WVCTE Best Practices Blogging Team

Meet Our Team:

Jessica Salfia is a teacher, writer, and activist, currently teaching AP English Language and Composition and Creative Writing at Spring Mills High where she is also serves as the SMHS Diversity Committee chairperson.  Jessica is a Teacher Champion fellow with Educators for High Standards, an adjunct English professor at Shepherd University, and a writer of both fiction and poetry. She was the 2016 winner of the WV Fiction Competition, selected by Charles Frazier.  Jessica was the 2016 Berkeley County Teacher of the Year, and is the current President of the West Virginia Council of Teachers of English.  She and her husband have three children, and make their home in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

Karla Hilliard is the Executive Vice President of WVCTE. She teaches AP Literature and Composition and STEAM Academy Honors English 10 at Spring Mills High School. She is a contributing writer on the blog Moving Writers, a site dedicated to guiding and inspiring teachers in their writing instruction. Karla is Teacher Champion fellow with Educators for High Standards and advocates for high standards, teacher collegiality, and high quality professional development. Karla lives in Martinsburg with her husband and two young daughters, who both hope to one day grow up to be teachers. You can follow Karla on Twitter @karlahilliard and learn more about her classroom at www.hilliardsclass.com

Jeni Gearhart is a member of the WVCTE executive committee. She teaches 10 Honors English and AP English Language at Hedgesville High School in Berkeley County. Originally from Western PA, Jeni loves West Virginia and has taught all four years of her teaching career in the Wild and Wonderful state. She is not a hipster, but adamantly proclaims that she liked coloring books before they were cool. When not wandering the internet for new teaching ideas or grading papers, Jeni likes to drink coffee and devour good books.

Dustin Hixenbaugh is an Assistant Professor of English at Bethany College, where he teaches classes in pedagogy, composition, and ethnic and world literature. He got his start teaching ninth- and twelfth-grade English Language Arts in La Joya, Texas, a small town on the US-Mexican border. In 2009, La Joya Independent School District named him Teacher of the Year. Since then, he has worked as an instructional coach and summer school coordinator in several secondary schools in the Houston area and completed a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. He lives in Bethany with his husband, son, and dog. His “extracurricular” interests include comic books, country music, and eating too much ice cream.

MK Jarvis teaches English to pernicious and suspicious 7th graders at Dunbar Middle School in Dunbar, West Virginia. She loves reading, writing, and inspiring young people, especially pernicious and suspicious 7th graders, to love reading and writing.  In her spare time, she solves mysteries and writes mysteries and hopes to be a detective in her next life.

Shana Karnes teaches sophomore, junior, and senior preservice teachers at West Virginia University.  She finds joy in all things learning, love, and literature as she teaches, mothers, and sings her way through life.  Follow Shana on Twitter at @litreader or find more of her writing about secondary readers-writers workshop at Three Teachers Talk.

Elizabeth Keiper teaches English 9, English 9 Honors, Newspaper/Journalism, and Yearbook at Spring Mills High School in Martinsburg, West Virginia. When she’s not in the classroom, she can usually be spotted hiking, hanging out with her youth group gals, or adding to her rather large rubber duck collection.

Toni M. Poling is a National Board Certified Teacher at Fairmont Senior High School in Marion County where she teaches AP English Language and AP English Literature to juniors and seniors.  Toni also serves as the Faculty Senate President, HSTW Site Coordinator, and PDS Coordinator for both WVU and FSU at her school.  A 13-year teaching veteran, Toni is currently serving as the 2017 WV Teacher of the Year. Toni and her husband, Eric, reside in Clarksburg with their son, Isaiah, and their two cats, Bella and Daisy (yes, she was named after The Great Gatsby).

Want to write with us? 

Dear English Teachers of West Virginia,

We are a group of passionate teachers who are committed to providing our students with the highest quality instruction and most valuable learning experience we can offer. We believe English teachers throughout our state have a story to tell, expertise to share, and the ability to change and shape the lives of our students. 

We believe when teachers are connected, have a voice, and are plugged in, students benefit. WVCTE provides teachers a professional experience that inspires greatness, so they can reach their students in ways that result in learning that matters and endures.   

Please join us in uniting West Virginia educators. 

Let’s inspire greatness together. 

WVCTE Executive Committee