Gail Adams is still in awe after receiving a huge award Wednesday night after she was named the 2015 West Virginia Teacher of the year. Her students say she cares a lot about bringing out the best in them and getting all of them involved in her lessons. But she hasn’t always been a teacher.
Ms. Adams was a banker for 11 years, and then a mother for 16 years, until she decided she wanted to go to college and teach high school English. She’s on her 11th year of teaching, and at Wheeling Park, her students say she’s notorious for a lot of repetition and making sure all her students participate.
“If you are a fan of sitting in the back of the class, she will make sure that she rotates her seats every week, and that way everyone gets a chance to be up front and learning something. And she makes sure everyone gets involved,” said Wheeling Park Senior Andrea Gump.
“I don’t know, she kind of makes you feel like she’s your mom, but she’s your friend too, so it’s really a fun experience being in her class,” said Wheeling Park Sophomore Kelly McCardle.
“That’s the number one thing is getting that relationship intact and then the learning takes place. But if they don’t know that you care, then they’re not going to care about what you have to say,” said Ms. Adams.
As for what’s happening next, right now Ms. Adams says she’s focusing on teaching her next class, but she’s still working on her plan for her time as Teacher of the Year.
The West Virginia Department of Education says Ms. Adams will receive an educational technology package valued at nearly 15 thousand dollars, and a Toyota car for the next year with cash awards from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Horace Mann Insurance.