Shenandoah County Public Schools Recognizes Employees of the Year 2014

Celebrating Talented Teachers, Teams, Employees

The Shenandoah County Public School division recently celebrated the successes of “our talented employees” at a reception sponsored by the Shenandoah Education Foundation.  Dr. Jeremy J. Raley, Superintendent of Schools, served as host of the event, which was held on May 1 at the Edinburg Mill

Prior to the employees of the year recognitions, Dr. Raley briefly cited a few SCPS 2013-2014 stellar achievements:   
*Shenandoah County Public Schools is one of eighteen school divisions to meet all federal Annual Measureable Objects for 2013-14 putting SCPS in the top 14% of school divisions in the state.

All nine schools in Shenandoah County have received full state accreditation for thirteen consecutive years.
*Two SCPS students earned perfect scores on the Reading portion of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
*Signal Knob Middle School’s FFA Chapter was named the most outstanding Middle School FFA Chapter in AMERICA!
*The current National FFA president is an alumnus of Central High School.
*Among other STEM related projects, two Central High School students built a solar-powered car and raced it up and down the sidewalks at the school; and a Massanutten Regional Governor’s School student constructed a telescope in his family’s garage.

  The Celebration continued with nominees recognized and winners announced for Shenandoah County Public Schools’ Team of the Year, Teachers of the Year, and Employee of the Year

 Nominees for 2013-2014 Team of the Year

  • Isaac Brunk and Tina Hartwig – Grade 7 Teachers at North Fork Middle School
  • Melissa Foltz, Steve Povlish, and Robin Shrum - Principals at WW Robinson, Ashby Lee, and Sandy Hook elementary schools
  • Sherry Heishman and Dana Fisher - Teachers and FFA advisors at Central High School
  • Mike Fleming, Kim Price, Jerry Lineweaver, Wayne Wakeman, and Rob Runion - Custodians at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School
  • Julie Bell and Julie Walthall - Speech Language Pathologists at Ashby Lee Elementary School

PMMS Custodian Staff Team of the YearShenandoah County Public Schools is proud to announce that the Custodial Staff at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School was named the 2013-2014 Team of the Year. From far left:  Rob Runion, Kim Price, T.Mike Fleming, Jerry Lineweaver, and Wayne Wakeman. 

    Gina Stetter, Principal: All members of this crew interact positively with each other and our user groups, maintaining cooperative relationships, addressing concerns in a positive manner, and working to meet their needs.   They maintain our building in the highest manner…this twenty year old building does not show its age. 
    Holly Sheffield, Assistant Principal: They watch for hungry kids and make us aware.  This team consists of unsung heroes --they may not teach lessons in a classroom, but they teach us all lessons each day about the value of hard work.
    Related Arts Teachers:  It is heartwarming to see students interacting with this great team.
    Michael Hunt, Teacher:  They may go unnoticed most of the time, but the work they do does not go unnoticed.

Nominees for 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year

TOY 2013-14
First row:  Serena Omps, Jacklyn Roller.
Second row:  Roger Wilkins, Becke Coffman
Third row:  Kim Moomaw, Rachel Showmaker
Fourth row:  Lisa Gibson (blue), Michelle Hepner
Fourth row:  Melanie Woods, Mary Sue Wenger

Each of Shenandoah County’s ten public schools selects a Teacher of the Year.    From these ten school level Teachers of the Year, administrators at the School Board Office select the Division Teacher of the Year.  Following are comments about each school’s Teacher of the Year.  


 Kim Moomaw, TOY ALE Kimberly Moomaw
Grade 2 Teacher
Ashby-Lee Elementary School
2013-14 Teacher of the Year
     Stephen Povlish, Principal:  While Mr. Povlish praised Ms. Moomaw’s  specific, intentional, and exciting lesson plans; the academic and social growth of her students; and her positive and welcoming classroom management system, he emphasized that her main focus has always been “the development of the  whole child—always doing what is best for the child” whether she is  advocating for her students with an outside agency, providing basic needs such as food for the student or family, fulfilling medical needs such as glasses, or asking the school administration and nurse if there is a particular need which her church might attend to. ​​​
     Mary Kent, Teacher: Ms. Moomaw accepts each group of students with enthusiasm and excitement and works very hard to make lessons fun and interesting for her students.
     Karen Phillips:  She makes learning “come alive for her students.”  For example, when studying ancient Egypt, her students made mummies and experienced hieroglyphics​​​​

