HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A Cabell County assistant teacher has been named this year’s West Virginia School Service Personnel Employee of the Year.

West Virginia Department of Education

Lionel Hope Jr.

Lionel Hope Jr., an assistant at Highlawn Elementary in Huntington, has been with Cabell County Schools for 11 years. He’s an early childhood assistant teacher. According to a statement from the state Department of Education, he works with students through music, gardening and community projects.

“Our school service personnel serve a fundamental role within our education system,” Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine said. “Mr. Hope has a selfless attitude and provides invaluable support for his students and his community.”

The award program launched in 2010 to recognize outstanding school service personnel employees, and is similar to the state’s Teacher of the Year program.

Hope will receive $500 as well as a $2,000 financial gift from Horace Mann Insurance.