“Congratulations, Sarah McVaney! You are Mingo County’s 2015 Teacher of the Year!”
This announcement left McVaney feeling shocked and emotional. “I never expected to win!” said McVaney, “I love what I do, but I’m not sure I feel I go that above and beyond.”
McVaney’s colleagues, however, are very sure she is more than deserving of this prestigious title. In fact, her nomination for this title came from her nomination as Mingo Central’s Teacher of the Year, an award voted on by her fellow teachers.
“Each year, teachers at Mingo Central nominate a few teachers who they feel should be our school’s teacher of the year,” explained McVaney. “After the vote, I had won! I was so excited! My husband even threw me a little surprise party.
“It was a while after that before I heard anything about County Teacher of the Year though. I was floored when Ms. Jones called me into her office and told me I had been selected for it! It was absolutely fabulous to win!”
In June of this year, there was an awards program to introduce all of the teachers of the year as well as service personnel of the year from each Mingo County school. It was there that McVaney was officially announced as Mingo County Teacher of the Year. “I received a really nice gift from the county, and I was then sent ahead to apply for West Virginia Teacher of the Year,” said McVaney.
Sarah McVaney teaches choir, piano, and theatre management classes at Mingo Central High School. She also directs the spring musical –this year’s production will be Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. She has taught six and a half years in Mingo County, and Mingo County is the only county in which she has ever taught.
“I taught a year and a half at Matewan Middle School and a year at Matewan High School before Mingo Central opened. The rest of my career has been spent here [at Mingo Central],” said McVaney.
“I love teaching! I love having the opportunity to reach students and touch them in a special way. I want to make people proud, and I love watching the students excel in music. They are such a huge part of our school, and they represent Mingo Central very well.
“I have loved music as long as I can remember. I have sang in Church since I was very young, and I have been in choir for a very long time. I not only love to sing, but I also play the piano and clarinet. I love being able to share my love for music with the students of Mingo County!”
McVaney teaches not only at Mingo Central but at Southern Community and Technical College as well. Additionally, she offers private piano lessons. “With all of my different teaching jobs, it’s safe to say I adore teaching!”
“Being named Mingo County Teacher of the Year meant a lot to me. It was wonderful to see how complimentary people are of the hard work and dedication I put in. It’s something I will never forget.”