Two Webster County High School alumni have been awarded the Anita Hess-Pugh Future Educator Scholarship. WCHS Class of 2019 graduate Tanya Hammons and WCHS Class of 2014 and West Virginia University Class of 2019 graduate Samantha Stout received the scholarships at WCHS’ annual senior awards day. The scholarship, managed and endowed by the Webster County Education Association, will provide Hammons and Stout each with a $500 scholarship.
Hammons starts Davis and Elkins College in August and is planning to major in secondary education with an emphasis on chemistry and math. Hammons credits several of her high school teachers including Mr. Mary Miller, Mr. Ken Johnson, Mrs. Debbie Dean, and SFC Dwayne McClung for really helping to guide her to the teaching field. Hammons says that even before high school, she’s always been interested in teaching. “As a young kid, I always said I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. I was never sure why, but I knew I wanted to be a teacher.” She said, ‘teachers get to influence so many people, teens, and children. In my eyes, being a teacher of worth the journey. You get to say that you taught someone something almost every day. You can help people for the better,” Hammons said. She has also been active in Webster County High School JROTC, marching band, National Honor Society, and other groups.
Samantha Stout graduated from WCHS in 2014 and recently completed her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at West Virginia University and will begin her master’s degree in school counseling there in the fall. Stout said that she hadn’t really considered school counseling as a possibility until well into her undergraduate education when a professor in WVU’s school counseling program came to talk to her class. “When I heard these words, I thought of my placement school, as well as my hometown school in Webster County; there is an abundance of children that need not only a safe place, but a safe person. An education career is not a path that someone takes to make a ton of money, and this is why I believe that teaching and school counseling must be a calling. I know that from a young age, I was being called to this path.” While at WVU, Stout has also coached students at the West Virginia Gymnastics Training Center and has been active in a variety of events at her church’s campus ministry.
The Anita Hess-Pugh Future Educator Scholarship is unique because it’s funded almost entirely by current Webster County teachers and staff. “This is a way for us to give back to our students and help encourage our best and brightest to consider the teaching profession as a career,” said Webster County Education Association President Jonas Knotts. “We also hope that this scholarship will allow Webster County to grow its own teachers. Hopefully these motivated kids will come back here to teach and raise families,” said Knotts.
The scholarship is named in honor of long-time Webster County educator Anita Hess-Pugh. Ms. Pugh taught at every school in Webster County and left a mark on her students and the community that continues to this day. Her students continue to fondly reminisce about the support, kindness, and nurturing she gave them. Ms. Pugh lost her battle with cancer several years ago.
Anyone interested in contributing to the scholarship endowment can send contributions to:
Webster County Education Association
One Highlander Drive
Upperglade, WV 26266
Checks need to be made out to: Webster County Education Association with Scholarship Endowment on the memo line. The WCEA appreciates the Webster County Board of Education for allowing the payroll deduction option and the central office staff for handling payroll deduction logistics.