DODDRIDGE COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - In high schools across the state, preparations for final exams are in full swing. In one Doddridge County High School, students took a break Thursday to hold a different kind of review session--reflecting on the historic school service personnel strike.
Laura Lee Modesitt opened the floor to sophomore students in her AP Human Geography class, giving them a chance to ask a wide range of questions about the strike.
Some inquired about the function of unions. Others were curious what the future may hold for PEIA.
"They care," Modesitt said. "They are watching what we're doing. And they're learning from our actions, even more than we might realize."
Modesitt is the type of teacher who wears her passion on her sleeve. She is the union representative for her building, and traveled eleven times to the capitol before and during the strike.
Modesitt credits students and parents in the community for their overwhelming support, as most stood by the side of teachers.
"They were babysitting, they were going and picketing on the lines, making signs, making food," Modesitt said.
It was only fitting that this discussion came during Teachers' Appreciation Week. Modesitt admits that in the wake of the strike, she has a newfound appreciation for her community, her career, and her students. And she says the feeling is mutual.
"I think we're just real to [the students] now," she said. "They sometimes see us as the rules and the enforcers, but in this, we were kind of breaking rules. And they're not used to seeing us break rules. And they knew that if we were willing to break rules, that something was serious."