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Nicholas County Kindergarten Teacher Earns Above And Beyond Award

Teresa Brown, left, and Kelly Griffith, right. Brown is WVPB's Above And Beyond Award winner for December 2020.
Harrison Evans
/
WVPB
Teresa Brown, left, is WVPB's Above And Beyond Award winner for December 2020. WVPB Education Director Kelly Griffith, right, presents her with a prize pack, which includes a fun sign for Brown's yard.

Teresa Brown, a kindergarten teacher from Nicholas County, has earned West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Above and Beyond Award, which recognizes excellence and creativity in and out of the classroom.

Brown was presented the award this week at Gauley River Elementary in Craigsville, West Virginia. She actually won the award in December, but holidays, inclement weather and COVID-19 precautions delayed the presentation. She received a monetary award, our signature Blenko Above and Beyond blue apple paperweight, a certificate of recognition, and a host of other special gifts made possible by the sponsorship of Advantage Technology.

“Teaching is a ministry of relationships,” Brown said. “I can be anywhere and hear ‘Ms. Brown!’ and it just makes me smile from ear to ear. I have loved and learned from my students no matter the generation. From the student who is now a parent to the child in front of me now, I have always striven to establish relationships with students in order to make learning happen. It’s been my honor and my reward to be ‘Ms. Brown’ for several generations.

”Kelly Griffith, WVPB’s Education Director, said Brown is respected for her ability to keep things fun, creative and exciting for her young charges. “She uses quick wit and humor to create a productive classroom environment and she maintains high standards while still appreciating the small things students do and accomplish.

”During the last two years Brown has transitioned to new technologies, software and platforms. Recently, she became an iPad Apple Certified Teacher because her district provides an iPad for each student.“Last summer, Ms. Brown coordinated a kindergarten boost virtual program for upcoming kindergarten students giving them a jump start on kindergarten. She was able to make early connections with families and students, and both of those stakeholders seem to love her.

“She is the prototype of an exemplary teacher with outstanding teaching credentials coupled with kindness and generosity that takes her beyond the boundaries of her school and into her community,” Griffith said.

During the spring COVID-19 lockdown, she contacted her students through home visits, delivering them gifts and lessons to keep their skills sharp. She assisted Nicholas County Schools with meal deliveries to bus stops with greetings of “Hello!” and “I miss you!” She worked with the local SCTV station to record six 30-minute reading lessons that were broadcast over the summer.

Brown is the site coordinator of the Gauley River Elementary after-school program sponsored by Nicholas County Schools, 21st Century After School Learning Program and Save the Children. The program runs four days a week tacking an extra three hours of teaching onto her regular work day and offering reading, math, STEM, music, art, PE and nutrition for at-risk learners.

The person who nominated Brown indicated that she puts a special touch on all she does for her students, school and community. “She is constantly purchasing items her students need from her own salary. Whether it is a birthday, a reward for effort, or just a surprise, her students are always cared for and made to feel special.

”Her colleagues are given special attention, too. She mentors her new kindergarten teaching partner, “never making her feel inferior because she always accepts new ideas and shares the teaching load." She understands teaching is a collaborative profession and supports other faculty members by serving on school and district committees. “She considers her school family as her own family.

”In the past, Brown has been the recipient of the West Virginia Arch Coal Award and has been named Nicholas County Teacher of the Year. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and serves on the Executive Board of the West Virginia Reading Association as its hospitality chair and parliamentarian.

To nominate a creative and excellent West Virginia teacher, please visit wvpublic.org.


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