Webster County Education Association is Supporting the Next Generation of Professional Educators
Professional educators and support staff across Webster County are doing their part to support future educators in the county. The Anita Hess-Pugh Future Educators Scholarship, managed and endowed by the Webster County Education Association, provides a minimum of one $500 scholarship to a Webster County High School senior planning to major in teacher education or a related student support program, such as school counseling, at a West Virginia institution of higher education.
“This scholarship is a way for current educators and support professionals to support and encourage students to major in teacher education. Hopefully it will help to ease the severe teacher shortage that West Virginia and Webster County are facing,” said WCEA President Jonas Knotts. The scholarship is also unique in that is largely funded and endowed by current Webster County teachers, service personnel, and staff. “Over 40 school system employees across the county have signed up to have $2 dollars per paycheck deducted to fund the scholarship endowment. We have also had several employees opt to give generous one-time donations. The payroll deduction option gives the endowment stability and hopefully will allow for more and larger scholarships to be awarded,” said Knotts.
West Virginia is currently in the midst of a chronic shortage of qualified teachers and the shortage is even more acute in Webster County. At a recent board of education meeting, it was mentioned that roughly 22 teachers and professional staff countywide are eligible for retirement. This is coupled with many current teachers and new teacher-graduates leaving the state for better employment opportunities in neighboring states. The Anita Hess-Pugh Future Educators Scholarship not only hopes to support high school students considering teaching, but also to also help keep them in West Virginia.
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.
Students interested in applying for the scholarship can get an application from the counselors’ office at WCHS. The application deadline is April 1st. 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.
The Anita Hess-Pugh Future Educators Scholarship Fund is managed solely by the Webster County Education Association, an affiliate of the West Virginia Education Association and National Education Association. The Webster County Board of Education is not responsible for the administration, management, or awarding of the fund.