MILTON, WV (WOWK) — A teacher in our region recently won a big award in the Mountain State and is being put up for another very prestigious award on top of it.
The Milton Middle School auditorium was buzzing with excitement for Mr. Brian Casto’s big achievement: he is named the 2022 West Virginia Teacher of the Year.
“[It’s] surreal, because in April before all of this started I was just like every other teacher; we were trying to finish strong with all the craziness of the year,” Casto says.
Casto, a West Virginia Studies teacher, says he made a point last year to step up his game in spite of the many challenges teachers were facing to bring learning alive again.
“So like being stuck behind a computer screen kind of takes that joy away, so I try to make unique videos,” Casto says.
His videos focus on the history and beauty of West Virginia, and people around the state began to take notice.
“My videos not only helped me, but then I started posting them on Youtube and other teachers from the state started saying that they’re using my videos, and then the West Virginia Department of Education said can we use your videos for elementary school virtual school and it kind of just become a bigger thing than I ever thought it would be,” Casto says.
The school held a pep rally in his honor Thursday.
“The best part of Cabell County is our people. Mr. Casto exemplifies what it means to be a Cabell County public school employee providing the best education possible to our students, and we’re just ready for the rest of the state to see that as well,” says Dr. Ryan Saxe, superintendent of Cabell County Schools.
Students at Milton Middle School agree: this award is well-deserved.
“He’s always been a good teacher to me and he really helps out for a lot of things and he understands everything that happens,” says David Watts, an eighth-grade student of Mr. Casto.
“He’s able to combine the abilities of teaching, disciplining, also making it entertaining and fun all at the same time,” says Connor Prichard, an eighth-grade student of Mr. Casto.
On top of all this recognition, Casto is up a National Teacher of the Year award, as well.
“The emoji with the explosion coming out of the head comes to mind… It’d be great if I won National Teacher of the Year, but I mean even if it stops here, this has just been fantastic,” Casto says.
Casto says he’s happy to be able to bring this positive attention to Milton.