Wheeling Park High School teacher Morgan Bayes has been named as the Ohio Valley African American Student Association (OVAASA) Wanda C. Brown African American Teacher of the Year.
Bayes was named as the winner at the annual OVAASA banquet on May 11. OVAASA Co-founder Ron Scott Jr. said Bayes was nominated along with candidates from schools throughout the Ohio Valley. Scott said he believes Bayes was an excellent selection to win the award.
“’Determination’ and ‘resilient’ were the qualities most often used to describe Morgan,” he said. “She is a motivator, and she is dynamic. People don’t know that until they engage her. Morgan is a person that students can go to for answers, and she will always be there for them.”
Bayes is a special education Math teacher and the REAP Coordinator at Wheeling Park. She was a volunteer tutor at Woodsdale Elementary School, where her children attended, before she became an Ohio County Schools substitute in 2015. She became a full-time special education science teacher at Wheeling Park in 2017. Bayes has since transitioned to teaching math in the SUCCEED Department at Wheeling Park.
Bayes earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from The Ohio State University. She lives in Wheeling with her husband, Travis, and sons, Azariah, who is graduating Sunday from Wheeling Park, and, Japeth, who will soon be a Patriot junior.
Bayes said she enjoys being a teacher at Wheeling Park High School, and she appreciates the opportunities made available to the school’s students, including her two sons. Ohio County Schools Superintendent Kimberly Miller was principal of Woodsdale Elementary School when Bayes volunteered there as a tutor. Bayes thanked Miller for encouraging her to earn her West Virginia teaching certificate and pursue a full-time education career in Ohio County Schools. Bayes is also a cancer survivor.
Wanda C. Brown passed away in 2019. She was a graduate of West Liberty State College and West Virginia University. Brown retired from Ohio County Schools after teaching at Clay Elementary School for more than 23 years. She was member of the National Honor Society while in high school, and the “Who’s Who Among American High School and College Students.” Brown is survived by her husband and West Virginia NAACP President Owens Brown who served as a West Virginia senator from 2021-2022.