By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Thanks to the nomination from her peers, native of Tucker County Anita Kerens Helmick, was recently recognized as West Virginia Teacher of the Year for Tucker County. She graduated from TCHS in 2002 and continued her journey to West Virginia University. She graduated in 2006 with a marketing degree and a minor in Spanish. She then returned to WVU in 2007 to obtain her masters in secondary education.
“My love for teaching started in the summer of 2004 when I was an AmeriCorp Energy Express mentor,” Helmick said. “I was majoring in marketing and Spanish at the time and didn’t want to extend my tenures as an undergrad student, so I didn’t change my major,” she added. “I graduated from WVU in 2006 and started working for Freedom Bank right after. I felt no fulfillment in my marketing job and just knew that teaching was my purpose.” Helmick continued, “I continued working for Freedom Bank from home for about six months while I substituted for Tucker County Schools.”
A Spanish position at TCHS opened in the fall of 2007,”she stated. The position was posted three times, which she submitted an application for every time. “My drive to become a full time teacher was great,” she admitted. While working full time at TCHS, she took classes on campus at WVU twice a week until 10 p.m. “It was an exhausting few years, but I earned my masters in secondary education,” she explained. “I love school and learning so I continued to take opportunities that popped up and I took part in an alternate certification pathway for English certification through Marshall,” she said. Half way through, Helmick had to transfer back to WVU to fulfill the requirements and again began driving weekly to the Morgantown campus.
In 2012, Helmick began teaching English and Spanish. “I am still just as in love with teaching now as I was then,” she smiled. “I truly feel like it is a calling and purpose in my life. Tucker County High School is my home,” she added. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to represent Tucker County and I will continue to pursue additional training that will help my students learn to the best of their abilities.”