Mary Sue Wenger TOY WWR 14   Mary Sue Wenger
Special Education Teacher
W.W. Robinson Elementary School 2013-14 Teacher of the Year

     Melissa Foltz, Principal:  Ms. Wenger embodies the characteristics of what one wants in every teacher—commitment to excellence, professionalism, and the ability to recognize and serve individual students based on their academic needs.  And,  Ms. Wenger’s students know that she cares not only about their academic work but also each of them knows she cares about how they feel and what they need. 
     Mary Kent, Teacher:   She accepts each child where they are and works tirelessly to accommodate their needs and adapt the curriculum. . ..she stays long after meetings are over to help parents understand the process and to offer them suggestions to help their children.
     Courtney Brill, Teacher:  Ms. Wenger is the “guru of special education.”   She has been my mentor and go-to-person for the past 17 years.   Mary Sue is affectionately known as “Soupy.”  Whenever there is a question about Special Education at WWR, the response that is always heard is “Go ask Soupy”!


 Rachel Shoemaker SHE TOY 14 Rachel Shoemaker
Grade 2 Teacher
Sandy Hook Elementary School
2013-2014 Teacher of the Year 

    Robin Shrum, Principal:   Ms. Shoemaker leads though quiet strength, prefers to share successes with others, and integrates her instructional skills in a delightful way for her students.  Her quiet manner, thoughtful comments and respectful tone, make her opinions much sought after by others.  Yet, she readily seeks out ways to credit the entire team when successes occur.
    Lisa-Marie Hill, Teacher:   Ms. Shoemaker’s enthusiasm, love, and passion for teaching (and her students) shows every day of the year.  She has found her calling in life, and that calling is teaching.  She teaches her students to strive for excellence, to love learning, and to respect each other.  She teaches her peers to give their best for their students, to wear a smile, to have faith, and to remember that there is always a brighter side to every situation.

 Melanie Woods TOY NFMS 2013-2014
Melanie Woods
Physical Education Teacher
North Fork Middle School
2013-2014 Teacher of the Year


     Shelby Kline, Principal:   Ms. Woods works jointly with each student to set realistic learning goals and then, in a positive way, encourages students to reach those goals.  Ms. Woods has specifically concentrated on students learning the five components of fitness – cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, and body composition and has students complete exit tickets at the end of class in order to know which students need additional help on the five components.  . . Ms. Woods has spearheaded efforts resulting in the receipt of four Moore Grants in the last five years for North Fork Middle School.
     Fred Hannah:  Ms. Woods is literally willing to “go the extra mile.”  She sponsors the Mileage Club, which includes approximately twenty students who stay each week to improve their overall fitness.
     Summer Baker, Bookkeeper:  Each day Ms. Woods brings to North Fork "a positive and refreshing attitude."


 Becke Coffman TOY PMMS 14 Rebecca S. Coffman
Instructional Technology Resource Teacher
Peter Muhlenberg Middle School  
     Gina Stetter, Principal:  Becke Coffman is a go-to-person when others in the building, and often times the division, seek to know more about a particular resource or application and its applicability within the school setting.  Colleagues says that she always patiently explains or re-explains, models and assesses, never making anyone feel embarrassed for what they do not know.   Her focus is always on how students can interact with technology to accelerate their learning.
    Holly Sheffield, Assistant PrincipalSimply put, we would be lost without Ms. Coffman. She is always in search of the next thing on the horizon that will benefit our staff and students.
      Deb Cross, Teacher:   Ms. Coffman has a wonderful sense of humor, and she loves to play practical jokes on people. She is absolutely beloved by all the staff at Peter Muhlenberg.

