All posts by Mr. Wood

Marshall County Special Olympians Compete in Track & Field

Special Olympian Jeff Robinson participates in the running long jump at the annual track meet.

More than 130 student and adult athletes participated at the 30th annual Marshall County Special Olympics Track & Field event at John Marshall High School.

Athletes were assisted by the 160 peer tutors from both Marshall County high schools, Cameron and John Marshall, while competing in various track and field events.  Participants could also make arts and crafts or take silly pictures in a photo booth.

Several JM Career & Technical Education programs helped at Special Olympics.  Agriculture students prepared and set up the field for the event.  Nursing students in the Therapeutic Services program provided a first aid station and assisted with physicals.  JM Pro Start students prepared lunch while WJMH Media students announced results and played music.

The Knights of Pythias, American Legion and Army National Guard also lent a helping hand during the Marshall County Special Olympics Spring Games.

Everyone received a t-shirt donated by Main Street bank. This years’ theme was Star Wars.

Marshall County Service Personnel Member of the Year and Teacher of the Year Named

Marshall County Board of Education members and county administrators recognized Service Personnel and Teacher of the Year candidates during the regular board meeting on Tuesday evening.

Each year service personnel, teachers and administrators vote a faculty and staff member to represent their school as a county contender. Then a committee, consisting of county office officials and previous award recipients, conduct interviews and choose the county winners.

Cameron Elementary School Kindergarten Aide Sherry Reid was named Service Personnel Member of the Year for Marshall County Schools. Reid has been employed as an aide in Marshall County Schools for 12 years.


Joy VanScyoc, an Art teacher at Moundsville Middle School, was awarded with 2019 Marshall County Schools Teacher of the Year. She also instructs a Project Lead the Way class in Design and Modeling. VanScyoc created a new chapter of the Technology Student Association (TSA) at the middle school that focuses on completing challenges and competing in various areas of science, technology engineering, art and math.

Service Personnel Member of the Year Nominees included: Jerry Gump (Bus Garage), Sherry Reid (Cameron Elementary School), Patty Smith (Cameron High School), Karen Yoders (Center McMechen Elementary School), Jill Schwing (Central Elementary School), Bill Wiseman (Glen Dale Elementary School), Rick Young (Hilltop Elementary School), Julie Anderson (John Marshall High School), Matt Thomas (Maintenance), Erin Holmes (McNinch Primary School), Leanne Dobbs (Moundsville Middle School), Nicole Stocklask (Sand Hill Elementary School), Corinne Snider (Sherrard Middle School) and Becky Orndorff (Washington Lands Elementary School).

Other Teacher of the Year nominees at each school included: Andrea Magers (Cameron Elementary School), Whitney Healy (Cameron High School), Roseann Haynes (Center McMechen Elementary School), Tonya Lehman (Central Elementary School), Sally Mull (Glen Dale Elementary School), Lori McLaughlin (Hilltop Elementary School), Kallie Kastrevec (John Marshall High School), Carla Whitlatch (John Marshall High School), Shay Ryan (McNinch Primary School), Stacy Hooper (Sand Hill Elementary School), Michael Murphy (Sherrard Middle School) and Julie Sturgill (Washington Lands Elementary School).

All Service Personnel of the Year and Teacher of the Year nominees were presented with a certificate for being chosen as designees at their respective district locations.

Service Personnel Member of the Year Nominees are pictured from left.  Front row: Jerry Gump, Patty Smith, Sherry Reid (Service Personnel of the Year), Karen Yoders and Jill Schwing. Back row: Cathy Bartlett, Bill Wiseman, Julie Anderson, Matt Thomas, Erin Holmes, and Becky Orndorff.


Teacher of the Year nominees are pictured from left. Front row: Andrea Magers, Whitney Healy, Roseann Haynes, Joy VanScyoc (Teacher of the Year), Tonya Lehman and Sally Mull. Back row: Lori McLaughlin, Kallie Kastrevec, Shay Ryan, Stacy Hooper,  Michael Murphy and Julie Sturgill.

Mentorship Turned Friendship Leads Teachers to National Certification

From left: McNinch Primary teachers Shawna Zervos and Nicole Majewski have earned National Board Certification in Early Childhood Literacy.

One of the most important factors that ensures a student gets a good education is the quality of the teacher.

