WV Press Release Sharing
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) announced five finalists for the 2024 West Virginia School Service Personnel of the Year. This honor recognizes the outstanding contributions of public education staff members who have shown exceptional skill, and commitment and have earned the respect and admiration of students, teachers, administrators, co-workers and parents.
This year’s finalists are as follows:
|Gary Brydie||School Bus Operator||Cabell County|
|Melissa Faw||Payroll Secretary||Raleigh County|
|Susan Moran||Secretary||Preston County|
|Donna Summerlin||Teacher’s Aide||West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind|
|Darlene Wiltison||Secretary||Mineral County|
Gary Brydie is a school bus operator for Cabell County Schools, a position he has held for more than 12 years. His colleagues consider him a model employee who takes pride in providing safe transportation for his students and serving as a role model for youth. In addition to the positive relationship Brydie has with the students, he is a member of the Neighboring Initiative Charitable Trust Board, serves as chairman of the Positive People Association Board, works as the manager of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Community Service, is a member of the Huntington Black Pastor’s Ministerial Alliance, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Shepard’s House Recovery Program and the Salt of the World Ministries. He is also a member of the Alliance’s Quick Response Team where he meets with community members, paramedics and other agency representatives to address the drug overdose problems facing the community.
Melissa Faw is a payroll secretary at the Raleigh County Schools central office. She has more than 18 years of service, is known for her positive attitude and has great relationships with office colleagues and staff. According to a colleague, she goes above and beyond in every situation to ensure that work is completed accurately and that the needs of employees are satisfied. Faw is an Awana leader at Westview Missionary Church, tutors students at Daniels Elementary and assists in 4-H activities.
Susan Moran is a secretary at Bruceton School in Preston County. She has served in her current position for more than nine years with 16 years of total service in Preston County. Moran is a vital part of her school and her community. She is a 35-year member of the Lions Club and a local GEAR UP liaison. Additionally, she is a homeless service provider and has been instrumental in the development of a district-wide weekend backpack food program that worked with the Food for Preston organization and local churches. This work continues to feed hundreds of students weekly.
Donna Summerlin is a paraprofessional in a fully special education elementary classroom at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (WVSDB). With more than nine years of service, she served in her current position for two years. Summerlin is known for her hard work, integrity, patience, flexibility, and willingness to help. She is a fluent sign language signer and brings extra support to her classroom and other departments by facilitating communication for all. She is active in 4-H, teaches sign language classes whenever needed and volunteers on the social committee at the WVSDB. She is also a member of the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association.
Darlene Wiltison is a secretary at Burlington Primary School in Mineral County. She has served in her current position for more than 10 years, and colleagues say she assists in a variety of roles when needed. Figuratively speaking, she wears the hats of administrative assistant, parent, friend, school nurse, doctor, counselor, principal, custodian, delivery person and teacher to meet the needs of students, educators and peers. She is known for her demeanor which is described as always personable and friendly. Wiltison is a member of the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association, serves on the Crisis Response team, coordinates the Food for Thought Program and won the 2023 Mineral County School Support Award.
“Our service personnel are the glue that holds our school communities together. They are an invaluable asset of support,” said State Superintendent of Schools Michele Blatt. “We are honored to recognize these amazing staff members and their vital contributions.”
West Virginia’s School Service Personnel of the Year and Teacher of the Year will be announced on September 12, 2023, during a ceremony at the Clay Center in Charleston.
For more information about the West Virginia School Service Personnel of the Year, please visit the WVDE website.
For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or [email protected].