 Jaclyn Roller SKMS  TOY 14 Jacklyn M. Roller
Agriculture Teacher
Signal Knob Middle School
2013-14 Teacher of the Year

     Chris Cook, Principal:  Over the course of the year, Ms. Roller teaches 67% of the Signal Knob student body (320 of 480 students).  Ms. Roller works tirelessly to plan and implement relevant experiences for students to learn, grow in their leadership, and connect with their community.  Last year, the Signal Knob Middle School FFA Chapter was selected the best in Virginia as well as the most outstanding middle school chapter in the country.
It has been reported that Ms. Roller has never been seen without a smile on her face!
     Jackie Weitman, Librarian:   Ms. Roller has come full circle, teaching the very classes she attended as a student.  Ms. Roller is dedicated to her community; and she strives, with each and every project, to make our community better in some way—all the while creating life experiences for her students that they will always remember.
     Allison O’Boyle, Teacher:  One of Ms. Roller’s biggest strengths is her ability to make any student or faculty member feel important and appreciated. Because of this, many students desire not only to take AgriScience and join FFA but also to climb the leadership ladder in the classroom and organization.

 Lisa Gibson SJHS TOY 2014  Lisa Gibson
Library Media Specialist
Stonewall Jackson High School
2013-2014 Teacher of the Year
     Mike Dorman, Principal:  Lisa Gibson has turned our library into the hub of our school and into not just a library but a learning center. Ms. Gibson has worked hard to bring the community into our school as well. She has partnered with the New Market Rotary and has transformed the Pen and Print Club into the Interact Club with the Rotary’s help. This partnership has provided many opportunities for Stonewall Jackson students that they ordinarily would not have if not for the Rotary connection.
    Jamie Armentrout, Teacher:  Ms. Gibson has implemented countless programs to help spark excitement in our students to explore new avenues of reading and academic enrichment; above all, she has ignited student motivation and morale for our school. Just a few of these activities include the reading incentive programs, mini-lessons on the use of new technology for students and teachers, and after school activities to increase community involvement such as a Murder Mystery Dinner Show.
    Peggy Dunstan, Teacher:  The heart of our school, our library, is thriving due to Lisa. Lisa builds positive relationships with both peers and students. She makes all of our students welcome.

 Michelle Hepner CHS TOY 14  Michelle Hepner
Social Studies Teacher
Central High School
2013-2014 Teacher of the Year

     Missy Hensley, Principal: Ms. Hepner is by all accounts a master teacher who promotes, encourages, and embeds the passion of lifelong learning in her students. She takes her students on a journey back in time each time they step into her classroom. She is a masterstoryteller who relates content from the past to students’ lives in an interactive manner that causes long term learning to occur.  
      Kayla Mobley, Teacher:  Ms. Hepner celebrates the students every Friday by blowing bubbles down the hallway outside her room to brighten their day!
     Jennifer Burner, Teacher:  Ms. Hepner fulfills William Butler Yeats quotation:  “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
       Shanna McComb, School Counselor:  A great educator is identified not only for the content they teach in the classroom but also for the impact he or she has on the daily lives of students. Ms. Hepner is a great educator.

Serena Omps SHS TOY 14   Serena Omps
English Teacher
Strasburg High School
2013-2014 Teacher of the Year

     Mr. Ken Knesh, Principal: Ms. Serena Omps is an energetic, caring, responsible, and professional teacher who goes out of her way to make every student feel comfortable in her classroom. Ms. Omps knows her students academically, socially, and emotionally and is vested in their well-being and their ability to make the right choices as teenagers.
     A struggling student, who graduated last year and who was socially awkward and prone to inappropriate outbursts, left a card for Ms. Omps in the school’s 26 Acts of Kindness Box—that card simply said, “Thank you Mrs. Omps. You made me better.”
    Sean Duffy, Teacher: Ms. Omps is the full embodiment of great teaching—she teaches, she listens, she loves, she laughs with her students, she cries with her students, she disciplines,
she believes in her kids, she never gives up on them, and she keeps
her word at all times and is sure to never let them down…and in
all these things, she changes lives one by one.

