How educators are moving forward after last school year's strike
55 counties, 55 strong. For nine days teachers across the state banned together to fight for better pay and better benefits. Even though they wanted to be back in the classrooms many teachers describe this time as completely imperative.
"I just really wanted to continue on with my routine and be with my kids, but it was also really important to fight for what we deserved," said second-grade teacher, Christina Pizatella.
Since the start of the new school year is quickly approaching educators are looking at the strike as a bump in the road and trying not to let it impact them negatively.
Officials from Monongalia County Schools say their teachers were very well supported throughout the strike and that they were given the respect they rightfully deserved.
"Teachers across the state were very well supported because I think there's a true appreciation for what our professional educators do for our students in the classroom," said Dr. Eddie Campbell, the Superintendent for Monongalia County Schools.
While teachers lined the streets board members and superintendents were working together to come up with different strategies.
"Within the school system, the number one order of business is the safety of our students. What we decided as a board of education and with the superintendents was to shut down the school system," said Ron Lytle, the President of the Monongalia County Board of Education.
Officials say students weren't too affected by the strike, but as far as education students had less time to prepare for standardized testing. The school board and everyone involved are very proud of how teachers have moved past the days spent striking.
"We're very proud of them to have moved forward and moved past this and it didn't affect our students at all and that's the number one goal," said Lytle.
Teachers also say that they feel relieved knowing their voices were heard and answered and they're able to focus on making the new year one to remember.
"I think now that it's over we all feel relieved, so we can focus more on the kids and our teaching and just make it a great year," said second-grade teacher, Anna Mattern.