Autumn Meadows Published

History In The Making: Anne Farrow Wins WVPB’s Above And Beyond Award

A young female teacher stands in front of a blackboard. She holds a certificate in her hand and a blue apple paperweight.
Anne Farrow is WVPB's Above and Beyond winner for January 2024.
Autumn Meadows/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Anne Farrow, a social studies teacher at Wheeling Park High School in Ohio County, earned West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Above and Beyond Award for January, which recognizes excellence and creativity of Mountain State teachers.

Farrow was presented the award by WVPB’s Director of Education Maggie Holley during a surprise visit to her classroom. Farrow received a monetary award and a signature Blenko Glass blue apple paperweight. The West Virginia State Treasurers’ Office sponsors the award, presenter of the SMART529 college savings program in the Mountain State.

Farrow was nominated by fellow colleague Sarah Smith, whose classroom is a couple doors down from Farrow’s and sees first-hand how she goes above and beyond. Smith describes Farrow’s leadership, creativity in the classroom and community impact.

Farrow has shown leadership both inside and outside of the classroom by mentoring students through hardships, leading a professional community learning group at the school and providing valuable resources to other teachers. She also coaches the middle school girls’ basketball team and serves as an advisor to student council.

When asked about serving as an advisor to student council, Farrow stressed the importance of allowing every student to be heard and wanting to change any negative feelings they may have about school. She said that over the years, she’s realized the importance of creating a positive environment for the students who think they are overlooked or incapable when they just haven’t figured out what talents or skills they possess yet.

She said, “One of my goals as a teacher is to create that positive environment and safe space that is welcoming to each and every student that walks through my door.” Farrow goes on to say she participates in these different rolls in the school to make connections with different students with a variety of interests and backgrounds. “Those connections formed enable our students to understand we are rooting for them in academics and life!”

Farrow is glad to be involved in the community as a parent, teacher and girls’ basketball coach. She loves giving the girls’ goals and seeing growth in character in addition to being an athlete.

In the classroom, Farrow loves teaching about the Civil Rights Movement because of the courage, determination and perseverance it shows. “While they had many factors stacked against them, civil rights activists were able to keep so composed while using peaceful protests to make an impact on society and the laws within it. Historical figures can be great role models. I believe we all can learn a lot from those people who pushed for equality for all in America.”

Smith says that Farrow makes lessons engaging by having students design their own posters, showing them historical documentaries that include local heroes, and assigning a diary project that students must connect to historical events by telling the story through the perspective of someone living in that time.

Farrow has been teaching for about a decade. When asked what she loves most about teaching, she says there are plenty of perks that come with being a teacher. “I’d say what truly makes it worth it are the laughs that I share with my students each day. It’s the moments that they are having fun while learning that brings me the most joy.”

Each month, WVPB has an esteemed panel of judges that select one deserving teacher who goes above and beyond for the students in West Virginia. If you know of a deserving teacher who goes “Above and Beyond,” please click here to nominate them.