Alumni Spotlight


Megan Diehl

Megan Diehl is a 2004 graduate of South Charleston High School. After graduating from SCHS, she received a bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in Public Administration from WV State University.  Megan currently works as the Director of Marketing and Communications for Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley.

When asked about her professional accomplishments, Megan said “With the majority of my career being spent in the public sector in state, county and city government, I'm thrilled to now have my dream career in the nonprofit sector. I currently lead the marketing department for the fastest growing Goodwill in the country. We serve 20 counties in West Virginia, and because of that I've been able to spend time in areas of my beautiful state that I had not before. The mission of Goodwill is so important, empowering others through the power of work, and I'm honored to be a small part of that puzzle. I promised myself many years ago that I would always be a West Virginian and I want to truly give back to the state that I love so much.

When asked about her favorite KCS teacher, Megan said “My English teacher in 8th and 9th grade was Ms. Pat Schrader. She had significant impact on me and my love for writing/story telling. Ms. Schrader cared for me and really instilled that mentorship that is so important. She passed away several years ago, but I have never forgot her.”

Megan also has some advice for current students, “You can always learn and grow, but don't forget that every action has a reaction. Set your goals and fight for them, and always remember no matter what is happening outside; there is at least one teacher/staff at your school that will go above and beyond for you. You just have to let them be there.”

She continued, “Show up and do the work. It may sound simple and cliché, but you will never have this chance again. You will not be able to go back and relive the moments that shape your future.”

Megan finished by saying, “Go Dunbar Bulldogs and SC Black Eagles! I'm thrilled my daughters (twin 3rd graders at Montrose Elementary) are future Black Eagles. It's so important that parents are involved in the community, make the time, and show up for our kids! There are some days I leave a 9-hour workday to go to a SC Little League Board Meeting after dropping my daughters off at dance class and all the while texting in the PTO group text. If we don't show up and do the work, who will?


Harley Gazza

Harley Gazza is a 2012 graduate of South Charleston High School. She currently works as a home maker for her three children.

When asked about her favorite KCS teacher, Harley said “One of my favorite staff members was Ms. Pat the bus driver, who is now my oldest child's bus driver.”

Harley also has some advice for current students, “Enjoy it while it lasts and be kind to one another.”


Bethany Porter

Bethany Porter is a 1997 graduate of South Charleston High School. After graduating from SCHS, she received a Doctorate degree in Audiology (AuD) from West Virginia University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marshall University. She currently works as an audiologist for The Hearing Place.

When asked about her professional accomplishments, Bethany said “I graduated with honors in Psychology from Marshall University and went on to be the first Doctorate of Audiology graduate at WVU. I am currently on the West Virginia Audiology Association board. I have worked at The Hearing Place with my dad for 17 years. He has been a great teacher and mentor and I have truly enjoyed the years that we have worked together.

When asked about her favorite KCS teacher, Bethany said “One of my favorite teachers was Mr. James Hamilton (6th grade teacher). He always encouraged us and never let us back down from challenges. He was stern but fair and he expected good work from us. School is hard and you need to be able to handle anything that is thrown your way.

Bethany also has some advice for current students, “Don't worry if you don't love the first thing you choose in college and don't give up on your education. My first degree was in Psychology, but I figured out that it was not what I was meant to do. It was hard to decide to keep going and start another field (Audiology) but it was worth it in the end and I love what I do.”

She continued, “Good attendance is important for students because it prepares you for starting good habits and showing up for future work. You always succeed better in life if you put in the effort.”


Amy Rothman Malone

Amy Rothman Malone is a 1997 graduate of South Charleston High School. After graduating from SCHS, she received a BA in microbiology and a Juris Doctor degree. She currently works as an attorney at Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC.

When asked about her professional accomplishments, Amy said “I am a Member of Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso. I represent doctors, nurses, and hospitals in medical malpractice cases. I have tried cases to verdict and have argued before the WV Supreme Court of Appeals.”

When asked about her favorite KCS teacher, Amy said “Ms. Triplett's anatomy and physiology class at SCHS fostered my interest in science and medicine. I still have my anatomy and physiology textbook from high school and refer to it from time to time in working up my cases. I wouldn't have developed a love for science if it wasn't for Ms. Triplett's class.

Jennifer also has some advice for current students, “Use this time in your life to determine what subjects interest you.” She continued, “Learning is compound and subjects build upon each other. Missing classes can have a domino effect on your ability to understand concepts.”


Jenny Ruddle

Jenny Ruddle is a 2012 graduate of South Charleston High School. After graduating from SCHS, she received a Master’s in Education from WVU and a  Leadership Certificate from WVSU. She currently works as an Algebra I teacher for Kanawha County Schools.

When asked about her professional accomplishments, Jenny said “I have spent 5 years teaching in Kanawha County - specifically the Sissonville area. I will get to watch and be a part of the graduation of the first class I ever taught. They graduate this year, so it is cool to see things come full circle with them. My first year teaching I was awarded Rookie Teacher of the Year by the Kanawha County Schools Principal's Association. I recently finished my leadership certificate and can't wait to use that when I choose to move into administration.”

