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A heartfelt tribute to the teachers of West Virginia

A heartfelt tribute to the teachers of West Virginia

Before my career in marketing with Wheelhouse Creative, I was a sports journalist.

Throughout that long career, it hurt to hear folks badmouthing the fine journalists with which I worked. They were trained professionals who cared deeply. They strived to get the facts correct. And they had honor. I once watched a news editor type his own DUI report in and literally place it on a page for the next day’s newspaper.

There are likewise fine folks that are lawyers, politicians and salesmen that have to put up with scorn.

Today, though, I’d like to shine my spotlight on West Virginia’s teachers, who also at times get a bad rap.

Because after interviewing teacher after teacher for West Virginia Education Association videos, I’m moved.

Actually, I’m in awe.

West Virginia’s teachers – which don’t get the deserved respect within our state’s craggy lines – aren’t simply babysitters with insurance plans.

They are incredibly concerned and caring folks that truly put our children before themselves.

I’ve been bowled over. Same with Wheelhouse video magicians Joe and Pat Monahan (yes, they are brothers), who have been with me through around 30 interviews of teachers for the WVEA. (Some of our work has been released and posted on the WVEA’s website: https://www.wvea.org/content/raise-your-hand)

There’s more content to come though. And it’s been our honor to provide that content because of the incredible education professionals we’ve met along the way.

We’ve been amazed at their hard work and long hours. We’ve been blown away by their dedication.

We’ve seen the love the teachers have for our state’s kids. We’ve heard how they lie awake at night concerned.

We’ve felt their pain as they’ve recounted encounters with issues like opioids, abuse, abandonment, etc.

We’ve heard the tales of teachers coming to the rescue.

And, yes, we’ve felt their frustration. They are frustrated because many in our state don’t see them in the same light as those outside West Virginia. In other states they are hailed as heroes for taking a stand in 2018. They are hailed for their work in our bad economic conditions.

Also, they feel frustration because they are not consulted in regard to funding.

“It’s not reading, writing and arithmetic anymore,” Yaunetta Dunn said in one of the posted videos.

In the above link you can also see Suha Beck speaking about teachers moving past scorn, issues and frustrations.

“If the teachers in West Virginia had a spirit animal,” she said, “it would be the phoenix.”

Indeed, because they continue to rise to the challenge time and time again.

I simply wish more people would be able to sit and listen to our teachers.

Sit. Listen. Watch. Empathize.

I think they’d come to the same conclusion as our Wheelhouse Creative group.

The word “teacher” just doesn’t seem big enough to describe or cover the dedication, the love and the professionalism of these fine folks.

God bless them all.

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Mitch Vingle covered sports in West Virginia for 38 years. Follow Mitch on Twitter at @MitchVingle and be sure to check out the rest of Wheelhouse Creative’s website for your marketing and advertising needs. If interested, call us at 304-905-6005.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ex-WVU long snapper making state proud with groundbreaking ACL technique

Ex-WVU long snapper making state proud with groundbreaking ACL technique

It’s a hell of a story. It’s more than local boy done good. It’s more than local boy done outstanding. Chad Lavender is a Chesapeake native and Riverside High graduate, former WVU long snapper and current Marshall Health Orthopaedics doctor gone groundbreaking. You’ve heard of Dr. James Andrews, the “athlete-centric” orthopedic surgeon? Dr. Lavender could… Continue Reading

My wish for our youth beginning to return to sports

My wish for our youth beginning to return to sports

There are times when I want to simplify things, to quiet the mind. In regard to sports, for instance, I see and hear the news regarding Major League baseball. The owners have proposed a 76-game season that would give players 75 percent of their prorated salary for the 2020 season. They’d only receive 75 percent… Continue Reading

Concerns are building about WVU, our beloved world of sports

Concerns are building about WVU, our beloved world of sports

While I write these blogs during the pandemic, ESPN always provides background noise while I tap away from my kitchen table/makeshift office. (And when I say “noise” I mean “deafening noise” when Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman are on.) It’s just the way I’m wired. I love sports. I’ll always love sports. I’m not… Continue Reading

SSAC’s Dolan troubled with sports shutdown; now planning with uncertainty

SSAC’s Dolan troubled with sports shutdown; now planning with uncertainty

West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission executive director Bernie Dolan has witnessed much in his career. He’s been a teacher. He’s been Wheeling Park’s principal. He’s been director of the Super Six committee. He’s been assistant superintendent in Ohio County. One would think he’s seen it all. Until this Covid-19 pandemic. The well-oiled machine that… Continue Reading

With Oscar in fold, WVU hoops roster sparkles — with one caveat

With Oscar in fold, WVU hoops roster sparkles — with one caveat

The news leapt off the cell phone screen this past Sunday. Oscar Tshiebwe, said the press release, will be returning to WVU’s basketball team for his sophomore season. You could almost hear Mountaineer fans first breathing a sigh of relief and then celebrating. “I would like to thank the WVU basketball coaching staff, my family… Continue Reading

The rest of the story behind Rod Thorn’s pick of Michael Jordan

The rest of the story behind Rod Thorn’s pick of Michael Jordan

If you’re a West Virginia native – especially if you’re a WVU fan – you had to feel some sort of pride from watching “The Last Dance” on Sunday evening. The special on the Chicago Bulls – centering on Michael Jordan – featured Princeton native and former West Virginia University All-America basketball legend Rod Thorn.… Continue Reading

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