Cabell County Middle School Teacher Receives Highest W.Va. Teaching Honor
The West Virginia Board of Education announced this week that Brian Casto of Cabell County is the 2022 West Virginia Teacher of the Year.
Casto grew up in the state and is a West Virginia Studies teacher at Milton Middle School. He’s been a history teacher for 13 years and received his social studies degree from Marshall University.
During the onset of the pandemic, when schools were forced into remote and virtual learning, Casto created original, animated videos to help teach his class.
He shared the resource with other teachers and homeschool parents through YouTube and Facebook. Collectively, his videos have been viewed more than 100,000 times.
“I'm just overjoyed and thankful and very humbled by the outpouring of people who reached out to me,” said Casto to board of education members. “From the time I was a small kid, and even as an adult, I've worked with amazing people in the school system. It was those people who encouraged me, whenever I was still trying to figure things out.”
Casto is on Milton Middle School’s leadership team. He coaches West Virginia Quiz Bowl and works with teens and church youth groups.
“I really hope that as the teacher of the year that I can try to be that positivity and encouragement to other people to show how important that is,” he said. “Because I would not even consider myself to be a good educator if it weren't for all those people who were putting different pieces of my life together.”
Casto will receive several awards for his recognition including $10,000 from sponsors Horace Mann and Highmark. Half of that will go to Casto’s school, while the other half can be kept for personal use.
Casto has also received a classroom grant of $300 from the West Virginia Lottery, $500 from the West Virginia Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers and $1,000 from the West Virginia Education Association Foundation.
Casto will travel throughout the state in the coming year and speak with students.
The West Virginia Teacher of the Year Program was created in 1964 and aims to identify, recognize and promote representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the Mountain State.