CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Board of Education announced Wednesday its six finalists for the 2018 Teacher of the Year award.

The program is designed to identify, recognize and promote excellent educators in elementary, middle and high schools. It is one of the oldest programs in the United States.

The finalists are:

— Teresa Thorne, a first-grade teacher at Slanesville Elementary School in Slanesville;
— Tammy Ann Spangler, a math teacher at Ripley Middle School in Ripley;
— Katlin Thorsell, an agriculture education teacher at Washington High School in Charles Town;
— Tammy Bittorf, an English teacher at Berkeley Springs High School in Berkeley Springs;
— Adriane Manning, a reading and English Language Arts teacher at Wheeling Middle School in Wheeling; and
— Leslie Lively, a teacher at Short Line School in Reader.

“Each of these teachers embrace high expectations, strive for excellence and put students at the center of all they do,” state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine said in a statement.

Thorne, an educator for 14 years, is active in multiple leadership programs, including serving as a sponsor of Watch DOGS — or Dads of Great Students — a program that allows dads, uncles and grandfathers to volunteer at schools.

Spangler helped develop Jackson County School District’s sixth-grade mathematics curriculum involving project-based lessons.

Thorsell serves as a National FFA advisor and ensures her students can complete Supervised Agriculture Experiences to better understand careers in the agriculture industry.
She also provides the opportunity for graduating seniors to receive hands-on CPR and First Aid training.

Bittorf used her experience in the U.S. Air Force to create the Broadening Horizons in Morgan County Program, which aims at allowing students to visit other countries.

Manning is involved in Wheeling Middle School spring musical and student-led broadcast, Wildcat 411. She previously worked at The Washington Post.

Lively built the Engineer Energy Program in Wetzel County, providing students the chance to explore STEM subjects.

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