2013-06-19 / School News

Schools honor retirees for many years of service

by Kate Evans


Morgan County Schools retirees (left to right) Laura Hovermale, Cindi Close, Rachael Sarti, Carol Sue Fox and Barbara Blankenship are pictured at the school closing awards ceremony. Missing from the photo are retirees Angelo Luvara, Sherry Reed and Edna Widmeyer. Morgan County Schools retirees (left to right) Laura Hovermale, Cindi Close, Rachael Sarti, Carol Sue Fox and Barbara Blankenship are pictured at the school closing awards ceremony. Missing from the photo are retirees Angelo Luvara, Sherry Reed and Edna Widmeyer. Morgan County Schools recognized eight professional and service personnel retirees for their years of service at an awards ceremony at the close of the school year.

Retiring on June 30 are Secondary Education and Vocational Education Director Laura Hovermale, teachers Barbara Blankenship, Cynthia Close and Angelo Luvara and service personnel Rachael Sarti, Carol Sue Fox and Edna Widmeyer. Service employee Sherry Reed’s retirement begins on September 10.

Roots in horticulture

Hovermale started teaching horticulture at James Rumsey Technical Institute in 1979. She was the Support Services Coordinator at James Rumsey from 1997 until 2002, when she became Assistant Principal at Berkeley Springs High School.

In 2003, Hovermale assumed her current director’s position.

Besides overseeing curriculum and instruction for county middle and high school students, Hovermale’s responsibilities have included Adult and Community Education, the G.E.D. program, vocational and technical education, academic and vocational competitions and the New Teacher Academy.

39 years in class

Warm Springs Middle School sixth grade social studies teacher Barbara Blankenship has taught for 39 years. She began teaching at Widmyer Elementary in 1975 where she taught sixth grade social studies and language arts. She also taught in Summers County for a year.

Blankenship was a middle school sixth grade team leader and Student Assistance Team member and helped with their social studies fair.

She was a Power Hour lead teacher, homework help teacher, new teacher mentor and an active PTO member. Blankenship also worked with Nikki’s Day Care’s after-school program at North Berkeley Elementary and their summer program.

Teaching since 1994

Warm Springs Middle School sixth grade science teacher Cynthia Close began teaching as a third grade collaborative teacher at Widmyer Elementary in 1994. She previously taught Sunday school.

In 1999, Close began teaching science at the middle school. That year she received an award for having the best teaching technique in RESA 8.

She was named Morgan County Teacher of the Year in 2000.

Coach and teacher

Berkeley Springs High School math teacher and head football coach Angelo Luvara came to Morgan County Schools in 2000.

He had been head football coach at Potomac State College and an instructor there from 1979 until 2000. Luvara was also a math teacher and coach at Allegany County Schools for two years before that.

As a Morgan County football coach, Luvara instituted weight training for football players and all athletes and also mentored younger coaches. He taught football players the fundamentals of the sport and worked extensively with them on discipline and motivation.

Secretary for many

Executive secretary Rachael Sarti had previously been a legal secretary and paralegal before she became a substitute secretary for Morgan County Schools.

In 2003, Sarti began a fulltime position as the first secretary for the school bus garage. She served in that position for two years, then moved to the central office as a secretary.

Sarti was chosen as executive secretary when David Banks became School Superintendent in 2007.

Central office secretary

School board office secretary Carol Sue Fox worked as a secretary for Pennsylvania Glass and Sand before she became a secretary for Morgan County Schools in 1975. Fox served as secretary for child nutrition, attendance and home schooling.

Fox was named Service Employee of the Year in 2004. She and her husband Lee Fox also served the community as deputy reserves for many years.

Cooking for 25 years

Berkeley Springs High School cook III/cafeteria manager Edna Widmeyer has worked for Morgan County Schools for 25 years. She began as a cook at Berkeley Springs High School in 1988 and has been head cook at the high school for around 15 years. Widmeyer became head cook/cafeteria manager at the school about four years ago.

High school secretary

Berkeley Springs High School secretary Sherry Reed began working for the school system as a substitute cook in 1981. She was hired as halftime cook for North Berkeley Elementary in 1986 and became the cafeteria manager at Widmyer Elementary in 1987.

In 1992, Reed was hired as a clerk for Widmyer Elementary, then later became a secretary at the school. She transferred to Berkeley Springs High School as guidance office secretary and point of service person and has been at the school in those positions ever since.

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