Robert “Bob” King, a special education teacher at Davis Thomas Elementary was recently named Teacher of the Year by Tucker County Schools.
King, a native of Marietta, Ohio, has lived here since 1987 calling West Virginia his home for 27 years.
King didn’t start out wanting to be a teacher. He originally received his B.A. in Business Administration from Glenville State College. As the old saying goes, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree and King’s family has an extensive history as teachers. His sister, cousins, uncle and great uncle were all teachers and he married a teacher. He credits family members and friends with his career move.
“They would tell me, you work well with the kids around here, you ought to be a teacher”, King said.
King went on to earn his M.A. in special education from West Virginia University. He has taught for twenty years and just finished his final year before retiring.
Over the last two decades King has had some memorable moments and when asked about them he replied: “When you have students that see you later in life that tell you they enjoyed having you as a teacher.”
King admitted that praise from former students means a lot to him. He will also miss seeing kids “light up” when they are successful.
He said that he would miss helping the students he works with, “You build a relationship with them.”
King’s quiet demeanor and kind personality makes him a favorite with not only special education students but all the young people. His rapport with students didn’t go unnoticed by his colleagues. During a faculty senate meeting he was nominated by two fellow teachers, Hebb and Anderson. He was off work sick the day he was nominated and it came as quite a surprise.
“I thought it was just for the school, but, it was for all of Tucker County!” King said.
King received recognition for the award at the last Board of Education meeting which was held at D.T.E.M.S. . From here a nomination is sent to the State Board of Education. The State then reviews all the applications during July and then holds panel interviews in August and the winner is announce in September.
King said: “It is an honor to be nominated by your peers. They work closely with you and know your work.”
King thanked everyone who voted for him and said he would do his best to represent Tucker County.
When asked how he would feel to win, he replied: “I will feel shocked and humbled if I win. It’s like winning the lottery. There’s a lot of very good teachers out there.”
His award is not the only thing King is surprised by. He admits he is still having difficulty thinking about not coming to school every day next year.
“I have not accepted this (his retirement) yet, I can’t believe I’m doing it. In life you can work your whole life away. Sometime you’ve got to step back and see that other things are important. Sometimes you have to do other things you want to do.”
Some of the things King plans on doing during his retirement include visiting grandchildren and family, fishing and doing odd jobs around the house.
True to what most teachers who love what they do, King still plans on being a substitute teacher for Tucker County schools.