Return to Headlines

JCS Staff Celebrate Teacher and Serviceperson of the Year

Thorsell and Longerbeam  
Thorsell and Marcus     Longerbeam and Corbett


CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. –Katlin Thorsell and Sandra Longerbeam were selected as Teacher of the Year and Service Person of the Year, respectively, by their fellow Jefferson County Schools (JCS) staff members.


JCS staff members gathered at the Moose Lodge in Charles Town on April 5 to celebrate the contributions of all nominees. One teacher and one service person from each of the 17 schools in Jefferson County, as well as one service person from the school district's central office, maintenance department, and transportation department were nominated for the title. Jefferson County Sheriff Pete Dougherty spoke and presented special awards during the event. 


Among the attendees were school principals, JCS Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Patrick Blanc and members of the JCS Board of Education. 


 “These awards recognize the dedicated work ethic of our JCS staff and, more importantly, their emotional investment in developing nurturing relationships with children,” said Dr. Bondy Shay Gibson, JCS superintendent.  


Teacher of the year recipient, Katlin Thorsell, has served as an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at Washington High School for more than four years. She received her master’s of science degree in agriculture with an emphasis in agriculture and extension education from the Davis College School of Design and Community Development at West Virginia University.


Her involvement in agriculture was cultivated as a student at Charles Town Middle. During her time in high school, Thorsell’s 12th-grade advisor, Mr. Fincham, suggested that she become an agriculture teacher. To this day, Thorsell credits Fincham’s guidance that not only paved her career path, but also served as an example of the positive influence educators have on their students.


Serviceperson of the year recipient, Sandra Longerbeam, has been employed at Ranson Elementary School for 12 years, and as a JCS employee for 21 years. Currently, she serves as a kindergarten aide, paraprofessional, and an early childhood classroom assistant teacher. Always building an environment that creates an emotionally safe classroom, Longerbeam provides individual and small group instruction that address student needs across all content areas.


Her resume certainly paints the picture of her qualifications with certificates ranging from child development specialization to early childhood special needs inclusion. These accreditations and accolades have given Longerbeam the tools to continue her excellence as an educator in the classroom.


To learn more about Jefferson County Schools, visit



About Jefferson County Schools

The mission of Jefferson County Schools is: “Through excellence in teaching and learning, Jefferson County Schools will ensure that all students value themselves and others, contribute to their community and succeed in a global society.” Jefferson County Schools represents one of the top academic districts in the state of West Virginia. With 17 schools, including Jefferson High School, which was ranked sixth in the state in 2014 by U.S. News and World Report, the school district employs more than 1,100 staff members and enrolls more than 9,000 students. C.W. Shipley Elementary received the National Blue Ribbon Schools award in 2014. The district annually receives teacher grants for student programs and has an award-winning state middle school jazz band.


Visit to learn more about Jefferson County Schools.