The Times West Virginian

Opinion

April 2, 2014

Award-winning county teachers represent hard work, sacrifice

Each year, the Arch Coal Foundation recognizes outstanding West Virginia teachers with its annual Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award.

And this year, two Marion County teachers were among the 12 recipients.

Adrin Fisher, a teacher at Fairmont Senior High School, and Mary Anne Mullenax, a teacher at North Marion High School, bring a combined total of 43 years of experience to the classroom.

John Eaves, Arch Coal’s president and chief executive officer, attended the awards ceremony and said teachers often are unheralded for the difference they make.

“Today, we celebrate 12 outstanding West Virginia teachers,” Eaves said. “These individuals are not only responsible for educating our children, but also for learning new concepts and teaching strategies themselves. They work tirelessly to serve the needs of their students and their communities.”

Mullenax, who teaches integrated English and world history, said the award is nice because teaching is often an unrecognized profession.

“It was very humbling because there are so many people that I’ve worked with who could also be eligible and be very worthy of winning the award. ... It was nice to be recognized for something that I love to do anyway,” she said.

Fisher, who teaches English and theater appreciation, shared that sentiment.

“I think that we work really hard every day and put a lot of time in at home and put a lot of time in on weekends. ... It’s just nice to get the recognition and have someone notice you’re working hard and getting results and making a difference in people’s lives,” she said.

Making the award just a bit sweeter? It’s not one that individuals can apply for; instead, teachers are nominated by students, their peers and members of the community.

Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, said the award recipients represent the hard work and sacrifice of all public school teachers.

“They are to be commended for their commitment to the profession and to the students of our state,” Lee added.

Fisher and Mullenax are among a host of Marion County teachers working hard to ensure the success of area students, and they should be praised not only for their award, but for the job they do on a daily basis.

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