Pocahontas County School Super Scholars & School Employees of the Year Honored

One hundred and forty-one outstanding students from all of the Pocahontas County Schools grades 3 through 12 were selected and recognized as Super scholars at the annual ceremony held this year on May 15th at Pocahontas County High School. It is remarkable that so many students qualified as “Super Scholars” this year because the standards to be so designated are difficult.  What was almost as remarkable was the large turnout of family and friends of these Scholars, who filled the stands in the PCHS gymnasium.

In order to be recognized as a Super Scholar, students in grades 3 through 8 must achieve an overall 93% grade average in the core subjects of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and social Studies at the end of the 3rd nine week grading period.  High school students must maintain a 4.0 average in those same core classes. All students must maintain at least a “C” average in non-core subjects. Pretty tough to do, but for those who achieve this, it reflects on their intelligence, character, and a willingness to work real hard on achieving their educational goals.

Two 8th grade students were awarded the prestigious State Department of Education’s “Golden Horseshoe” award. They are Silas Riley and Logan Hively, both from Marlinton Middle School. They earned the Golden Horseshoe award by demonstrating through comprehensive testing their proficiency in the history of West Virginia.

Super Scholars were honored from each of the five county schools:

  • Hillsboro Elementary School had 13 Super Scholars in grades three through five.
  • Marlinton Elementary School had 30 Super Scholars in grades three through five.
  • Green Bank Elementary/Middle School had 15 Super Scholars in grades three through five and 19 in grades six through eight.
  • Marlinton Middle School had 39 Super Scholars in grades six through eight.
  • Pocahontas County High School had 25 Super Scholars in grades 9 through 12.

You can find a complete list of these students online with this story at: alleghenymountainradio.org. Allegheny Mountain Radio wishes to congratulate all of our 2016-2017 Super Scholars.

The Pocahontas County Schools’ Teacher of the Year and the Service Person of the Year were also honored at this ceremony, and those nominations can also be found at our website.

The winning Service employee of the year was Custodian Roy Shearer, was too dedicated to attend since he felt it was more important to work his evening shift at Marlinton Middle school.

Laurel Dilley, a Math and Computer Science Teacher at PCHS was selected as the Teacher of the Year. Dilley gave an exceptional acceptance speech that was directed at the Super Scholars in attendance. While a transcript of this speech can also be found on our website, here are a couple of short excerpts from it.

Here is a transcript of the entire speech delivered by Pocahontas County’s 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year Laurel Dilley at the Super Scholars ceremony at PCHS on May 15, 2017.

“I would like to start by saying, first, that I am truly humbled to be selected for this award out of the many fantastic teachers that are in this county.  I have the utmost faith in this school system to educate my own children, and I look forward to them having so many of these outstanding teachers in their lives.

At the risk of sounding cliché, I really did always want to be a teacher.  When I was in elementary school, I begged my Mom to bring home old desks that were being thrown away by the schools each summer so that I could make my own little classroom in my basement.  Shout-out to my sisters and friends that somehow still loved me even though I made them take Math quizzes and work on reading assignments daily.  Both of my parents were teachers, and even though I saw their daily struggles with the profession, they never discouraged me from doing what I wanted to do.

It wasn’t until late high school and college that I started hearing remarks such as “Oh, Laurel – you don’t want to be a teacher.  You should go be a doctor and make lots of money. “  or “Oh, you’re so smart — don’t be a teacher – be an Engineer.”  When you’re young and impressionable, these type of comments really make you reconsider your decisions and passions and doubt yourself.  My peers in college didn’t help the situation much either.  I found myself to be one of the very few Honors students at West Virginia University who was majoring in Education.  Even my advisors gave me a weird look when I talked about becoming a teacher.

It wasn’t until my Junior year of college, that I had an awakening and realized that I needed to be a champion for teachers.  Why shouldn’t we have just as much respect as a doctor or a lawyer?  We are, after all, educating the future doctors and lawyers!  I started pushing myself to be extra vocal and confident when someone inquired about my major.  I want to be a teacher because I want to make a difference in multiple children’s’ lives.  I want to be a teacher because I love math, and what better way to share that love than to expose students to it?  I want to be a teacher because I want to be somebody that students depend on.

I obviously ended up becoming a teacher and listening to my gut instead of being swayed by others.  I’m not going to tell you that I love my job every day, but I love it most days.  I love the feeling of an entire room of students digging into a logic problem and not letting me start explanations because they want to keep thinking, or the initial chaos that resolves into joy when you learn something new.  I’ve had plenty of tears, doubts, late nights of grading with not enough sleep, cancelled appointments or dates because of school activities, but to me, it’s all worth it.  As a teacher, you have the opportunity to affect people’s lives for the better every day.  Not many professions can say that.

You are here tonight because you are outstanding students.  I have no doubt that your teachers love you and that you brighten their days and make their jobs easier.  I want to pose a challenge to you that might be something you’ve never considered.  That challenge is to consider the field of education as a career choice.  Similar to my story, you’ve probably been pushed to be a surgeon or a business manager or a Computer Scientist, and while those are absolutely noble and incredible professions, why not also throw in teacher?  Major in Computer Science, and then come back and teach our youth its incredible value and intricacy.  Major in Biology and consider teaching Science instead of automatically applying to Medical School.  Our state and our communities need the best and the brightest to fill our medical and scientific positions, yes, but we also need you to teach our future generations.”

