2017-08-23 / Front Page

Tammy Bittorf chosen as a finalist for 2018 state Teacher of the Year

by Kate Evans

Tammy Bittorf Tammy Bittorf Berkeley Springs High School English teacher Tammy Bittorf was named as one of six finalists for the 2018 West Virginia Teacher of the Year in an August 16 West Virginia Department of Education press release. The finalists “represent the best of the best in education” and were selected from county teacher of the year winners across the state. Bittorf was chosen as Morgan County Teacher of the Year in June.

Other finalists are first grade teacher Teresa Thorne from Slanesville Elementary in Hampshire County, agriculture education teacher Kaitlin Thorsell from Washington High School in Jefferson County, mathematics teacher Tammy Ann Spangler from Ripley Middle School in Jackson County, reading and English language arts teacher Adriane Manning from Wheeling Middle School in Ohio County and STEM educator Leslie Lively from Short Line School in Wetzel County.

“I congratulate this group of finalists who have confirmed that we have some of the most compassionate teachers in West Virginia influencing our students. Each of these teachers embrace high expectations, strive for excellence and put students at the center of all they do,” said West Virginia School Superintendent Dr. Steven Paine in the press release.

Tammy Bittorf began teaching English after her honorable discharge from the United States Air Force where she served as an optometry technician. She’s taught for a total of 27 years, 18 of them in Jefferson County Schools.

Bittorf has been a fulltime English and remedial reading teacher for seventh, ninth and 11th graders and step-up administrator for Morgan County since August, 2007. She’s taught English 9 and 11 at the high school for three years and taught English 7 and 8 and remedial reading for grades sixth through eighth at Warm Springs Middle School before that.

Bittorf’s focus is teaching students respect and tolerance for other cultures and kindness while building their self-confidence to prepare them for college and the work force. She organized “Broadening Horizons in Morgan County,” a non-profit organization that provides students the opportunity to visit other countries. Bittorf has also served in many leadership and academic roles at the high school and middle school and has been active in the community.

Berkeley Springs High School Principal Mitch Nida commended Bittorf for her leadership and rapport with students and her outstanding performance in the classroom, as step-up administrator, English team leader and her classes’ state testing results in his county Teacher of the Year nomination letter.

Bittorf was just approved as the new Berkeley Springs High School Dean of Students at the August 15 Morgan County School Board meeting.

“We are very proud of Ms. Bittorf and all of her accomplishments. She has been very dedicated to our school and cares deeply for all of our students. The relationships that she has developed with her students have directly contributed to their success. She is very deserving of the West Virginia Teacher of the Year. We wish her the best of luck,” said Principal Nida.

The West Virginia Teacher of the Year will be announced during a September 18 ceremony at the Clay Center in Charleston. The state winner will represent West Virginia in the national Teacher of the Year competition.

The West Virginia Teacher of the Year program recognizes excellent teachers across the state and is one of the oldest Teacher of the Year programs in the nation.

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