the most important element of her career and that every advancement in her profession is entirely for them.
“Andrea has shown a tremendous level of dedication to her students, and she is a shining example of how teachers in our state are committed to their profession,” Martirano said. “Student success is predominantly founded upon the efforts of educators and I applaud all of our teachers who work tirelessly to ensure a world-class education for all West Virginia students.”
The Teacher of the Year Award Program is the oldest ongoing awards program honoring excellence in teaching in the country. West Virginia granted its first award in 1964.
For additional information, contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or Kristin.Anderson@k12.wv.us.