Mineral County honors top teacher, service personnel

Liz Beavers
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Mineral County Teacher of the Year Samantha Coble talks about the joy of teaching.

KEYSER - Ask any teacher or service personnel employed by the Mineral County Board of Education how the past year has gone, and you will likely be met with tales of frustration, weariness and gratitude that the pandemic now seems in its waning days.

“Teachers were asked to teach both in the classroom and online … day and night… and custodians were expected to clean the buildings from top to bottom,” ” assistant superintendent Kelli WIlson said of the county’s dedicated employees.

And while all the county’s employees strove to make the best of things during quarantine, distance learning and juggling online and in-person duties, two employees in particular not only rose to the occasion but excelled in their tasks.

Nominated by their peers, Mineral County Teacher of the Year Samantha Coble and Service Personnel of the Year Cynthia Ketterman were honored recently with a reception hosted by the board of education. First United Bank, and WVU Medicine Potomac Valley Hospital.

2022 Mineral County Teacher of the Year Samantha Coble (left) and 2021 Teacher of the Year Jessica Johnson (right) are pictured with  nominees Alexandra Felton, (back) Christopher Szafran, Bryan Kelleher and Eric Dodson.

Coble is a pre-k special needs teacher at Keyser Primary School, and Ketterman is secretary/accountant at the Technical Center.

Coble accepted her honor by paying tribute to her fellow teachers who go above and beyond to help their students.

“Sometimes teachers forget to stop and think how truly awesome they really are,” she said.

She also gave a nod to her students, saying those “who come into my life are amazing.”

Mineral County Service Personnel of the Year Cindy Ketterman (left) is pictured with nominees Julie Harvey, (back) Kara Kasekamp, and Krista Manna.

Ketterman, who has 20 years of service with Mineral County Schools, reflected that she had started as a substitute custodian then eventually went to Keyser Primary School when it opened and then to the Tech Center - creating a big culture shock for her.

“I went from 90 students to over 400,” she said, adding that she has been able to watch many of her students grow up.

“I realized some of the students I’d had in Head Start were now seniors,” she said.

Nominees for both honors were also recognized during the reception:

Teacher of the Year: Eric Dodson, mathematics teacher, Keyser Middle School; Alexandra Felton, fifth grade teacher, Frankfort Middle School; Elizabeth Finan, kindergarten teacher, Fort Ashby Primary School; Bryan Kelleher, mathematics teacher, Frankfort High School; and Christoper Szafran, science teacher, Keyser High School.

Service Personnel of the Year: Julie Harvey, custodian, Keyser High School; Brittnee Henry, secretary/accountant, Frankfort Intermediate School; Kara Kasekamp, secretary/accountant, county office; Megan Kirk, classroom aide, Frankfort Middle School; Krista Manna, custodian, Fort Ashby Primary School; and Kenneth Urice, custodian, Student Services/Keyser Middle School.

Kelli Wilson served as emcee for the program, and Lark Anderson and Janie Fout, members of the Mineral County Association of Retired School Employees, presented the honorees with gifts.