Options Pathway Teacher Wins Above And Beyond Award

Kimberly Fraley teaches at John Monroe High School in Monroe County, West Virginia. She is WVPB's Above And Beyond Winner for July 2021. She is shown here in front of a colorful chalkboard holding her Blue Apple Award.

Kimberly Fraley, a high school teacher from Monroe County, has earned West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Above and Beyond Award, which recognizes excellence and creativity in Mountain State teachers.

Fraley was honored by WVPB at a recent meeting of the Monroe County Board of Education, where she was presented with 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.  

Fraley is teacher at James Monroe High School in Lindside, West Virginia. She teaches the Options Pathway program, which was established by the West Virginia State Department of Education as an alternative means to earn high school credit for students who have fallen behind and are unable to meet graduation requirements on time. Fraley also works with special education students and coaches or directs several extracurricular activities at the school.  

Fellow teacher Scott Womack nominated Fraley for this honor. He said she is more than a teacher; she’s an inspiration. In in addition to a full teaching schedule, she serves as athletic director, cheer coach, and chairs the school’s “Leader in Me” committee. “Kim’s drive, optimism, and empathy have made her a peer leader without equal at James Monroe High School. She has inspired and motivated everyone she meets to put students first. Her enthusiasm and professionalism are infectious and represent the best of leading by example in a complex and dynamic environment,” Womack said.  

Womak credited Fraley for transforming the Options Pathway program at JMHS. It’s no longer a “moribund online experience for students who struggle with a traditional classroom environment,” but is one that incorporates life-skills instruction and differentiating instruction. He said she works with colleagues who teach these students in their daily required classroom experience to make them part of the wider learning community, “guiding them in a positive direction.”  

On a typical school day, Fraley can be found in her welcoming classroom where you might find a mix of students and fellow teachers who take advantage of the soothing setting and the opportunity to talk to Fraley. “She is ubiquitous in the hallways between classes and at athletic events, asking after the wellbeing of all and offering a kind remark and smile,” Womak said.  

Fraley advocates for her students at school, in the community, and on social media. She attends school board meetings and arranges for community members to interact with students via community service and educational opportunities. As athletic director, she is responsible for the single largest domain in which the local community interacts with the school, and she manages this complex and often-fraught task with her usual dynamism and optimism. “She is, in many respects, the public face of James Monroe High School, and we could not pick a better one,” Womak said.  

Fraley was humbled to learn she’d won the Above And Beyond award. “I am so blessed to have a wonderful group of administrators and staff to work with, not to mention the greatest group of kids you’d ever want to meet,” Fraley said. “It makes coming to work every day a pleasure and a privilege. I couldn’t do all that I do (especially the extra stuff) without the love and support of my husband Everett and children Abigail, Luke, Michael and Jacob. Because of them, I can do what I love every day.”  

Chuck Roberts, WVPB’s executive director, said, “Kimberly Fraley is the sort of teacher we love to shine a light on with our Above And Beyond award. She is not only an exceptional teacher and respected sponsor of extracurricular activities, she’s a creative and kind person who puts her students first. The honor is well deserved.”  

Fraley’s award was won in July, but virus concerns and scheduling conflicts delayed WVPB’s award presentation.