West Virginia Wrestling


Dr. William A. Welker, a 1965 graduate of Shamokin High School, was recently been selected as WTRF-TV's (Wheeling, WV) 2009 March Teacher of the Month Apple award winner. His interview with news anchor Stacy Rich discussed his career, which spans five decades, and his love for teaching. The WTRF-TV award is sponsored by Wheeling Hospital.

Welker has also been selected by the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce as the "2009 Teacher of the Year," along with two other area teachers. He received his award at the Chamber's April 3rd banquet. Along with this recognition comes a responsibility; Dr. Welker will be the Grand Marshal for Wheeling's 2009 Annual Perkins Restaurant and Bakery Fantasy of Lights Christmas parade in November.

According to Joselyn King of the News-Register, Welker said, "The secret to a long teaching life is possessing a great sense of humor. When I see the kids laugh, it makes my day.

Dr. Bill Welker (Lt.) receiving his "2009 Teacher of the Year" award from Terry Sterling (Rt.), President of the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce.

He compares teaching to riding a rollercoaster. "At first you're a little scared, but in the end you wouldn't have missed for the world."

Welker will be retiring this June, which will complete his 40th year as a classroom teacher. He has taught at Warwood Junior High School since 1976 (33 years). In fact, he is the last teacher of the original Warwood Junior High School staff to retire.

Welker also taught in the inter-city schools of Pittsburgh and at Wheeling Central Catholic High School.

During his tenure at Warwood, Welker developed an incentive and competitive reading program, utilizing controlled readers, a basic skills reading program, and has individually tutored many of our students to be successful readers.

Welker was the school's first "Dean of Students" from 1991 until 2000. But his love has always been the classroom.

On the athletic front, Dr. Welker has coached football, wrestling, and track. In fact, he served as 7th grade football coach last fall, and his players had a winning record. Their final game at home was won in the last 10 seconds. It was a thrilling ending to the season. He is now coaching track and enjoying it very much.

Welker has said many times, "I knew the first year I began teaching at Warwood that I wanted to end my career here. God has blessed me, and I thank the parents and grandparents for allowing me to educate their children for four decades. It has been a wonderful experience I will never, ever forget. I plan to visit often."

Principal M. Andy Garber stated, "Dr. Welker has dedicated his life to educating young people about reading and sports, but most importantly about life."

A 1965 graduate of Shamokin (PA) High School, Bill Welker was a 3-time Sectional and District champ, 2-time Regional titlist, a PIAA state champ (1963) and state runner-up (1965). He held the old Greyhound record for most wins - 83.

Welker earned his BS and Master degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, and holds a doctorate in education from West Virginia University.

Welker and his lovely wife Peggy have four children and 12 grandchildren. They reside in Wheeling.

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