An effective teacher can be described in many different ways: caring, respectful and kind, along with being a good listener and communicator.  However, those adjectives only describe a teacher’s character.  Skill and knowledge of the subject being taught are also essential.

McNinch Primary School 1st grade teacher Nicole Majewski and Pre-K teacher Shawna Zervos were recently recognized as accomplished educators by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Each earned the distinction of National Board Certification in Early Childhood Literacy. The designation is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education.

To be considered for the national certification a candidate must have a bachelor’s degree, valid state teaching license and three years of classroom experience.  Each teacher must also meet score requirements on a written test, portfolio and classroom performance in order to achieve National Board Certification.

Majewski has been teaching in Marshall County for 8 ½ years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education and is in the process of earning a master’s degree from West Virginia University in Reading and Literacy Leadership.

Zervos has been teaching in Marshall County for 25 years. She has an Early Childhood/Elementary Education bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in K-12 Reading.

Majewski and Zervos decided to work through the lengthy certification process together. The two first met when Zervos was assigned to be Majewski’s professional mentor in 2007. “We were put together by chance,” Zervos explained. “We didn’t realize at the time what a blessing this pairing would be for us.”

As time went by the mentorship morphed into a friendship.  “I have admired Shawna since our first meeting,” Majewski said. “We just hit it off. We really motivate each other.”

Both say they couldn’t have done it without the other. Majewski and Zervos also appreciate the help they received along the way from Marshall County Schools Curriculum Director Woody Yoder. “He was the principal at Center McMechen during our mentoring and was instrumental, the past few years, in securing professional work time from the county in support of our endeavors,” said Zervos.

Majewski and Zervos are the first teachers in West Virginia to earn a National Board Certification in Early Childhood Literacy.

McNinch Primary Students Jump to Fight Against Heart Disease

From left: McNinch Primary 2nd grader Ashely McCulley throws a pie at her teacher, Laken Whitlatch, as the school mascot cheers in the background.

Jumping rope does wonders for your heart. It can also do wonders for raising life-saving funds for the American Heart Association.

As a Jump Rope For Heart school, the students at McNinch Primary and their coordinator Ashley Doty hosted a special event to help the American Heart Association’s mission to fight the #1 and #5 killers of Americans – heart disease and stroke.

Around 500 students participated in the campaign. McNinch Primary raised almost $4,000 for the American Heart Association’s mission in West Virginia.

The students celebrated their fundraising efforts with an assembly. Teachers were hit with pies by students who raised the most money.

“It’s amazing to think that one school can generate so much funding for our cause,” said Michelle Loehr, Development Director for the American Heart Association. “I want to thank and commend the students at McNinch Primary for doing so much to help save lives here in Marshall County.”

“I also want to thank Ashley Doty for continuing to motivate her students to not only get active, but to go big and help raise these critical funds,” added Loehr. “It’s exciting to know that every grade in the school will be having a great time for a great cause.”

Night of Excellence Honors Student Achievement

More than 500 Marshall County students were recognized for their academic accomplishments during the district’s annual Night of Excellence ceremony held last night at the John Marshall High School Center for Performing Arts.

Students from McNinch Primary, Cameron Elementary, Center McMechen Elementary, Central Elementary, Glen Dale Elementary, Hilltop Elementary, Sand Hill Elementary and Washington Lands Elementary were celebrated along with Moundsville Middle School, Sherrard Middle School, Cameron High School and John Marshall High School students.

Marshall County Board of Education members, county administration and school principals congratulated each recipient with a handshake and certificate.

Students Send Valentine’s Day Cards to Veterans

From left: McNinch Primary Pre-K students Nate Yager, Emma Schultz and Ava Benline make Valentine’s cards for Veterans.

McNinch Primary School students showed their appreciation for the sacrifices and achievements of United States Veterans by making them Valentine’s Day cards.

At the request of McNinch Primary Pre-K teacher Shawna Zervos, each student in the school created a personal hand-crafted card which included a special message designed to put a smile on a Veteran’s face on Valentine’s Day.  The cards will be given to more than 200 local Veterans through Helping Heroes Inc. in Moundsville.

Valentines for Veterans is a program that began in 1989 at the request of the late advice columnist Ann Landers. She encouraged her readers to take time to honor our nation’s Veterans through the creation and distribution of cards on Valentine’s Day.

