KEYSER - Frankfort Middle School teacher Molly Snoberger was honored Monday evening as Mineral County's 2017 Teacher of the Year.

By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Frankfort Middle School teacher Molly Snoberger was honored Monday evening as Mineral County’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.
Snoberger, who grew up and attended school in Mineral County and is the daughter of teacher parents, told the crowd gathered for the annual Teacher of the Year banquet that “Mineral County is where my heart is.”
The secret to a successful classroom, she said, is passion.
“If you let your passion fuel your instruction, you will be successful,” she said.
Two of Snoberger’s students, Jonathan Lewis and Helley Smith, introduced her to the crowd and spoke highly - and enthusiastically - about her abilities as a teacher.
Other nominees for the annual honor were: Scott Furey, Keyser High School/Mineral County Tech Center, who was introduced by KHS principal Michael Lewis; Martha Delawder, Keyser Middle School, who was introduced by PTO president Sherri Pancake; Sonja Stanislawczyk, Keyser Primary School, who was introduced by KPS principal Barbara Kesner; and Jessica Biser, Keyser High School, who was introduced by KHS assistant principal Lois Spencer.
Andrea Santos, 2016 West Virginia Teacher of the Year, was the guest speaker for the dinner.
A Spanish teacher at Logan High School in Logan County, she told the crowd about being raised by her Spanish-speaking grandparents who taught themselves how to speak English.
Because of all their support and encouragement to become all she could be, she said they instilled in her the motto, “You learn, you earn, and you return.”
Santos said teaching is her way of giving back, or paying forward, in terms of sharing all the blessings she has received.
“Education is the great equalizer; it it s life-changer,” she said. “We teach to break down barriers.”
She also reminded her fellow teachers in the room, and everyone present, that “words are power … words do matter,” and that you never know how what you have said to someone may change their lives.”
She told the story of a young student in her classroom her was difficult to reach, and had “gone through every phase.”
Through her teaching, she connected with that student, and they became close even after the young lady graduated. Santos said she was there for the young lady through several major life events, including the death of her mother and her wedding, and now, as Santos must be out of the classroom a lot for speaking engagements as the state’s Teacher of the Year, that same young lady is substitute teaching in her class.
“We are all learners; we are all teachers,” she said, urging teachers to tap into their passion and positivity as they work with their students.
Rebecca Stark, 2016 Mineral County Teacher of the Year, was emcee for the evening.
Superintendent Shawn Dilly spoke briefly, as did Shelley Friend, community office manager with First United Bank & Trust, the sponsor of the banquet.
Assistant superintendent/treasurer Steve Peer closed the program by commenting that “Mineral County is blessed not only with many good teachers, but Mineral County is blessed with many great teachers.”