CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Board of Education announced this year’s award winners for teacher, school service personnel and professional employee of the year.

The Teacher of the Year award was presented to Jodi Grimm, a sixth grade teacher at Elkview Middle School. Grimm was previously a fourth grade teacher, a Title I reading teacher and a middle school ELA teacher. Superintendent of Kanawha County Schools Dr. Tom Williams described her as being a loving and supportive educator to her students and other staff members.

“She not only supports them in the classroom but also in activities throughout the community,” said Williams. “She provides comfort and ease to her students when they’re transitioning from elementary to middle school, which is very tough.”

Grimm earned her Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a Master’s degree in reading at Marshall University.

“I am shocked and speechless,” Grimm said when she received the award. “I am incredibly honored.”

The Service Personnel of the Year is Susan Wiley from DuPont Middle School. She has served in Kanawha County Schools for more than 30 years as a school bus driver, clerk and most recently secretary at DuPont.

“She has led countless projects and fundraisers,” Williams said. “DuPont has been blessed to have Mrs. Susan Wiley as an employee.”

“I couldn’t do my job without the support of everyone here,” Wiley said with tears in her eyes. “DuPont is a wonderful place.”

The Professional Employee of the Year is Keith Vititoe, the district’s Executive Director of Safety and Security. Vititoe is responsible for the security of 23,000 students and around 4,000 employees. He previously spent 22 years with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, 18 years with SWAT with some of those years as the commander and 17 years as an FBI certified bomb technician.

“He works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and he is always at the other end of the phone,” said Williams.

Williams went on to see how much Vititoe has changed the culture of Kanawha County Schools when it comes to safety measures and school lockdowns.

“He changed our whole mindset,” Williams said. “If the day every comes in Kanawha County, and we pray that it doesn’t, our folks will be well trained because of him.”

Vititoe has been in some form of public service since he was 17. He hopes to wrap up his career in his current position.

“I’m truly honored and humbled at the same time,” Vititoe said.