Teachers at McNinch Primary School are committed to continuing the annual program, along with teaching students the importance of showing gratitude to Veterans throughout the year. This experience was also designed to encourage students to give back to their community.

Marshall County Special Olympics Event a Slam Dunk

Pictured from left: Marshall County Special Olympians Jayden Antill, Bryan Belford, Elizabeth Schlieper and Kaylee Schlieper.

More than 140 Marshall County Special Olympians participated at the county’s 3rd annual basketball competition on Wednesday in John Marshall High School’s gymnasium.

Students from all Marshall County elementary, middle and high schools hit the hardwood along with a few graduates to compete in dribbling, shooting and passing events.

More than 80 peer tutors from both Cameron High School and John Marshall High School assisted the athletes while shooting hoops.  Knights of Pythias and American Legion members handed out medals and also donated money to help fund the Winter Games.

Special Olympians will compete again in the spring at the Marshall County Special Olympics Track and Field event on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at the John Marshall High School Soccer Field in Glen Dale.

2017 American Education Week Proclamation Signed in Marshall County

Front row from left: Moundsville Mayor Gene Saunders, McMechen Councilman David Goddard, WV House of Delegate Mike Ferro, Benwood Mayor Ed Kuca, MCBOE President Thomas Gilbert and Cameron Mayor Betty Scott. Back row from left: Marshall County AFT Representative Josh Gary, Marshall County AFT Representative Amy Kent, Marshall County Education Association Representative Matt Mandarino, JM Principal Cassie Porter, MCBOE Member John Miller, WV House of Delegate Joe Canestraro, Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Cecil, Marshall County Commissioner John Gruzinskas, Marshall County Commissioner Scott Varner, Marshall County Schools Superintendent Jeffrey Crook, MCBOE Member Dr. Duane Miller and Marshall County Schools Assistant Superintendent Corey Murphy.

On Wednesday members of the Marshall County Commission as well as the mayors of the cities of Marshall County, members of the Legislature along with the Sheriff and local business leaders gathered to sign the proclamation declaring November 13-17, 2017 as American Education Week in Marshall County.

The theme this year is Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility.  Also attending the signing were members of the Marshall County Board of Education, administrators of Marshall County schools, administrators from John Marshall High School and representatives of the West Virginia Education Association and American Federation of Teachers.

American Education Week spotlights the importance of providing every child in America with a quality public education from kindergarten through college, and the need for everyone to do his or her part in making public schools great.

A short luncheon, prepared by the JM ProStart students, and a brief tour of the John Marshall High School facilities followed the signing.

The text of the proclamation signed follows:

Whereas, public education is the backbone of our democracy, providing young people with the tools they need to maintain our nation’s precious values of freedom, civility and equality; and

Whereas, by equipping young Americans with both practical skill and  broader intellectual abilities, schools give them hope for, and access to a productive future; and

Whereas, public education employees, be they educators, substitute educators, higher education faculty and staff, custodians, teachers, bus drivers, clerical workers, food service workers, security guards, technical employees, or librarians, work tirelessly to serve our children and communities with care and professionalism; and

Whereas, public schools are the foundations of neighborhoods and communities, bringing together adults, and children, educators and volunteers, business leaders and elected officials in a common purpose,

Therefore, be it further resolved, that we proclaim November 13-17, 2017 as the 96th annual observance of American Education Week.  Proclaimed this 8th day of November 2017.

Special Olympics Swim Meet Held

Special Olympics athlete Bryan Belford, a 6th grader at Cameron Elementary School, competes in the annual swim meet while his peer tutor from Cameron High School, Kaia Leasure, looks on in the backgound.

Marshall County hosted its 30th annual Special Olympics Swim Meet on Thursday.

This event was for students and adults.  The swim meet consisted of 75 peer tutors and 110 participants.

The peer tutors were from John Marshall High School and Cameron High School. Teachers and peer students helped with the swim meet for the students.

“The peer students learn a lot,” explained Marshall County Special Olympics Co-Coordinator Catherine Folmer. “They learn how to work with other students. They also get a sense of pride in helping the athletes”.

The athletes competing earned ribbons for first, second and third place in different events.

The swim meet started with the elementary school kids in the morning and in the afternoon middle school, high school and adults competed.

Story by: Amy Makara, JM Senior Broadcasting Student