By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Each year, one teacher is chosen throughout the county to be honored with the title as Teacher of the Year. With only having three schools in Tucker County, the task rotates between them to choose how they will make this selection. The 2019-20 school year belonged to Davis Thomas Elementary Middle School, putting the decision in the hands of Principal Neil “Steelie” Kisamore.
After speaking with Superintendent Alicia Lambert, she and Kisamore agreed that this year, the honor should go to third grade teacher, Megan Helmick. “She sits on several different committees and boards, she’s just a natural leader in our school,” commented Kisamore about Helmick. “The very first week we were out of school due to COVID, she had her class on ZOOM,” he added.
“She is constantly helping everyone do everything, she’s just a complete package and really deserves it,” Kisamore continued. He admitted when Lambert asked for a nomination, it was difficult to single out just one teacher, because DTEMS is full of great teachers. “She just goes above and beyond for her students, though all of our teachers do,” Kisamore said. “She’s always doing everything she can to help.”
When Helmick was informed that she would be receiving the title of Teacher of the Year, she was in shock. “I was very surprised,” she stated, “I just never dreamed I would get that.” Helmick graduated from Tucker County High School in 2001 before attending Davis and Elkins College to pursue her degree in education. “I honestly didn’t see myself doing anything else,” she said when asked when she decided she wanted to become a teacher.
Helmick has been teaching for 12 years and yearns to see her students have those “Aha moments.” One of her greatest moments of teaching is when she sees her students’ faces light up when they finally understand something they have been struggling to get. When Governor Jim Justice made the difficult decision to close schools for the remainder of the school year, it impacted Helmick tremendously not being able to see her students in person. “We made adjustments so we could reach those kids,” Helmick stated as they immediately put a plan in place to continue educating the students. “I’m there to teach those kids and cater to students and parents,” she explained as education took a very unexpected turn into unfamiliar territory. Helmick, along with the other teachers throughout the state, have high hopes things can return to normal this fall when it is time for the students to return.
Helmick will be recognized at a Teacher of the Year Banquet in September, along with the other 54 county recipients throughout West Virginia. While at that event, the statewide Teacher of the Year winner will be announced. In her application for this award, she states that she believes every child is special and unique. She is dedicated to give her personal best every day to ensure each child is capable of learning. In her spare time, Helmick enjoys spending time with her husband and two children and watching them play baseball and softball.