CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A fifth grade teacher in Berkeley County was honored Wednesday night for her exceptional efforts in the classroom.

Erin Sponaugle was named the 2014 West Virginia Teacher of the Year during a ceremony at the Clay Center in Charleston.

State Board of Education President Gayle Manchin said this achievement is not taken lightly.

“It’s sort of the apex of their profession to be recognized by your peers and by educational leaders that you excel in your job,” she said.

Erin Sponaugle is a fifth grade teacher at Tomahawk Intermediate Middle School

Sponaugle has been a teacher for 10 years and currently works at Tomahawk Intermediate Middle School.

She received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Shepherd University and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from West Virginia University.

Manchin said it takes passion to get to this point.

“They love what they do,” she said. “They love being a part of building a childs life into a successful, accomplished adult.”

As Teacher of the Year, Sponaugle will receive an educational technology package valued at around $15,000, a Toyota care to drive for a year and cash awards from Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Horace Mann Insurance.

She was selected by a committee out of four finalists who were their county Teacher of the Year winners.

“This is the greatest tribute you can pay to a teacher is a job well done and that you have students out there that are also commenting on who has made the biggest impact in their lives,” Manchin said.

The other three finalists were Jonna Kuskey, Marshall County; Meagan Cahill, Mercer County; Kimberly Cook, Nicholas County.

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  • Poolgirl1218

    Congrats! Some of you people are really showing how classless and ignorant you truly are...

  • Metzger

    well done, nice to know there are a few teachers in the system that care.

  • Dale

    By the way, congratulations to Ms. Sponaugle!

  • Dale

    Good idea Harpers Ferry. Let's start an online petition immediately and demand action by our legislative and congressional leaders. With the shutdown ongoing, it's not like the've got anything else to do! What do you think about a candlelight vigil?

    • Harpers Ferry

      I'm with you, except can we do something other than a candlelight vigil? Candlelight is offensive to wax.

      • Big Dave

        It's also offensive and discriminatory to other forms of light.

        • Joe

          How about the Fighting Whiteys?!

  • wowza

    Wow, she's cute. Why do I hear Van Halen in the back of my mind?

  • Dale

    Tomahawk School? Infers violence and is generally offensive to American Indians. Should be changed immediately!! Simply unacceptable in this day and time!

    • Harpers Ferry

      Totally agree. Change the name to Fighting Irish because it's only offensive to white people and, honestly, who cares about them.

  • Harpers Ferry

    She is over paid and has way too many days off. She is only as good as her worst student and if her worst student is failing, it's HER fault and by no means is it the parents' fault.

    • Hillbilly

      This comment is way out of line..

      • Harpers Ferry

        Looks like someone's teacher didn't teach them the word 'sarcasm'.

  • butch

    Great job Erin!!!

  • MM

    What is a Toyota care?

  • Joe

    Congratulations, Mrs. Sponaugle. Fantastic job and well earned awards. This is performance.

    Ms. Manchin and Mr. Lee of the WVEA, I would think all four of the nominated teachers have earne individual merit raises asap which I'm sure all teachers would support.

  • Mr. M

    That would be "peers." (Curious -- was it spelled incorrectly in a press release from Mrs. M's office? And no, there's NO relation to me there)