When asked how KCS prepared her for life after graduation, Jenny said “KCS prepared me for life after graduation by offering dual credit classes my senior year. I was able to start WVU as a second semester freshman based on the numbers of credits I already had for college. Taking those college classes also gave me a taste of what was to come once I was a college student, so I didn't feel like I was completely blindsided by the change.”

She continued, “When I got to WVU I started as an engineering major. After a semester I switched to teaching. When anyone asks why I made the change, or why I chose to teach math, I always tell them because I felt we needed more math teachers like my 9th grade Geometry teacher, Mrs. Nanetta Jones. She never let me question myself and always gave me one-on-one help when needed. All I had to do was ask, and she was there to help. I knew I wanted to do the same, remind my students they could do the math, all they had to do was ask.”

Jenny also has some advice for current students, “ASK QUESTIONS! Whether it be questions about something in the classroom, out of the classroom, about the future, about their options, ASK! The more you know, the more confident you will feel about your answers. Know you can always ask someone, someone is always willing to help.

She continued, “Attendance is important for students to succeed because in order to learn, in order to ask questions, in order to participate, you must be present. I also think good attendance is "skill" for the future. You have to be present for your job, for your family in order to be successful.”

Jenny finished by saying, “Know your teachers are there for you! We want to be here everyday because of our students!”


Susan Sizemore

Susan Sizemore is an alumnus of Dunbar High School. After graduating, she attended the University of Charleston and UCLA Irvine. She currently works as a teacher at Shoals Elementary.

When asked about her professional accomplishments, Susan said “I was a non-traditional student. I started college after I put my last child in school. I worked as a social worker for 10 years before becoming a teacher. I also worked part time as a tutor for homebound students for 14 years. I plan on retiring in 1-2 years!

When asked about her favorite KCS teacher, Susan said “My favorite teacher was my 6th grade teacher from Tyler Elementary, Mrs. Sisco. She was the one who encouraged me to me a teacher. I am forever grateful and for her influence in my life.

Susan also has some advice for current students, “Even through adversity, never give up. Keep pushing yourself to continue your education. You cannot accomplish your dreams unless you finish what you have started. Good attendance is extremely important. Each day you are not there, you miss vital instruction of which you may never get again.”


Wendy Tomlin

Wendy Tomlin is a 1999 graduate of South Charleston High School. After graduating from SCHS, she received a Bachelors in Elementary Education K-6 with a specialization in Early Childhood and Master of Arts in Literacy Education from Marshall University. She currently works as a Title I Interventionist at Richmond Elementary.

When asked about her professional accomplishments, Wendy said “During my time at Marshall University Graduate college, I worked as a graduate assistant where I had the opportunity to be a part of a spring writing conference presented by the Central WV Writing Project. I am currently completing my 11th year at Richmond Elementary where I have taught multiple grade levels. During this time, I have served as a teacher mentor to five student teachers and have served in the role as a PLC facilitator for five years. I am currently a teacher leader for this school year.”

When asked about her favorite KCS teacher, Wendy said “There are two phenomenal teachers that played a major role in my educational experience. Susie Goode and Karen Wheeler had a major impact in my life as their love for reading and writing became a passion of my own. I have such heartfelt memories of their kindness, humor, and generosity. They always took time out to assist whenever I needed it in elementary school. It's wonderful today to still see Susie occasionally in the schools and even though Karen has passed, I will always carry her love for read-alouds just like she did.

Wendy also has some advice for current students, “There are a few things I always tell my students: Instead of telling yourself I can't, turn it into I can! It's all about having a positive attitude and believing in yourself. School can be such a fun, and engaging experience, but it's also what you make of it. Just know there are many teachers, including myself, that will go the extra mile just to make sure you leave school with some type of great memory to share.”

She continued, “Attendance can be very powerful in a child's education. By students being present each day, they are able to gain the necessary skills they need to succeed. Not only are students learning academically, but they are building social skills when they form relationships with their peers, teachers, and other school personnel. Being present means students are able to develop a daily routine, which helps improve their own sense of time management. Multiple absences can cause students to have stress because they begin to feel lost at school and get behind on classwork. The workload then doubles on the teachers in trying to get these students caught back up. Attendance means everything and families should share the importance of attendance at home as well.”

Wendy finished by saying, “My experience as a student in Kanawha County Schools is quite memorable. I'm proud that my own two children, Lilly and Nick are attending here as well. My hope is that they graduate with incredible memories that they can share with their own families someday.”


Sarah Train

Sarah Train is a 2007 graduate of South Charleston High School. After graduating from SCHS, she received a Doctorate in Pharmacy and a Doctorate in Medicine. She currently works as a Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellow physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/ Harvard Medical School.

When asked about her professional accomplishments, Sarah said “I played on the tennis team at West Virginia State University for two years when I got my prerequisites for pharmacy school, where we won the conference championship for Division II tennis. I then attended WVU for my Doctor of Pharmacy degree, where I graduated summa cum laude. After completing that degree, I continued my education at WVU for my Doctor of Medicine degree, where I was inducted into AOA honor’s society. I completed my residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School in 2020. I am now completing my fellowship in pulmonary/critical care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard. I recently gave birth to my beautiful daughter, Madison, who is my biggest accomplishment.

