Announcements / Events
Promise Scholarship Updates for Graduates and Rising Seniors: 🎓The West Virginia Higher Education recently approve several temporary changes to help students qualify for the merit-based Promise Scholarship.For 2021 graduating seniors, the standardized testing deadline to qualify for the Promise Scholarship has been extended from August 2021 to October 2021.For 2021 graduating seniors receiving the Promise Scholarship for the first time in 2021-22, the test requirements have been lowered:SATSAT composite score – 1080 (regularly 1100)SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score – 510 (regularly 530)SAT Math score – 510 (regularly 520)ACTACT composite score – 21 (regularly 22)ACT English score – 19 (regularly 20)ACT Reading score – 19 (regularly 20)ACT Science score – 19 (regularly 20)ACT Math score – 19 (regularly 20)
Students graduating in 2021 and 2022 will now qualify for super-scoring to achieve the minimum standardized testing scores required to qualify for the Promise Scholarship. Students can take their top scores from sub-sections of different SAT and ACT tests they’ve taken and combine them for a higher overall score.
Mercer County Schools’ May Profiles in Pedagogy honoree for secondary is Mrs. Haley Pettus from PikeView Middle School. Mrs. Pettus holds two bachelor's degrees, English Literature and English Education as well as a master’s degree in Special Education all from Concord University.
Mrs. Pettus thinks the best thing about being an English teacher is when her class is reading a novel together and the students beg for “just one more chapter”. Even students who don’t particularly love reading seem to find one novel they love throughout the year. Her class recently finished the first book in a series, and the students were fighting over the second book in her classroom library. Since most of them had already been checked out by other students, she read a few pages aloud for them. One student even suggested that the class read on Microsoft Teams together over the summer. She says, “Moments like this mean so much more to me than any test score ever could!”
One thing Mrs. Pettus thinks others don’t understand about being a teacher is that their minds literally never stop. “Our job doesn’t end when we leave the school in the afternoon; we spend our evenings and weekends thinking about how we are going to keep our students engaged will also grading papers.”
Teaching during a pandemic has taught Mrs. Pettus that forming positive relationships with students is even more important than originally thought. Mrs. Pettus says, “It was so difficult teaching students online at the beginning of the year because I didn’t know them at all. Once we formed a bond, it was much easier to keep them engaged during Teams meetings and on remote learning days.”
Mrs. Pettus’s advice to young people thinking about a career in education is to work hard on forming relationships and bonds with your students at the beginning of every school year. You can read every book on classroom management and enforce every single rule, but nothing works better than you and your students showing mutual respect for one another.
As a young student, Mrs. Pettus wasn’t the best student. “I wasn’t a very good student in middle school or the beginning of high school,” she says, “but I had an English teacher in 9th/10th grades who told me I should be in an honors class. This led me to believing in myself and working harder in all classes, but especially in English. She would let me read from her classroom library when I finished our class novel, and I felt so smart.”
Mrs. Pettus’s idea of the perfect school is one that is welcoming for all learning styles. Hands-on learning, group activities, and field trips would be used in combination with traditional learning to keep students engaged and excited about learning. A wide array of electives would be offered so that students could be exposed to different activities and find something that motivates them. In the perfect school, her classroom would also have cozy reading corners where students could read independently.
In her spare time, Mrs. Pettus loves spending time with her children, Emmett and Eli, and her husband, Cody. She loves to go on trips and see new things with them. Summer is her favorite because she gets to experience being a “Stay at Home Mom” for a couple of months and they make so many great memories together.
Please join us in celebrating Mrs. Haley Pettus as our May Profiles in Pedagogy honoree!
Mercer County Schools’ May Profiles in Pedagogy honoree for elementary is Mrs. Amber Calloway from Mercer County Early Learning Center. Mrs. Calloway received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Concord University.
Mrs. Calloway feels the best thing about being a Pre-K teacher is ensuring each student in her class has a memorable and meaningful initial experience with school and being responsible for setting the tone for a child’s educational experience for the next 13 years. “As a teacher,” she says, “you truly are a lifelong learner, so be flexible. Expect the unexpected by staying prepared so you don’t have to get ready.”
Her advice for those thinking of a career in education is if you’re truly passionate about teaching, do it! When you love your career, you won’t feel like you’re going to work every day. Your impact on this world through the next generation will withstand the test of time.
When she was a student, English was her favorite subject. “I love reading! And as crazy as it sounds, I loved writing essays, book reports, etc.!”
Mrs. Calloway’s idea of a perfect school is one where the classrooms are designed and completely transformed regularly to follow the students’ interests. A school climate that met the social, emotional and academic needs of the whole student every day and where every student had access to any tools necessary to make them successful.
When asked about what she likes to do outside of school, Mrs. Calloway said, “Jesus is my homeboy and little people are my jam, so basically I am active in my walk with Christ and I “mom” three amazing children. We have one gentle giant, Hulk, and a kitten, Tunechi.
Please join us in celebrating Mrs. Amber Calloway as our May Profiles in Pedagogy honoree!
Are You Eligible for an SAT Fee Waiver?
SAT fee waivers are available to low-income 11th and 12th grade students in the U.S. or U.S. territories. U.S. citizens living outside the country may be able to have test fees waived. The code is good for 2 Saturday administrations. SAT Subject Test fee waivers are available for students in grades 9–12.
You're eligible for fee waivers if you say "yes" to any of the following:
- You're enrolled in or eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
- Your annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
- You're enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., Federal TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).
- Your family receives public assistance.
- You live in federally subsidized public housing or a foster home, or are homeless.
- You are a ward of the state or an orphan.
Are you a teacher new to Mercer County Schools? Sign up now for New Teacher Academy! A $500 stipend and graduate credit hours are available through this program.