Roger Wilkins TT TOY 14  Roger Wilkins
Industrial Cooperative Education (ICT) and Government Teacher
Triplett Tech
2013-2014 Teacher of the Year

     Barry Arey, Principal:  Under Mr. Wilkins direction, the ICT program has grown in numbers as well as efficiency and success.  Mr. Wilkins’ students respect his knowledge and depend on his advice and support in completing successful on-the-job training experiences. Mr. Wilkins’ ability to relate to the “at-risk student” has played an important role in keeping Shenandoah County’s drop-out rate one of the lowest in the state.   Mr. Wilkins has, as well, been Coach of the Year several times in different sports and has even obtained a STATE championship in girls’ basketball.
     Connie Pangle, Assistant Principal: It is the norm to enter Mr. Wilkins’ classroom and observe him using real-life examples, websites, and current industry standards to provide and reinforce real-world work skills.  Mr. Wilkins goes to great lengths to form relationships with students.
     Student: It’s been a long time since I’ve had a teacher who cares that much. 
      Stonewall Jackson High School Golf Team: Through the years we have viewed Mr. Wilkins as a father figure and mentor.  We have never met anyone who loves hard work, honesty, or the thrill of competition more than Mr. Wilkins.  Mr. Wilkins does not just coach.  He builds relationships—relationships that are not weak and brittle found elsewhere, but teams bonded by love and respect for one another and the game.

 Jaclyn Roller TOY 2014

Shenandoah County Public Schools is proud to announce that the 2013-2014 Division Teacher of the Year is Jacklyn Roller, Agriculture Teacher at Signal Knob Middle School.

Nominees for the 2013-2014 Employee of the Year:

  • Connie Hepler - Bookkeeper at Ashby LeeElementary School
  • Gene Dykes - Supervisor of Maintenance for SCPS
  • Joanne Thompson - Instructional Assistant at North Fork Middle School
  • Jessie Myrtle - Instructional Assistant at WW Robinson Elementary School
  • Jeff Nicely - Head Custodian at Sandy Hook Elementary School
  • Gina Stetter - Principal at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School
  • Betsy Bushong - Administrative Technology Support Specialist
  • Alice Polk - Head Custodian at Signal Knob Middle School

Betsy  Bushong Employee of the Year 2013-2014

Shenandoah County Public Schools is proud to announce that the 2013-2014 Employee of the Year is Betsy Bushong,Administrative Technology Support Specialist, Technology Services, School Board Office

     Tim Taylor, Instructional Technology Supervisor:  Even with the constantly changing nature of technology, Ms. Bushong has always been willing to learn and adapt by seeking professional development opportunities.   Ms. Bushong has developed her skills in many technology areas such as image editing, desktop publishing, and presentation development.  She helped teach PowerPoint to her colleagues via the Microsoft Extravaganza program that was launched last year.
     Doug Culler, Network Systems Supervisor:  Mrs. Bushong holds several Microsoft Office Specialist Certificates including a multimedia specialist certificate from the Career Students Center at Lord Fairfax Community College.   In addition to her other worthy qualifications for Employee of the Year, Ms. Bushong loves people, works hard, and always tries to lift the spirits of those around her.
      Ms. Charity Shiflett, Network Technician:  Ms. Bushong often encourages me and has even helped me find classes to develop my skills or learn about other areas of interest.  She currently volunteers on the Staff Excellence Action Planning Team.  After every meeting Ms. Bushong comes to work the next day excited to share the topics discussed.   

Willie Pirtle presents plaque to Dr. RaleyAt the conclusion of the presentation of employee awards, Willie Pirtle, President of the Board of Directors of the Shenandoah Education Foundation,   presented a plaque to Dr. Raley in recognition of Dr. Raley’s service to the Foundation as a founding member and as a member of the Board of Directors.  

“I look forward to working with you for a long time,” Willie Pirtle said to Dr. Raley,  who no longer serves on the Foundation’s Board of Directors but will continue his relationship with the Foundation in a new capacity—as Superintendent of Schools. 

Those attending the CelebratComabined SC high school chorus performs for Celebrating our Success.ion enjoyed a buffet of light refreshments and were also entertained.  Under the direction of Heidi King, Southern Campus music teacher, choral students from all three county high schools became a single choir to perform three songs.  Kaitlyn Hunsberger,  chorus teacher at Central High School, accompanied the group on the piano. 

*****Photos by Tracy Landes and Betsy  Bushong.