Larry Bellorín is a musician from Venezuela, who is seeking asylum in the U.S. He thought his musical career was in the past until he met Joe Troop, a GRAMMY-nominated musician and North Carolina native who introduced Larry to the folk music and traditions of Appalachia, which seemed quite similar to the joropo he played in Venezuela. Their duo, Larry & Joe, is the realization of a dream for both musicians. It’s also a reminder for Larry of what — and who — he had to leave behind.
Lincoln County Kindergarten Teacher Earns Above And Beyond Award
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Angie Stewart, a kindergarten teacher from Lincoln County, has earned West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Above and Beyond Award, which recognizes excellence and creativity in West Virginia teachers.
Stewart was presented the award this week at Duval PK-8 School in Griffithsville, West Virginia. She won the honor in April, but COVID-19 precautions delayed the presentation where she received a monetary award, our signature Blenko Above and Beyond blue apple paperweight, a certificate of recognition, and a host of other special gifts made possible by the sponsorship of Advantage Technology.
Stewart was nominated by Principal Mary Ann Patton and colleague Kelli Adkins.
“Thank you, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, for recognizing teachers and their efforts to meet the needs of their students,” said Stewart, who has National Board Certification. “Thank you, Kelli Adkins and Mary Patton, for nominating me. I feel very humbled to receive this award. There are many teachers here at Duval PK-8 who go out of their way to help our students. This year has been especially challenging in many ways for our school. We had to work together as a team (like we always do) to make it successful.”
WVPB Education Director Kelly Griffith said it was an honor to meet Stewart and visit with her class at Duvall PK-8. “Her teaching style was evident throughout the classroom but especially with her students,” Griffith said. “They were genuinely excited and proud of their teacher. The students complimented her by saying ‘She’s the best!’ and ‘Mrs. Stewart loves us and teaches us to read.’ The setting of her classroom was positive and the level of comfort and contentment with the young learners was obvious. We truly appreciate her dedication to the field of education and the impact it makes on the students.”
Patton said Stewart is an “excellent kindergarten teacher at our school and very deserving of this award.”
Stewart has served on Duval’s Leadership Team for five years as liaison for the PK and Kindergarten Professional Learning Community. She is involved with the school’s strategic plan, as well as its hiring process. She was integral to Duval PK-8 becoming a Leader-in-Me school, which embodies a holistic approach to education and redefining how schools measure success. The goal in an LIM school is to arm educators with effective practices and tools to teach leadership to every student, create a culture of student empowerment, and align systems to drive results in academics.
“The trust that our staff puts in her is part of the reason why we took the plunge and became a LIM school,” Patton said, adding that Stewart is instrumental in organizing the culminating LIM event, Student Leadership Day. “She makes sure our youngest students get to display their leadership abilities to their families and community on this important day.”
Patton said that Stewart goes above and beyond expectations to meet students’ needs in and out the classroom by purchasing supplies and clothing for those in need, as well as distributing food and learning packets when critical. She also makes instructional videos every weekend so her blended and fully remote students can have special instruction.
“She knows the importance of making that personal connection with her students and not just relying on videos from various educational companies,” Patton said. “In addition, Angie knows the importance of hands-on learning activities for her kindergarteners.”
Although it’s not required by Lincoln County, Stewart still creates and distributes weekly learning packets to students who need them. “Angie does whatever is necessary to ensure her students have everything they need to be successful in school,” Patton said.
Master Sgt. Mike Wiley, a JROTC instructor at Monroe County Technical Center, has earned West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Above and Beyond Award for March, which recognizes excellence and creativity of Mountain State teachers.
Kristi Sanders, a reading and math interventionist at North Jefferson Elementary in Kearneysville, Jefferson County, has earned West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Above and Beyond Award for February, which recognizes excellence and creativity of Mountain State teachers.