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Sowards Recognized As Lincoln County Teacher Of The Year

October 11, 2017
BY LAUREN MATTHEWS - Editor (lmatthews@wetzelchronicle.com) , Wetzel Chronicle

Amanda Sowards, Wetzel County native, was recently named Lincoln County Teacher of the Year.

Sowards, the daughter of Mike and Sandy Howell of New Martinsville, is a Magnolia High School graduate.

Jeff Midkiff, superintendent of Lincoln County Schools, said Sowards is "deeply involved in the school and local community of Midway Elementary." Midkiff said Sowards helped to write a successful grant application securing a mental health counselor for the school. Furthermore, she is heavily involved in the successful grant application for an Innovation Zone Grant, worth $300,000, designating Midway Elementary as a Community School.

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Pictured, right, is Amanda Sowards, Lincoln County Teacher of the Year. Sowards stands alongside Leslie Lively, Wetzel County Teacher of the Year.

Midkiff said Sowards serves as a Bible study teacher at her school and prepares monthly meals, donating time and money to the Sojourners Homeless Shelter.

Midkiff said Sowards also has a multitude of additional school and community-related activities "too numerous to mention."

Sowards is a 2013 Hallie Harless Distinguished Award winner for RESA 2. In 2015, she was nominated for the Arch Coal Teacher Award.

"In the classroom, Mrs. Sowards' students know she cares for them. Each day she welcomes students with a smile and ends the day by giving each student a hug. She loves her students and makes school enjoyable and memorable," Midkiff said.

Midkiff said, "Mrs. Sowards' goal, as an educator, is to make the path to life-long success available, desirable and attainable for every student. We are all very proud of Mrs. Sowards and she is certainly deserving of her recognition as Lincoln County Teacher of the Year."

As Lincoln County Teacher of the Year, Sowards was able to attend West Virginia Teacher of the Year Program ceremonies, held Sept. 18. This event was also attended by current Wetzel County educator, Leslie Lively, who was a finalist for West Virginia Teacher of the Year.

"Being named Lincoln County Teacher of the Year is an exciting achievement," Sowards said. "To hold this title in the same year as Mr. Lively is truly an honor!"

Sowards is connected to Lively through The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project. She attended a Project NEED trip to Washington, D.C. with Lively and now-retired Teacher Linda Fonner, when Sowards was in fifth grade. Furthermore, Sowards knows Lively from track and field.

"We were on opposite teams, but he always encouraged me," she said.

Of her career as a teacher, Sowards said, "I love my job."

"Every day is a challenge, but it is so rewarding."

 
 
 

 

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