PARKERSBURG - Officials recognized two of Wood County's best and brightest Tuesday with the district's highest employee honors.
Julie Gibson, a teacher at Fairplains Elementary School, was named Wood County Schools Teacher of the Year, and Ruth Collins, a retired cafeteria manager, was named Wood County Service Person of the Year.
Superintendent Pat Law and members of the Wood County Board of Education presented both women certificates and engraved clocks, thanking them for their dedication and service to the students of Wood County Schools.
Ruth Collins, left, a retired cafeteria manager from Neale Elementary School, and Julie Gibson, right, a fifth-grade teacher at Fairplains Elementary School, were honored Tuesday as Wood County Schools’ Service Person of the Year and Teacher of the Year respectively. Each received a certificate and an engraved clock. (Photo by Michael Erb)
Both were nominated and selected by fellow employees.
"It is certainly one of the greatest honors anyone can receive to be selected by their peers," Law said.
Gibson teaches fifth-grade at Fairplains and has worked at the school since 2002. Prior to that she worked at McKinley Elementary School and Parkersburg High School.
In a letter for the county Teacher of the Year program, Gibson said her goals are to make students lifelong learners and to instill enthusiasm and motivation through activities and a student's own natural curiosity.
"I try to help the students be aware that the world is so much bigger than our school community," she said. "Every day is another opportunity for me to help my students learn more, question more, want more and care more."
Judy Johnson, director of curriculum and instruction for Wood County Schools, called Gibson "a very kind-hearted individual who cares deeply for her students' success."
Collins was recommended by Neale Elementary School Principal Mike Fling, who in a letter to the state Department of Education Service Personnel Employee of the Year Program called Collins "an invaluable employee with an incredible work ethic.
"I believe she sees her position as a calling to serve rather than a job," Fling said in the letter. "Ruth is a caring individual that goes above and beyond to assist (the) school, staff and especially students with their school endeavors."
Collins retired this year as cafeteria manager at Neale after six years at the school and a total of 39 years of service to Wood County Schools.