W.Va. delegate to retire as teacher

WILLIAMSTOWN – A Wood County teacher who serves as a West Virginia delegate in the Legislature is retiring from his day job.

Bill Anderson, R-Wood, submitted his letter of resignation last week to the Wood County Board of Education announcing his intention to retire after 39 years as an educator. The Wood County Board of Education meets tonight and is expected to take action on retirements and other business.

Anderson, 65, said he is planning to continue in the state Legislature and is looking forward to running next year for his 12th two-year term in the House, representing the Eighth District.

With more emphasis on technology in the classroom and other changes in education, Anderson felt the time had come for him to step down.

”I have really enjoyed my career, but the times are changing,” he said. ”It has been interesting juggling the different schedules.”

Anderson, who is certified to teach grades 7-12, has spent years teaching American Government to juniors and seniors at Williamstown High School as well as World Geography to seventh-graders.

As a legislator, Anderson has been required to be in Charleston for two months during the regular session every year.

He wanted to make sure his students’ education remained consistent.

”I have been fortunate that I have always had good substitutes while I was gone,” Anderson said.

Anderson was able to bring his experiences as a lawmaker into the classroom from bringing in copies of bills as they progressed through the legislative process, from how they were initially written when submitted to changes made in committee to the final version voted on by the Legislature.

He said it gave his students an insight into how the legislative process worked outside of what they read in a textbook and beyond what some other teachers might be able to provide to a class.

Anderson joked with some of his seventh-grade students that he would consider voting for a bill that would raise the driving age from 16 years old to 18 years old, much to their anguish.

”I did that to illustrate that legislation considered in Charleston can affect their lives,” he said.

Anderson felt the time had come for him to move on and devote his time to other interests, including his farm, the American Legion, his church and a desire to do some traveling.

”I will have enough on my plate to keep me out of trouble,” he said.