Second Milken Educator Award recipient is a Marshall County teacher

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — A second West Virginia teacher has been honored with Milken Educator Award for the 2021-2022 school year.

Heather Haught, a first grade teacher at McNinch Primary School in Moundsville, received the award during a school assembly Thursday with state School Superintendent Clayton Burch.

“It’s very nice to get that award and just being told that you’re doing a good job does keep you going and feeling positive about what you’re doing in the classroom,” Haught told MetroNews.

Haught is one of 60 educators nationwide this school year to receive the award.

On Wednesday, Hardy County teacher Michelle Wolfe was honored at East Hardy High School. Wolfe was a guest on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” the Milken Educator Award recognizes teachers who are making a difference in the classroom.

Haught said she has a passion for teaching kids how to read and write.

“It’s the smiles every day. It’s the progress you see the kids make that really keeps me going,” she said. “I have a strong team here and I’m thankful for all their support.”

The award comes with a $25,000 check. Haught said she hasn’t thought about what to do with the money yet.

“I’ll take some time and plan it to make sure it’s going exactly where it needs to be,” she said.

Being a teacher of small children for 12 years has been her greatest joy, even with challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her class went virtual for about nine week.

“It was tough, but we did our daily Teams meeting so we could see each other and interact,” Haught said.

Her goal is to serve as an inspiration to her students.

“I hope that I have instilled in them a love for school and fellowship together and reading. Reading is a big part of what we do in first grade, learning to read,” she said.

Haught is the first Milken Educator Award recipient from the Marshall County School District.

Superintendent Burch said in a statement Haught is a true leader.

“Heather Haught is a sterling example of compassion and commitment,” Burch stated. “She not only adopts research-based practices into her instruction plans, but she also shares her innovations and approaches with other teachers in her school and county to advance teaching and learning beyond her own classroom. We are proud of her leadership and the depth of her commitment to the children and families of her community.”

West Virginia was first destination on the 35th Milken Educator Awards anniversary tour honoring the nation’s teachers.

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