School staff honors Duvall
Beth Duvall was honored late last month as the Morgan County Schools Service Personnel of the Year. Nominated and chosen by her peers, she was presented with a plaque and an oak rocker from local furniture-maker Gat Caperton.
"I was honored and it's been a pleasure to serve the school system," Duvall said of her service award.
Duvall retired this summer from 35 years with the Morgan County school system. Duvall took a secretarial job with the school board office just weeks after her graduation from Berkeley Springs High School in 1972.
She took school board meeting minutes and letters for the Superintendent at first, then became the Executive Secretary in the 1980s.
"Both professional and service personnel are really teachers," said Duvall. She pointed out that bus operators, custodians and teacher's aides are with students every day, making a positive impact on their lives.
"I really think service personnel are a valued part of school. It takes everyone to make it work," she said.
Duvall said she felt like her retirement came at a good time. She sees Morgan County schools as a place where all staff is respected and want to do a good job on behalf of the students. She also thinks the current school board members are truly keeping their focus on the kids.
Duvall received her service award on the opening day of work for school employees in August. The award presentations also included the Mary Linn Fox First Year Teacher Award, named for one of Duvall's closest friends and longtime Pleasant View teacher.
Duvall and Fox became friends in first grade at Pleasant View, and Fox told Duvall that she would return to teach at the school when she grew up. Fox ended up teaching there for 25 years before passing away in 2001. Duvall said going back to school that year was especially tough in the absence of her lifelong friend.
Now that she is retired, Duvall has had time to spend in her garden and doing things around the house. She'll also have more time to spend with her daughter, Alissa, who is a junior this year at Berkeley Springs High School and husband Jay, who is a school bus operator.
Over her 35 years with Morgan County Schools, Duvall has had to turn down a few job offers elsewhere, but said she never really considered leaving her post at the board office.
"That was where I was supposed to be," said Duvall.