CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The state Academy of Science named a third-grade West Teays Elementary School teacher its Science Teacher of the Year at its annual meeting last week.Barbara Lavon "Tootie" Black, who has taught 17 years, has a bachelor's degree in elementary education from West Virginia State University and a master's degree from Marshall University, according to a news release from the state Higher Education Policy Commission."All children deserve an education that will prepare them for a successful and rewarding life," Black said after receiving the award."I believe students should be actively involved in their own learning. So I captivate their interests by providing a world of science, such as raising trout, hissing cockroaches, a guinea pig, tarantula, crayfish and greenhouse projects to get them engaged," she said.The recognition included, among other things, a $300 stipend.The award recognizes a science teacher who inspires and makes a significant impact in the lives of students, the release states. Black was selected via statewide nominations.The West Virginia Academy of Science is an organization of scientists and science faculty from around the state.