Meet the WVCTE Blogging Team
Jessica Salfia is the Co-Director and Executive Vice President of WVCTE and a teacher, writer, and activist. Her writing has appeared in the Charleston-Gazette Mail, West Virginia Living Magazine’s Blog, the WVCTE Best Practices Blog, and multiple volumes of the Anthology of Appalachian Writers. She was the winner of 2016 West Virginia Fiction Competition and recently had her poem, Rootbound, selected for the 2018-2019 Woman of Appalachia Project. She is the co-editor of the book 55 Strong: Inside the West Virginia Teachers’ Strike out now from Belt Publishing. Jessica currently is a teacher at Spring Mills High School in Martinsburg, West Virginia where she teaches Advanced Placement Language and Composition and Creative Writing and advises the Diversity Club and the Literary and Art magazine. When she’s not teaching, writing, or advocating for West Virginia and public education, you’ll find her in the woods with her three kids or paddling down a creek somewhere.
Karla Hilliard is a teacher and writer living in the Eastern Panhandle. She serves as the Co-Director and President of WVCTE. She is also the co-founder of the nonprofit More Than Addiction, whose mission is to humanize addiction. She is in her 15th year of teaching high school English and currently teaches English 11 Honors and Advanced Placement Literature and Composition, and mentors the Poetry Club at Spring Mills High School.
Karla is a contributing writer for www.aplithelp.com and loves hot coffee, homemade biscuits, and West Virginia. When she’s not teaching, she’s spending time with her friends and family.
Jessica Michael Bowman is a literacy coach for Berkeley County Schools, unabashed bibliophile, and advocate of lifelong literacy. When she’s not coaching teachers, teaching students, or blogging for WVCTE, she’s probably crying over a book. Aside from literacy, her other loves of life are her traveling with her family and adding to her music collection.
You can connect with her on Twitter @JMichaelBowman5.
Adrin Fisher teaches English 10 and English 12 at Fairmont Senior High School. When she’s not managing lively discussions, modeling assignments or conferencing with budding writers, you can find her hanging out with her kids, reading Billy Collins, or rifling through used books for her classroom library. She loves reading, the color green, and everything from Bach to classic rock.
You can follow her on Twitter @fisheradrin
Jeni Gearhart is a member of the WVCTE Executive committee and has been teaching at Hedgesville High School in Berkeley County for the past 7 years. She is a graduate of Grove City College in Western Pennsylvania. Though not a WV native, she loves to call this place her home, especially since recently becoming a first time homeowner. Currently she teaches AP English Language and 10th grade Honors. Jeni loves books and coffee and exploring new places. If given a million dollars, it would probably be spent buying more books, or perhaps a pet unicorn.
Liz Keiper teaches English 9, English 9 Honors, Newspaper, and Yearbook at Spring Mills High School in Berkeley County, WV. When she’s not dressing up in togas or running around her classroom with foam swords reenacting Shakespeare, she can be found enjoying the great outdoors, playing guitar, or adding to her rather out-of-control rubber duck collection.
You can follow her on Twitter @KeiperET1.
A 1999 graduate of Doddridge County High School, Toni Poling attended WVU’s 5-Year Teacher Education Program, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education. After graduating Cum Laude from WVU, Mrs. Poling taught for one-year each at both Doddridge County High School and Ritchie County High School before coming to Fairmont Senior in 2006 where she currently teaches AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, and serves in a number of leadership positions. In 2013, she achieved her National Board Certification, and in 2016 earned her certification in Public School Administration. In 2016, Toni Poling was awarded the Fairmont State University Professional Development School Partnership Excellence in Teaching Award, was named Fairmont Senior High School Teacher of the Year and Marion County Teacher of the Year. In 2017 Toni was honored as the West Virginia State Teacher of the Year and spent her year of service advocating for public education in the Mountain State.
A long time teacher of writing now calling Parkersburg High School home, Cheryl Stahle has taught grades 6- 12 with a focus on American Literature and Journalism. A fellow of the National Writing Project since 2002, Cheryl’s work with writing instruction totally evolved much to the joy of students who now read picture books in high school for mentor texts. Cheryl currently serves as the Co-Director of the Central West Virginia Writing Project where she works with school counties throughout the state on writing instruction and serves as an instructor for Marshall University’s graduate literacy education program. Cheryl is also the author of Slices of Life: The Art and Craft of Memoir Writing published by 12keys press.
Daniel Summers is a high school English teacher and Student Assistance Team Coordinator at University High School in Morgantown, WV. He believes he has two superpowers: teaching poetry and drinking his body weight in coffee weekly. He is from West Virginia, and while he doesn’t believe in ghosts, he is haunted none-the-less by the beauty of the place he calls home. It is his sincere hope that every student who enters his room leaves it appreciating stories and arguments a little more.