2024 Teacher and Service Person of the Year

Jefferson County Schools (JCS) is pleased to name its 2023-24 Teacher of the Year and Service Person of the Year. Katie Madrid of Wright Denny Intermediate School was named Teacher of the Year, and Cynthia Carper, a bus operator, was named Service Person of the Year. JCS announced both awards at its annual employee recognition banquet on April 25. 

Katie Madrid

Madrid is the music specialist at Wright Denny Intermediate School (WDIS) and serves on its Faculty Senate Leadership Team. As the music specialist, Madrid conducts the fourth and fifth-grade chorus, coordinates the West Virginia All-State Children's Chorus, and hosts the annual WDIS Talent Show. She also established the school's first ukelele program and created the Orff Instrumental Ensemble, which practices weekly and performs twice annually.  

WDIS Principal Chris Walter called Madrid an asset to the school and overall district. 

"Ms. Madrid's dedication to the profession of teaching makes her an invaluable role model for other teachers in our building and throughout the county."

Beyond the classroom, Madrid is actively involved in the Jefferson County 4-H program, which named her Alumni of the Year in 2022. As a native of Jefferson County, she believes in a personal and professional responsibility to give back to her community. 

"I am a proud product of Jefferson County Schools and now share with others the investment past educators placed in me," she said. "These distinguished teachers inspired and challenged me, so I strive to do the same every day." 

Cynthia CarperAs a West Virginia state-certified bus operator, Cynthia Carper shares in Madrid's commitment and responsibility to the JCS community. Carper includes pre and post-trip inspections among her most crucial duties in the safe transport of students to and from school and in her midday runs for students with special requirements. 

"Cynthia consistently goes above and beyond in maintaining the highest standards in the transportation of our students," said J.R. Hollen, JCS Director of Transportation. "Her punctuality, reliability, and meticulous attention to safety protocols ensure the well-being of every student entrusted in her care." 

Carper prioritizes her students' emotional well-being as much as their physical safety. 

"I strive to promote an environment of kindness and respect on my bus by demonstrating these actions to my students and families," she said. 

Carper is also certified in CPR and first aid and has completed every micro-credential certification the district offers. Her mother was a bus driver for 34 years and Carper has fond childhood memories of joining her on her routes.

"I've been on a bus since I was two years old," she said. "I love driving." 

Madrid and Carper are eligible to be named West Virginia's Teacher and Service Personnel of the Year at the West Virginia Department of Education's (WVDE) state recognition ceremony in September. The West Virginia Teacher of the Year program recognizes teachers of excellence, creating a network of inspirational and innovative educators. The School Service Personnel Employee of the Year program recognizes outstanding education support personnel for their contributions to their schools and communities.