Friday, January 31, 2014

The Rest of January in Review

In between the State of the State address, the press conference, and a week in Scottsdale, Arizona, I stayed busy.

After returning from the State of the State, I presented to the Sunrise Rotary at the Holiday Inn in Martinsburg. I shared my experiences in the classroom, fellowships and activities that have taken me to other parts of the country, and my current activities as the West Virginia Teacher of the Year. That evening, I was recognized by the Berkeley County Board of Education at their board meeting, where I gave a short speech, Teachers are our Water. I also attended the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Banquet that weekend, which awards college scholarships to high school students in our area. The keynote speaker, the Rev. Lewis M. Anthony, gave the benediction  at Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral.
Presenting to the Rotary Club

Berkeley County Board of Education
Michael Wuest, head of community relations committee for YLA at Martinsburg High School
Vicky Bullett, Martinsburg native and Olympic gold medalist, at MLK Jr. Banquet
Rosabell Roman,  Founder and President Emeritus of MLK Jr. Scholarship 
After returning from Scottsdale this week, I presented to the Scholars Academy at North Middle School on my middle and high school initiative, Control Your S.E.L.F. (Social life and media, Education, Lifestyle, and Future). I'm looking forward to working with this group again this year for other presentations and workshops. They were very interested in my experience in Germany this past summer!
North Middle and South Middle students of the Scholars Academy (can you find the teacher in this picture? :-)
I was also recognized by the Berkeley County Council at one of their meetings at the end of January, and I presented to the Noon Rotary as well. In between I did an interview for The Picket, Shepherd University's newspaper.
Berkeley County Council
Presenting to the Noon Rotary Club
Berkeley needs to quit photo bombing my pictures and write his blog posts! 
When I'm not out and about and you can't see me, I am working. Presenting takes time to do correctly. Coming up with programs and speeches can't be done on the way to an event (well I've written an outline for a few speeches in the car, but that's not the best way to go about it). It's a completely different world than I lived for the last ten years. I'm spending the majority of my 11th year of teaching being a teacher to the community, the state, and all its teachers and students. And...I'm writing all the time. I write speeches, blog posts, e-mails (all day long), programs, ideas, to-do lists, and next up is some op-eds for CCSSO on the Common Core and on anxiety disorders for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. My typing skills have become second to none.

February looks pretty busy at this point as well - of course, weather pending. If you pray - and not everyone prays, and I respect that, but if you do - please pray for my safety. I live four and-a-half hours from Charleston, and have to travel I-68 (goes through Cumberland and Finzel, Maryland, where the winter weather can get nasty fast). The interstate is loaded with tractor trailers. I have no idea where I'm going most of the time and am at the mercy of my car's GPS (and ability to read a map). Keeping it real, it's a little intimidating to be small, young (looking-ish), and traveling solo. I will do great things (I hope) for the extraordinary people of this state, but I've got to get there and stay in one piece.

This is not a year off - it's a year on, as in on all the time. It's the best job ever, and I hope I do it well.

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