CHARLESTON — Two Mason County teachers were recently recognized as the West Virginia V.F.W. Teachers of the Year.
Melissa Bledsoe was chosen as the state middle/high school teacher, while Kira Northup was chosen as the state elementary teacher. Both had previously been named post winners of the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason before going on to state competition.
Bledsoe and Northup were honored in Charleston Saturday during the Department of West Virginia Veterans of Foreign Wars Mid-Winter Conference. They were presented plaques and monetary awards during the banquet.
As a math teacher at Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School, Bledsoe has started a chapter of Mu Alpha Theta, a mathematical honor society, at the school to encourage excellence in mathematics. Under her leadership, Mu Alpha Theta has instituted a peer tutoring program, as well as a “Pi Day” celebration each year for junior high students.
Bledsoe is co-vice president of the school’s Academic Boosters, and provides training for fellow faculty members to assist them in preparing students for the SAT and ACT. An instructor for the after-school program, PATCH, she was also nominated for the 2019/2020 Life Changer of the Year Award, sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, which recognizes educators across the U.S.
Northup is a fifth grade teacher at New Haven Elementary School. She is active in promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and initiated an annual “Techy Tuesday,” which brings professionals in the areas of technology into her classroom.
Northup has been chosen as the Horace Mann Exceptional Teacher for New Haven, and has been chosen twice for the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio “Excellence in Teaching” award. She has started an after-school Crazy 8’s Math Club, has been both a teacher and coordinator for the after-school PATCH program, is a member of the school leadership team, and has assisted in coaching the Wahama Junior High School Volleyball Team.
The banquet was also attended by many members of the Mason V.F.W. post.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.