Glen Daniel teacher a finalist in nationwide competition

Local - 4/4/2013 5:54 PM by Karen Franklin
"I can't imagine ever doing anything else," Everett Rodriguez told WOAY. "I've been groomed my entire life to do this."

Rodriguez is a music and theater teacher at Liberty High School in Glen Daniel, and now one of two finalists competing for a $10,000 prize for his students.

Rodriguez, who has been with the school for six year now, beat out competition from large cities in Pennsylvania and New York. He thinks the tight-knit communities of southern West Virginia propelled him.

"The response we got from West Virginia makes me rethink about how small exactly we are," he said. "We've had a lot of love and support from our community, friends, and neighbors."

The Great American Teach-Off is a contest focused on innovation, which makes Rodriguez a perfect candidate.
With the help of technology and nontraditional teaching, he and his students produce music on digital formats.

"They're collaborating, working together and thinking creatively," Rodriguez said. "We're very excited to do that. It's hard to pull them away and to get them to come to lunch sometimes or get them from projects."

A winner could be announced as early as Monday, and it's safe to say his students and his state will be cheering him on.

"Teacher and person, he's just an all around good guy," said sophomore Austin Toney. "You know, he makes everything about everybody else. If nothing were about him, he'd be fine with that."

Another student, Briannah Todd, agreed.

"It's something you don't see a lot," she told WOAY. "That a teacher loves his students that much, and he puts a lot into it."

People wishing to cast a ballot can vote for Rodriguez online here.


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