Two Marion County public school teachers recently were honored as part of the annual Awards Ceremony for the Fairmont State University School of Education, Health and Human Performance.
The 2013 Harry J. Hadley Award for Teaching Excellence was awarded to Joy Gaines of North Marion High School and Deborah Ann Coburn Sabo of Monongah Elementary School. The award, named in honor of Dr. Harry J. Hadley who served as Dean of the School of Education for 30 years, recognizes two West Virginia public school teachers who are graduates of Fairmont State and who exemplify FSU’s goal of producing “The Informed Decision Maker.” An elementary school teacher and a secondary school teacher are selected as award winners each year.
Gaines graduated from Fairmont State in 1981 with a B.A. in Secondary Education and went on to earn a Master of Arts in Communication Studies degree from West Virginia University. She has taught at North Marion High School for 30 years. Since 1982 she has been an adjunct instructor at Fairmont State. Gaines has authored or co-authored several grants to provide students with rigorous, engaging, curriculum impacting the school’s culture for students, teachers and parents. She was Marion County Teacher of the Year, Security First Group’s Teacher and Marion County English Language Arts Teacher of the year. She is a member of several professional organizations such as Alpha Delta Kappa, National Education Association, West Virginia Education Association and the Marion County Reading Council.
“To be effective, a teacher must know and understand all students. By doing so, we decrease opportunities for failure and set the stage for success, therefore providing a foundation for lifelong-learning,” Gaines said.
Deborah Sabo graduated from Fairmont State with a B.A. in Elementary Education and from WVU with an M.A. in Pre-School Special Needs. She teaches first grade at Monongah Elementary School. She is active in the PTA, PBS implementation and Faculty Senate activities. She co-authored a grant for a computer lab at Blackshere School. She has attended the Governor’s Summer Academy many times and has presented for the Early Childhood Conference in Charleston. Sabo currently serves as her school’s Positive Behavior Support Team. Sabo is currently involved in the Marion County schools math cadre. Her leadership and involvement has proven to be a valuable asset to the school’s teachers as they begin aligning a recent math textbook adoption and resources to common core standards. Sabo doesn’t just measure success by the progress of students in her classroom, but she also is concerned about their achievement once they leave her classroom.
A parent of one of Sabo’s students wrote the following: “As a parent, it’s an honor to know that Mrs. Sabo is holding my little girl’s hand and leading her through part of that journey.”