I am honored to have been chosen to represent Pocahontas County as the Teacher of the Year.  Thank you to everyone here for your investment in education and your encouragement of lifelong learning.”


  1. Justin Taylor, Bus Mechanic –Pocahontas County Schools
  2. Heather Simmons , Aide –Marlinton Elementary School
  3. Cora Lee Carpenter, Secretary – Pocahontas County Schools
  4. Doris Sharp, cook –Hillsboro elementary School
  5. Roy Shearer, Custodian –Marlinton Middle School – SELECTED AS SERVICE EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR


  1. Laura Pritt, Hillsboro Elementary School
  2. Dondi Stemple, Marlinton Elementary School
  3. Stephanie Burns, Marlinton Middle School
  4. Rita Kelly, Green Bank Elementary School




3rd Grade

  • Ramona Hardy
  • Aylah Manahan

4th Grade

  • Hannah Beverage
  • Devon George
  • Mallori McCoy
  • Trevor Tuskan

5th Grade

  • Andrea Alderman
  • Jessica Armstrong
  • Clayton Burns
  • Cheyenne Dean
  • Elijah Evans
  • Kynlee Wilfong


3rd Grade

  • Gavin Malcom
  • Luke Gainer
  • Claire Burgess
  • Brady Carpenter
  • Olivia Fernandez
  • Owen Barb
  • Heidi Jordan
  • Paul Jordan
  • Haydon Moore
  • Carter Vandevander

4th Grade

  • Abigail McClure
  • Kirsten Friel
  • Riley Pollack
  • Eden Smith
  • Dillon Dunz
  • Hailey Fitzgerald
  • Megan Fitzgerald
  • Devon Burgess

5th Grade

  • Jordan Faris
  • Elizabeth Friel
  • Taiylor Hoke
  • Sabina Leyzorek
  • Daisy Shuttleworth
  • Lacey Stewart
  • Kyalily Bard
  • Cameryn Boggs
  • Hannah Burks
  • Timothy Shifflett
  • Kimberly Underwood
  • Benjamin Withers


3RD Grade

  • Wade Garber
  • Cammi Warner

4th Grade

  • Taylor Arnold
  • Florian Baudler
  • Trenton Brock
  • Miranda Gum
  • Paigelyn Long
  • William O’Ganian
  • Kaydence Waybright

5th Grade

  • Mileya Bircher
  • Ashley Bussard
  • Madeline Ray
  • Mackenna Shinaberry
  • Olivia Vandevender
  • Loreli Wolfe

6th Grade

  • Grace Beverage
  • Caitlin Mallow
  • Austin Morgan
  • Max O’Ganian
  • Emma Riffle
  • Emily Rimm
  • Mason Soliday
  • Kelsi Taylor

7th Grade

  • Hunter Curran
  • Makayla Ervine
  • Iam Johnston
  • Priscila Perera
  • Makayla Vandevander

8th Grade

  • Sienna Bircher
  • Ty Cochran
  • Alan Gibson
  • Joseph Hajzer
  • Jennalee Meck
  • Cheylin Woodruff


6TH Grade

  • Amanda burns
  • Christy casey
  • Jared Friel
  • Robert Pritt
  • Sydney Puffenbarger
  • Michelle Yingling
  • Danielle Yingling
  • Jazzlyn Teter
  • Haley spencer

7th Grade

  • Ethan Armstrong
  • Rachel Burns
  • Jeylee Doss
  • Benjaman Dunz
  • Max Ervine
  • Nathaniel Evans
  • David Gibb
  • Makenna McKenney
  • Hazel Riley
  • Garth Ryder
  • Bracie Sheets
  • Rayna Smith
  • Macaden Teylor
  • Sarah Warder
  • Jonathan Valido

8th Grade

  • Brandon Burns
  • Courtney Buzzard
  • Jacob Davis
  • Emmalee Dean
  • Josey Duncan
  • Cassidy Hardesty
  • Chloe Hardesty
  • Emily Henderson
  • Tessa Kiner
  • Autumn Lane
  • Savannah McMillion
  • Silas Riley
  • Conner spencer
  • Kinley Taylor
  • Maria Workman


9TH Grade

  • Kira Bircher
  • Faith Johnson
  • Alexa Taylor
  • Charity Warder

10th Grade

  • Brianna Morgan
  • Taylor Tegtmeyer
  • Jacob Jones
  • Mathias Solliday
  • Logan Woodruff
  • Benjamin Davis
  • Jarod Liptrap

11th Grade

  • Jake Faris
  • Jacob Hise
  • Laura Leyzorek
  • Katie Gibson
  • Lola Guamis-Sol
  • Cora Hedrick
  • Mary Rich
  • Hunter Tankersley
  • Meggan Long

12th Grade

  • Kayla Gibson
  • Brady Jones
  • Carlie Ervine
  • Trevor Jordan
  • Kevin Thompson

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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