State Superintendent Dr. David Stewart made the announcement during a ceremony that recognized Soltesz and his fellow county teachers of the year.
Soltesz began his teaching career in 1997 as a full-time substitute in Marshall County. He began teaching full time in 1998 at John Marshall High School where his classes include word processing, data processing, business computer literacy, business computer applications as well as introductory and advanced computer science.
Soltesz received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education with specializations in business principles and mathematics. He is currently pursuing his Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from West Virginia University.
“It is my distinct privilege to honor such a fine educator in our state’s public school system. Mr. Soltesz exemplifies the meaning of master teacher not only by his leadership skills, but also by displaying an extraordinary dedication to both his students and his community,” Dr. Stewart said. “David’s dedication to his students by preparing them for college or the workplace has made him worthy of this award.”
The greatest contributions he makes in education can be separated into two categories: his students and his fellow educators. For his students, Soltesz constantly encourages his students to do their best and teaches them skills that will enable them to gain a lead in college or gain entry-level employment directly after graduation. Believing that his students are capable of doing more than what is expected of them, he strives for perfection.
“I contribute the most limited resource we have – time,” said Soltesz. “As a previous advisor, I have spent many hours working with students at various events and functions. This time was a chance for me to meet students that I did not have the opportunity to teach.”
His fellow educators also gain from Soltesz’s knowledge. He strives to share ideas and information that will help everyone’s classroom practices. He further offers continuing education programs for staff development by helping them incorporate technology in their classrooms.
Community involvement has played an important role in Soltesz’s career. He has served as fundraising chairperson for the United Way at John Marshall. He also is the co-sponsor of the Computer Team and the coach of the Academic Team. The Computer Team has assisted faculty members by performing Internet research for them and by helping troubleshoot classroom computers. The Academic Team has competed around the state in various academic competitions, including Quiz Bowl, Science Bowl and Marshall University’s SCORES competition.
Soltesz was selected from five finalists who came from a field of 46 Teacher of the Year nominees. A committee appointed by the State Superintendent of Schools to evaluate the county nominees selects the state Teacher of the Year. Sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Scholastic, Inc., the Teacher of the Year is the longest, ongoing awards program honoring classroom teachers in the country.