Michael Funkhouser, an English teacher at East Hardy High School in Hardy County, is West Virginia's 2013 Teacher of the Year. He will represent West Virginia in the National Teacher of the Year competition.
State Superintendent Jorea Marple made the announcement during a ceremony in Charleston that recognized county teachers of the year. The event also honored earlier announced award winners, including the 2011 Milken Family Foundation Winner, the 2011 Paul J. Morris Character Educator of the Year, the 2012 West Virginia School Service Personnel Employee of the Year and 10 2012-2013 Schools of Excellence.
"It is my distinct privilege to honor such a fine group of educators in our state's public school system," Marple said. "Their dedication to their students and their schools has made them worthy of these awards."
Michael Funkhouser, an English teacher at East Hardy High School, is named the 2013 West Virginia Teacher of the Year. Funkhouser is joined, from left, by West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple, First Lady Joanne Tomblin and West Virginia Board of Education President Wade Linger.
Hardy County Superintendent Barbara Whitecotton describes Funkhouser as "a caring and committed teacher, who goes beyond the textbook to reach his students.
"His students reach out to him for the advice they may not be getting from a parent, for the support they need in making decisions about their futures and for the knowledge he gives them about his favorite subject, English," Whitecotton said. "Mr. Funkhouser is an honest man, who gives all that he has to ensure that his students get what they need."
Funkhouser, who just began his 32nd year in the classroom, has a master's degree from Shenandoah University and undergraduate degrees from Marshall University and West Virginia University. He is a past vice president and current member of the West Virginia Education Association.
"I believe that teaching is one of the noblest pursuits available to people in today's world," Funkhouser said. "My personal teaching style is one of energy and accountability. . .Students in my class and their parents understand that we are working together to achieve a goal."
As West Virginia's 2013 Teacher of the Year, Funkhouser will receive an educational technology package valued at nearly $15,000, use of a Toyota car for a year and cash awards from Mountain State Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Horace Mann Insurance.
He was selected by a committee appointed by the state superintendent of schools to evaluate six finalists who were their county Teacher of the Year winners. Teacher of the Year, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers, is the longest-running awards program honoring classroom teachers in the country, granting its first national award in 1952. West Virginia has participated in the program since 1964.
Other finalists were Shane Eakle, Tucker County High School; Paul Roomsburg, Hampshire (County) High School; Lissa Dulick, Weir High School, Hancock; Ann Meador Wells, Princeton Senior High School, Mercer; and Angela Culicerto, Park Middle School, Raleigh.
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