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Toni Poling, Fairmont Senior English teacher and WVEA member, named WV Teacher of the Year

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Toni Poling, Fairmont Senior English teacher and WVEA member, named WV Teacher of the Year
By WVEA Communications Staff

Congratulations to WVEA member Toni Poling, who was named the 2017 West Virginia Teacher of the Year at an awards banquet this evening in Charleston!

| Poling has taught 11th- and 12th-grade English at Fairmont Senior High School for 10 years. Poling, whose dedication to teaching began when she helped her father overcome a reading disability, combines color, sound and movement with various forms of technology to introduce classic literature to her students, according to a state Department of Education release. 

Poling has been recognized for her work as a mentor to pre-service teachers and for her various responsibilities as Faculty Senate President.

She’s also hosted a school competition to see which class could donate the most winter clothing, which resulted in the collection of  more than 250 items that were delivered to the Union Mission and students in need at Fairmont Senior.

Four of the six Teacher of the Year finalists are members of the West Virginia Education Association.

In addition to Poling, they are:

| Erica Alexander, a seventh-grade English teacher at Triadelphia Middle School in Ohio County, wears a lot of hats at her school and in other capacities. A former Arch Coal Teacher Award winner, Alexander is the co-president of the school’s technology committee and the seventh-grade REACH (Raiders Extend a Caring Hand) advisor, according to the state Department of Education release.

| Trista Dalton, who has been a math teacher at Philip Barbour High School for the past five years. The Grant County native is a certified New Tech Teacher and a certified New Tech Trainer, one of only two people with such certification in the state.

| John Paul Lynch, Jr., a band teacher at Jefferson High School in Jefferson County who has led three student bands to state and even national victories. Lynch says his greatest accomplishment has been doubling the size of the Cougar Marching Band to an estimated 200 students for this school year.

The other finalists are:

| Frederick Albert, a sixth-grade teacher at DuPont Middle School who also coaches the track team and volunteers at his church to help families in need.

| Kathy Blevins, a health and physical education teacher at Summers County High School, who in addition to fostering ninth- and 10th-grade students also serves as a mentor for new teachers, providing advice on how to deal with all the extras of the job, including parent meetings and discipline issues.  

WVEA congratulates all six finalists on this tremendous accomplishment.