MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) — A local teacher has gained statewide recognition for her hard work and dedication to her students.

Allyson Varlas is a Title 1 Reading Specialist at Central Elementary in Moundsville. She was recently named a winner of the Dr. Jennie Bechtold Award. It’s an honor given out by the West Virginia Reading Association to a full-time beginning teacher, with one to five years of teaching, who demonstrates excellence.

Varlas said, ” I felt very happy winning the award. It just reminds me that the reason that I do all of this stuff and do extra things is for my students and for the kids at Central Elementary because it is a place that I hold near and dear to my heart. ”

In addition to teaching, Varlas is involved in a number of literacy intervention programs.