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Wayne High School's Katherine Miller is named the 2022 West Virginia Schools Service Personnel of the Year.

CHARLESTON – A beloved cook at Wayne High School has been named the 2022 West Virginia School Service Personnel of the Year (SPOY) winner.

The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) made the announcement Tuesday following the Celebration of Excellence in Education ceremony on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, at the Culture Center in Charleston.

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch and WVBE President Miller Hall were joined by members of the State Board for the occasion.

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. Miller’s consistent dedication is displayed by her involvement 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.

“Ms. Miller has an incredible heart for her students and her school community,” President Hall said. “She is a trusted and caring adult in their lives and a vital resource at Wayne High School. As with all school service personnel finalists, I am grateful to her for her years of dedication and so very proud of her accomplishments.”

The West Virginia School Service Personnel of the Year program recognizes outstanding education support personnel for their contributions to their schools and communities.

The program honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional skill and dedication in the performance of their jobs, thereby earning them the respect and admiration of students, teachers, administrators, co-workers and parents.

As the 2022 winner, Miller will receive $2,500 from The Horace Mann Companies; a $500 award, a tumbler and a glass ornament from the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association (WVSSPA); a two-night stay at Chief Logan Lodge from West Virginia State Parks; a glass paperweight from Blenko Glass; and an iPad, plaque and certificate from the WVDE. 

Miller received a large outpouring of support and congratulations on social media following the announcement.

Other 2022 SPOY finalists include: Diedra Burdette, Greenmont Elementary School, Wood County; Julie Clayton, Glen Dale Elementary School, Marshall County; Shelby Klingler, Explorer Academy, Cabell County; Donald McNeel, Hillsboro Elementary School, Pocahontas County; Jody Miller, Ohio County Schools, Ohio County; Holly Palmer, Paw Paw Schools, Morgan County; Heather Pindell, Jefferson County Schools, Jefferson County; Allen Spangler, Monroe County Schools, Monroe County; and Angela Trammell, Ritchie County High School, Ritchie County.

County SPOY winners will receive tumblers from WVSSPA, and a plaque and certificate from WVDE.

Brian Casto of Cabell County was named the 2022 Teacher of the Year.

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 a 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 his school as a member of Milton Middle School’s leadership team, a team leader and a West Virginia Quiz Bowl coach. Outside of school, Casto coaches T-Ball, works with teens in his church’s youth group and enjoys exploring the state with his wife and three children.

“Mr. Casto is an exemplary teacher that embodies the purpose of this award,” said Superintendent Burch. “He is an innovative educator who positively impacts his students and his community. I am so proud to have him serving our students in the classroom, and I know he will be an exceptional representative of West Virginia and the profession as the Teacher of the Year.”

As the 2022 winner, Casto will receive a vehicle for use for TOY engagements throughout the year from Toyota; $5,000 from both Highmark West Virginia and The Horace Mann Companies; $500 from the American Federation of Teachers, West Virginia; and a $1,000 school grant from the West Virginia Education Association Foundation.

Other 2022 finalists for Teacher of the Year include: Kelly Bryant, Logan Elementary School, Logan County; Samantha Coble, Keyser Primary School, Mineral County; Claire Jones, Aurora School and Rowlesburg School, Preston County; Christine Lambert, Brandywine Elementary School, Pendleton County; Craig Mason, Magnolia High School, Wetzel County; Kennedy Moore, Midland Trail High School, Fayette County; Beth Nunley, Eastbrook Elementary School, Putnam County; Lindsey Stell, Elkins Middle School, Randolph County; and Kimberly Tenney, Webster County High School, Webster County.

The 10 TOY finalists will receive a $300 Donor’s Choice grant for a classroom or school project from The Horace Mann Companies, and each TOY county winner receives a $300 grant for their classrooms from the West Virginia Lottery; and a West Virginia-themed piece of art from Blenko Glass.

West Virginia has one of the longest and most consistent Teacher of the Year programs in the nation. The goal is to identify, recognize and promote representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the Mountain State.

By recognizing those teachers who bring honor to their profession, the West Virginia program hopes to energize students, enhance community respect for learning and revitalize teachers across the state.

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