Schools announce retirements
Morgan County Schools teachers Andrea LaRue, Bonnie Butts, Shirley Slack, Darlene Risinger, Mary Anne Umble and Peggy Dawson are retiring this year, along with paraprofessional aide Diane Fox and custodian Garland Miller.
Widmyer Elementary special education teacher Andrea LaRue has taught for 34 years. She came to North Berkeley Elementary in 1981 with three years of experience teaching students with learning disabilities.
When North Berkeley Elementary closed, LaRue moved to Widmyer Elementary and continued as a special education teacher there. LaRue was named Morgan County Schools Teacher of the Year in 2002.
Widmyer Elementary second grade teacher Bonnie Butts has been a teacher for 22 years. She first taught remedial education at Berkeley Springs High School through RESA 8 from 1989 through 1991. She then taught at Great Cacapon Elementary until 1999 when the school closed and moved to teach at Widmyer Elementary afterwards.
Shirley Slack, Warm Springs Intermediate School third grade teacher, has been a teacher for 40 years. She applied for a teaching position in Morgan County Schools in 1988. Slack was first employed as a Chapter I reading/math teacher at Pleasant View Elementary and Great Cacapon Elementary.
She moved throughout the school system working as a third and fourth grade teacher and also taking Title 1 reading teacher assignments. She has also been an after-school tutor, a third grade team leader, a Faculty Senate chair and secretary to the local school improvement council.
Warm Springs Intermediate School third grade teacher Darlene Risinger has taught for 26 years. She taught in Berkeley County Schools and Cabell County Schools before teaching for Morgan County Schools.
Her first position in Morgan County was as a teacher for students with learning disabilities at Berkeley Springs High School. From there, she became a fourth grade teacher at Widmyer Elementary and has been an intermediate school third grade teacher since 1997.
Risinger has also served as third grade instructional leader for over 10 years and as a mentor teacher. She is also the current faculty senate chair for the intermediate school.
Warm Springs Intermediate School third grade teacher Mary Anne Umble has spent most of her 41 years of teaching here in Morgan County. She has endorsements in elementary education, reading, English, remedial reading and home economics. She was nominated as the intermediate school’s Teacher of the Year in 2007.
Berkeley Springs High School special education teacher Peggy Dawson began teaching students with disabilities at the high school at the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year. Before teaching here, Dawson had 28 years of experience in special education, which included 15 years of teaching in Berkeley County.
Paraprofessional Diane Fox has been a classroom aide for 24 years. She first worked as a kindergarten aide in 1973 and returned as a special education aide at Pleasant View Elementary in 1986. Fox also worked with students with disabilities at Widmyer Elementary from 1989 to 2001.
Fox then transferred to Berkeley Springs High School as a special education aide for moderately mentally impaired students. She also served as county director for Special Olympics. Fox has been the only aide currently serving in Morgan County with the title of certified paraprofessional.
Berkeley Springs High School custodian Garland Miller began working as a substitute custodian for Morgan County Schools in 2003 and became high school custodian in 2004. Miller formerly worked for the C & O Canal in maintenance and ran his own home improvement business for several years.
All of the employees are retiring effective at the end of June 30, except for Garland Miller, who will retire in August.