Community mourns Jefferson High drama teacher

By Hans Fogle

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. – Students, faculty and administrators were mourning the death of Jefferson High School drama teacher Steve Glendenning on Wednesday.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call for a welfare check on Glendenning early Wednesday and arrived at the school to find him deceased.
Glendenning was the Jefferson County Teacher of the Year in 2012 and the West Virginia Thespians Theatre Teacher of the Year in 2008.

Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson said upcoming days will be devoted to helping Glendenning’s peers and students cope.

“We’re actually spending the afternoon working with and supporting our own faculty,” Gibson said Wednesday.

The school district’s crisis team will open the high school for grief counseling Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for students, staff and family members.

“We have an area set up for groups,” Gibson said. “We have rooms set up for individual counseling sessions for parents whose children may have known him.”

Glendenning, who began working in the Jefferson County school system in 1996 after graduating from Fairmont State University, devoted time to students outside the classroom, Gibson said.

“In some ways that pain resonates more deeply on both sides because we (teachers) are so symbiotic with our community.”

The community quickly began sharing condolences on social media.

“Completely unfathomable and tragic. Such a sad day. He will live on forever in the hearts of many,” wrote Jefferson County teacher Wendy Soloway Paris.

“Rest easy, G. You had such an incredible impact on so many students in our area,” posted Caitlin Santa Barbara.