Fifth-graders celebrate their 1,000th day of school with their instructor Erin Anderson. (Photo courtesy Erin Anderson)

Local teacher says investing in Upshur County students is investing in the community’s future

Editor’s note: The following column was submitted for publication by Upshur County Schools teacher Erin Anderson.

By Erin Anderson

As I look around my room, I see a room of fifth-graders. I see them reading in comfortable seats around the room. A few are writing at their desks in composition notebooks. Three are working at the table with my student teacher; they’re discussing the chapters they just read. A handful are wearing headphones, their eyes focused on their iPads as they complete a reading lesson tailored to them. There is a hum in the room, the mumblings of student readers and thinkers.

This is a room that I have settled into over the past eleven years. (The room where I spent the 87-88 school year!) I have shelves of books, cabinets of school supplies and student learning games, and drawers of teacher resources. The room itself is colorful. Bulletin boards are covered with artwork; mementos hang; student work is displayed; and reference posters are at the ready. The front of the room holds the technology hub – a smart TV and document camera.

Upshur County fifth-grade teacher Erin Anderson

Editor’s note: The following column was submitted for publication by Upshur County Schools fifth-grade teacher Erin Anderson.

I’ve been blessed to teach in Upshur County for 24 years with an active levy. I am beyond grateful for how this community shows up for our youth. While I won’t claim to know all the intricacies of the levy, I do know we are fortunate in Upshur County to have technology, textbooks, and school supplies. We are fortunate to offer summer school and support services through the library, WVU Extension Office, and Stockert Youth Center. We are fortunate to have our PRO Officers. (For a full breakdown, visit

My West Virginia Teacher of the Year experience has not only connected me to teachers across West Virginia but has also helped me network with educators nationwide. When my friends hear that I teach in a county with a school levy, they are immediately envious. “You do not want to teach without a levy.” “Teaching without a levy puts added pressure on schools and teachers to fill in the gaps.” “The supply list is extensive, and many families just cannot afford it all!”

My favorite time of year is the beginning of the school year when the floors are shiny from a new coat or two of wax, pencils are long and sharp, and folders are untorn. Our students show up with their fresh new clothes and a backpack, and we get to hand out everything else! This feeling would be very different without funding from the levy. Many parents would make sure their kids had everything on the “supply list.” Several wouldn’t.

Thank you for taking the time to learn what the levy is and what it does. Early voting is May 1, 2024 – May 11, 2024. Election Day is May 14, 2024.

News Feed

Subscribe to remove popups, or just enjoy this free story and support our local businesses!