West Virginia school employee award winners receive prizes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) Vice President Thomas Campbell, Member Debra Sullivan and State Superintendent W. Clayton Burch welcomed the 2022 West Virginia Teacher of the Year (TOY) Brian Casto and (SPOY) State School Service Personnel of the Year Kathrine Miller to receive awards from program sponsors recently at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston.

Brian Casto is an eighth-grade West Virginia Studies teacher at Milton Middle School in Cabell County. He is a 13-year education veteran having received an education degree in Social Studies, Grades 5-12, from Marshall University. He prides himself on creating lessons and two-minute animated videos that preserve the history and culture of the state. In addition to his classroom duties, he serves as a member of Milton Middle School’s leadership team, a team leader and a West Virginia Quiz Bowl coach.

“I am committed to teaching because I know how it can transform the lives of children,” Casto said. “Each day, I do my best to deliver lessons that not only bring history to life, but also connect to my students in a variety of ways. It is truly magical to watch them absorb the lessons and fall in love with learning.”

Katherine Miller, the state’s Service Personnel of the Year winner, is a cafeteria manager at Wayne High School in Wayne County. A pillar of support for her students and community, she has been in her current role for 19 years. She has been involved in the development and implementation of her school’s meal pick-up program, school improvement days and cooking pre-game meals for the football team. Additionally, she participates in fundraising dinners for Hospice of Huntington and is involved with the Wayne County Special Olympics.

“I have had the pleasure to be a part of thousands of children’s lives during my career, and I am honored to serve as the West Virginia Service Personnel of the Year,” Miller said. “During these times I know our school staff members play an important role in supporting students, and it means the world to me to represent all school service personnel this year.”

Casto will represent West Virginia on several national platforms, including the National Teacher of the Year program in Washington, D.C.

TOY and SPOY sponsors include:

  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, Inc. – Use of a Toyota Sienna for one year for Teacher of the Year
  • Horace Mann Insurance – $5,000 to the Teacher of the Year,$2,500 to the Service Personnel of the Year and $300 classroom grants to the Teacher of the Year Finalists
  • Highmark West Virginia – $5,000 to the Teacher of the Year
  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT WV) – $500 to the Teacher of the Year
  • West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) – $1,000 grant for the Teacher of the Year
  • West Virginia School Service Personnel Association (WVSSPA) – $500 to the Service Personnel of the Year
  • West Virginia Lottery – $300 grant for classroom supplies for all county winners
  • West Virginia State Parks – A two-night stay at Chief Logan State Park for the Service Personnel of the Year
  • Blenko Glass – West Virginia-embossed suncatchers for all county winners

To learn more about the TOY and SPOY recognitions, visit https://wvde.us/educator-development-and-support/celebrating-education/.

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