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Jeffrey Goff, an English teacher at James Monroe High School in Monroe County, earned West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Above and Beyond Award for September 2023, which recognizes excellence and creativity of Mountain State teachers.
During an assembly, Goff was presented the award by WVPB’s Education Director Maggie Holley. Goff 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.
Goff has a clear passion for literature in the classroom, which shows in his work. He makes literary texts that high school students may deem daunting or advanced more approachable and meaningful. For example, to help bring Dante’s Inferno to life, he has students design their version and create it in either mixed media art or video form. For Shakespeare, Goff will take the students to the American Shakespeare Center in Virginia for shows and interactions with the actors.
Goff’s classroom neighbor stated, “Rather than merely reading and commenting on theater works, I hear enthusiastic student productions of various works of Shakespeare, Death of a Salesman, and Of Mice and Men through the wall.”
Goff is especially praised for his connections with students. Graduating seniors often said Goff made a profound, positive impact on them during their time at school. In addition, they described Goff as the teacher who had most prepared them for college and a career.
One current eleventh grader, Gavin French, said, “Mr. Goff is just a really wonderful teacher overall; without him, a lot of these students wouldn’t have the passion for English that they do, including myself, and I think he is absolutely deserving of this award.”
Goff’s nominator and teaching colleague stated, “With a mixture of tact, humor, and patience, he has been my sounding board and coach, all on an informal, selfless basis. Jeff is usually one of the first teachers to arrive and last to leave in the evening and always has time for conversations with parents, students, and peers. Jeff leads by example and consistently goes the extra mile for his students.”
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.