School board honors retired teachers, staff
The Morgan County school board held a reception for retired school staff before last Tuesday's board meeting. School officials honored seven former employees for their collective years of service to the schoolchildren of Morgan County.
Logging the longest career with Morgan County schools was Beth Duvall, who spent 35 years as executive secretary to the various superintendents of schools.
Duvall, who had just graduated from Berkeley Springs High School when she took her position in 1972, served under 10 superintendents. She was praised by former bosses and fellow workers as being up-beat and loyal, efficient and always professional.
Duvall was named the 2007 Service Personnel of the Year just months after her retirement in June.
Close behind Duvall in years of service was teacher Mary Jo Kostka, who retired this summer after 33 years of teaching in Morgan County. Kostka started working at Great Cacapon Grade School in 1974 working part-time with multi-handicapped children in the mornings and relieving Principal Virgil Ruppenthal in the afternoons.
She moved to Pleasant View Elementary in 1976, then to Widmyer in 1978. Kostka taught handicapped children there until 1986, when she switched to teaching kindergarten at North Berkeley Elementary. Kostka continued as a kindergarten teacher at Widmyer Elementary when North Berkeley closed.
Kostka moved back to her native Pittsburgh on retirement to be near family and care for her ailing mother. She hopes to take piano lessons and garden when things slow down.
Kathy Miller retired after 32 years of teaching elementary school students. She began teaching at Great Cacapon Grade School in 1975. She left Great Cacapon's school for Widmyer Elementary in 1986, where she taught until Warm Springs Intermediate School opened.
Miller primarily taught fourth grade, though she also served as a mentor teacher, a remedial specialist, an after-school coordinator and instructional leader. Miller still teaches in Harrisonburg, Va., where she now lives.
Former colleagues praised Pleasant View teacher Jean Jones, who retired after 28 years of teaching across the county. Jones began her career at Paw Paw School in 1979, where she taught seventh and eighth grade reading in the mornings and fourth grade in the afternoon. After 20 years in Paw Paw, Jones transferred to Pleasant View Elementary in 1999 to teach fifth graders. Jones retired at the end of the last school year and has moved to North Carolina where her daughter lives.
Retiring from Berkeley Springs High School, Bill Jones taught social studies, health and driver's education in Morgan County for 19 years. Jones has also been a detention teacher, a team leader for health and physical education, and a summer driving teacher. While officially retired, Jones is currently a long-term substitute teacher this year at the school.
Beddow & Temple
Warm Springs Intermediate School custodian Walt Beddow retired from 17 years working in and around Morgan County schools. Custodial work was Beddow's second career, beginning when he moved back to Morgan County after retiring from Bethlehem Steel as a roll transfer manager.
Beddow started working in the maintenance department at Berkeley Springs High School in 1990. He also worked at Pleasant View Elementary and North Berkeley Elementary before moving to Warm Springs Intermediate School as a custodian. Beddow plans to spend more time with family and pursuing his hobbies of acrylic painting and antique cars during his retirement.
Former Superintendent David Temple was also honored for his four years at the helm of county schools. Temple came to Morgan County from an administrative position in Upshur County. Before that, he worked in Mingo County, after spending 25 years in his native Preston County.
During Temple's tenure in Morgan County, several schools received state and national awards for excellence. Temple and his wife Colleen have returned to Preston County since his retirement this summer.