Fairmont Senior High School teacher receives statewide honors

FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - Marion County teacher Toni Poling was a finalist for West Virginia Teacher of the Year.

She says her husband was convinced she would win. Poling didn't think so, and wasn't even planning on writing an acceptance speech. Next thing she knew, she was honored as our state's teacher of the year.

Poling has been teaching for more than a dozen years. An English teacher at Fairmont Senior High School, Poling teaches advanced level courses to juniors and seniors. This wasn't an honor she was expecting.

"My husband was like 'I'm sure you did great,'" Poling said. "They sent us a letter and said you need to have some remarks prepared in case you win and I'm like, 'I'm not going to write anything' and he said 'I really think you should,' and so I did."

"This job is about being dedicated and dedicated to the school and the kids, working hard, I want them to work hard, and so I try to model that for them," she said. "Teaching is a profession that you get into because you're called to it not because you want something that ends at 3:00."

Some of her students say part of what makes her so great is her teaching style. They say she helps make learning more simple for students, and that she can relate to them and understand them.

"She goes more in depth with everything," said Ian Fairley. "So it's not just like 'hey do it, you gotta do it because of this or because of that.' She's not just telling you to do it."

"It's so exciting to learn who has done such great things for everyone else," said Sophie Manchin. "So I'm really excited for the opportunity that I get to have with her."

Superintendent Gary Price was in Charleston for the ceremony Wednesday night, and feels this is a positive representation of teachers not just at Fairmont Senior, but in the entire county.

"If you look at the different ways Fairmont Senior High School has been successful, it is achieving at a high level as it ever has," said Marion County Superintendent Gary Price.