FOSTER — On Thursday evening, June 5th, Susan Hottle was honorable named Boone County’s 2014-2015 “Teacher of the Year” for her outstanding dedication and excellence in educating young children.
Susan immediately stated without hesitation, “Kindergarten is the foundation of learning. It’s a way of life! Students deserve so many things such as a caring teacher, the best education, a safe place to be, and a great learning environment. But, mostly, all students need to know that they are truly loved!”
During her 33 year career, she has taught multiple grade levels such as preschool, kindergarten, first, second and fourth.
She is currently a Kindergarten Teacher at Brookview Elementary in Foster, West Virginia. Her wonderful Assistant is Mrs. Kathy Kinder from Ridgeview.
Susan was born and raised in the Wharton community in the coal fields of Boone County.
She holds her childhood memories close to her heart.
“Growing up in Wharton was a very special time,” she smiled and shared. “Family, Church, School and Friends were priority by everyone in the coal camp.”
Susan said,” Actually, we all lived the American Dream! Education, students learning, goal setting, being respectful, good character, consistency and responsibility were often discussed in my coal camp home.” The most important factor that influenced Susan in becoming a teacher was her wonderful parents. She shared that they were strong advocates and role models for children. Therefore, this led to Susan having a vision and great passion for education in the teaching profession.
She said her parents felt that she had something special to offer little people…a gift or talent to help them learn in a unique and magical way.
She is the daughter of Robert L. “Bob” Brown and the beloved Mary Sue Brown.
Susan and her mom taught Kindergarten together at Wharton Elementary for fourteen years. Together, as a team, they made a huge difference in the lives of many children. She said, ”Mom and I had an amazing time! We couldn’t teach the children enough!”
To this very day, they are still remembered for their heartfelt love and concern for all children.
Susan’s son, Robbie Pichardo who is an Environmental Attorney was a Kindergarten student during the time she and her Mom taught together.
Also, Susan taught her son again in the fourth grade at Wharton.
She sincerely said with a big smile, “Teaching with Mom and having Robbie with us was one of the best times in my life!” Her dad was a teacher, coach, BOE member, as well as a great community leader.
Susan was also fortunate enough to work with her sister, Julie McClure at Madison Elementary. They taught Kindergarten together there, as well.
As the evening came to a close, Susan dedicated her “Teacher of the Year” honorable Award and beautiful
plaque in memory of her loving Mom.
John Hudson, Superintendent of Boone County Schools stated to Susan that Mrs. Brown would be so proud of her accomplishments.
Susan stated, “All I ever wanted to do was to become a real teacher and offer and engage students in endless educational lessons and opportunities. I wanted children to be exposed to the kind of life including a whole lot of love that my parents provided for me and my sister! I want to pay it forward like I was raised. I am so proud of that!”
Susan and her husband Rich Hottle would like to sincerely express a big “Thank you,” to everyone for their generous support and thoughtful acts of kindness for Susan being selected as Boone County’s “Teacher of the Year.”
“Boone County Schools and the Boone County Board of Education are very proud of Susan Hottle and all the teacher and service personnel of the year candidates,” Superintendent Hudson said.
Other teacher candidates for the 2014 Teacher of the Year honor were Brianne Baker, Madison Middle School health teacher; Roger Burdette, Scott High School English and language arts teacher; Amy Casto, Sherman Elementary 2nd grade teacher; Kelly Griffith, Madison Elementary 1st grade teacher; Carrie Beth Hager, Jeffrey-Spencer Elementary School multi-categorical teacher; Shari Meadows, Nellis Elementary School 6th grade teacher; Caitlin Pcholinsky, Sherman Junior High School English and language arts teacher; and Loretta Thompson, Boone County Career Center health education teacher.
David Bower, Madison Middle School custodian, was named the “Service Personnel of the Year” winner. Bower was not able to be present at the ceremony.
In addition to Bower, Lana Barker, Ramage Elementary secretary; Teresa Butcher, Madison Elementary School instructional aide; Dolly Hager, Nellis Elementary School cafeteria manager; Dusty Harvey, Sherman Junior High School custodian; Donetta Legg, Brookview Elementary School, instructional aide; Ray Reed, Maintenance Department plumber; Winnie Seanze, Sherman Elementary School cafeteria manager; and Patricia Tawney, Wharton Elementary School cafeteria manager, were candidates for the award.
“Each of these people possesses exceptional skill and dedication to their jobs, students, schools and communities,” Hudson added. “They represent all of our great teachers and service personnel workers here in Boone County and we appreciate what these people do for the students, parents, schools and community.”