When asked how KCS prepared her for life after graduation, Sarah said “My early education in Kanawha County Schools set me up for success in all of my academic endeavors. Taking Ms. Triplett’s anatomy and physiology course at SCHS helped me find a passion for pathophysiology and ultimately medicine. Ms. Meadow’s English class challenged me to be a better writer and made me enjoy the process of writing. I loved Ms. Peters history classes, especially on the history of Holocaust. She taught all her classes with love and fostered such a safe, caring environment.

Sarah also has some advice for current students, “It’s a great time to learn about different careers by shadowing people who have jobs that interest you. You don’t need to know what you want to do while you are still in high school, and it’s better to have an open mind to learn about paths you may not have thought about. Each day at school is an opportunity to learn about something new, which can open a door to a new passion.”


Dr. Jerica Wesley

Dr. Jerica Wesley is a 2006 graduate of South Charleston High School. After graduating from SCHS, she received a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. She Currently works as an Assistant Professor, Counseling at Marshall University.

When asked about her professional accomplishments, Jerica said “I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, an Approved Licensed Professional Supervisor, holds a Professorial Student Support Certificate, and am a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.”

When asked about her favorite KCS teacher, Jerica said “Mrs. Cookie Miller was my school counselor and inspired me to become a counselor.

Jerica also has some advice for current students, “There is a brilliance inside you, how you choose to cultivate it is your offering to the world.

She continued, “Attendance creates routine which can enhance motivation, accountability, and academic success.


Carlton J. Wiley II

Carlton J. Wiley II is a 1998 graduate of South Charleston High School. After graduating from SCHS, he received an associate degree in CIT and is currently enrolled to complete his bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He currently works for Kanawha County Schools as a first-grade floating aide. He is also the current president of Dunbar Little League Baseball and Softball, and head baseball coach of Dunbar Middle school.

When asked about his professional accomplishments, Carlton said “I am a US Air Force veteran with an Air Force Achievement medal.”

When asked about his favorite KCS teacher, Carlton said “In my time in the KCS system my favorite teacher happened to be my mother, Francine Wiley. She was my band director throughout my junior high school days and instilled in me a work ethic that I still have to this day.”

Carlton also has some advice for current students, “Get rid of these two words from your vocabulary “I can’t” because you can do everything. All it takes is a little effort.”

He continued, “Students, your one and only job is to come to school and get your education. It’s just like working out in the real world. If you don’t go to work, you don’t get paid. Coming to school is setting the foundation for you to be model employees when your time is done.”


George Willis, MD

Dr. George Willis is a 1997 graduate of South Charleston High School. After graduating from SCHS, he received a BS in Biology from Duke University and a MD from the Marshall School of Medicine. He currently works as an Emergency Physician at the University of Texas San Antonio.

When asked about his professional accomplishments, George said “I played football for Duke for three years (I broke my collarbone in a car accident my senior year). I graduated as the first African American class president at Marshall School of Medicine. I completed an emergency medicine residency at University of Maryland where I was awarded the Teaching Resident of the Year.”

He continued, “I have gone on to win numerous teaching awards including the American College of Emergency Physicians National Junior Faculty Teaching Award and Emergency Medicine Resident’s Association Top 25 Under 45 Influencers in Emergency Medicine. I now serve as the Associate Residency Program Director at UT San Antonio’s Emergency Medicine Residency Program.”

When asked about his favorite KCS teacher, George said “Hands down the teachers at South Charleston inspired me the most to continue my pursuit of medicine. My teachers pushed me to go past what I was capable of, especially Mr. Booten in English and Mrs. Childress in Algebra 2.”

He continued, “My biggest inspiration for medicine was Mrs. Triplett. Her anatomy and physiology classes were the spark that pushed me not just into medicine but also emergency medicine. She would show us select episodes of “ER” and break down the anatomy and physiology of some of the disease processes patients were experiencing on the show. Despite the fact that I graduated 25 years ago, I still connect with some of my teachers from SCHS and thank them for not letting me settle for less than I was capable of. I don’t know if I would be a doctor today without them.”

George also has some advice for current students, “School is not as much about learning the material. Sure, it builds a foundation upon which you will eventually lay your work skills. But school is really about learning life skills. It’s learning how to deal with deadlines. Getting up in the morning to go to school just like you will have to get up in the morning to go to your job. Dealing with your bosses (teachers) who are pushing you to be your best. Having to call in sick and make up the work you missed. Take this into consideration when you think about how you don’t like school. Approach school like a job. I tell my kids that you practice like you play. Work hard in school and you will be more successful in your career.”

He finished by saying, “Attendance is important because it allows you to participate in discussion and most importantly ask questions. You can give an 8-year-old an algebra book and they could probably get most of the material. But the concepts won’t make sense. Teachers break down the concepts and make it easier to digest and then answers questions. Missing class almost forces the student to learn on their own. While the internet is available, that ability to ask questions in real time is gone.”