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Wood Schools looks to recognize Unsung Heroes

In this screenshot from YouTube, Kimberly Morris, library media specialist at Criss Elementary School, reads “Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do” while students watch online. Throughout Wood County Schools, employees are volunteering their time and creativity to help educate and feed students during the COVID-19 shutdown.

PARKERSBURG — Wood County Schools is looking to recognize some of the educators and staffers who have gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Superintendent Will Hosaflook created the Unsung Heroes page for people to submit the names and deeds of Wood County Schools employees and volunteers. Since schools shut down three weeks ago and most personnel were told to work from home, hundreds have volunteered their time to do everything from delivering instructional materials to students to preparing and distributing take-home meals.

“I definitely want the community to know that there are a lot of people out there that are going above and beyond to help our kids, our employees and our community,” Hosaflook said.

Within the first few days, the site had more than 60 recognitions submitted, he said, and officials are opening the submission URL at https://tinyurl.com/raxnkzs to members of the community as well.

Among some of the Unsung Heroes submitted so far:

In this screenshot from an online video, Blennerhassett Middle School art teacher Dan Peck sketches a room while leading students through the process at home. Since schools have been shut down due to COVID-19 concerns, teachers, staff and administrators have gone above and beyond to provide instruction and meals to students, and Wood County Schools is asking people to share those Unsung Heroes through an online submissions page.

∫ Dave Pahl, a bus driver for Mineral Wells Elementary School: “Dave knew that many of his students did not have a way to get food that was being distributed at the schools. Dave personally contacted students on his bus route to see if they needed food delivered. Dave arrived at Mineral Wells to pick up 30-plus bags of food for students on his route. He personally delivered the food to the students and made a second trip to the school to get more. This occurred on more than one occasion.”

∫ Eric Murphy, a technology integration specialist for Wood County Schools: “Eric has been a leader with Wood County Schools Innovate site. Over the past several weeks, Eric has helped me get connected with parents and students. When One Drive seemed to be impossible with access/permissions, Eric spent time on a Sunday by phone using trial and error to get my folder working.”

∫ Gene Dulaney, head custodian at Fairplains Elementary School: “Mr. Gene, with the assistance of (custodian) David Windland, has gone above and beyond at cleaning the school so teachers could get in to complete their (instructional) packets while focusing on staying healthy. When packets were dispersed, Mr. Gene and Mr. Dave took it upon themselves to deliver packets and meals to students who were unable to get to the school. Both men volunteered to be at the meal delivery site when the meals were being distributed this week so teachers did not have to leave their families or homes. These men have been a huge component in keeping teachers and staff healthy and safe during uncertain times.”

Hosaflook said the Wood County Board of Education in upcoming meetings will begin recognizing individuals for their contributions, and Hosaflook will highlight some stories during his superintendent’s report. Additional recognitions will be done online and through various social media platforms.

“Everyone needs to be recognized at this time,” Hosaflook said. “We need to create as many positive events as we can during this time of crisis.”

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