Erin Sponaugle is in her 15th year of teaching. She has been teaching 5th grade for 13 of those years at Tomahawk Intermediate School. Erin is a graduate of Shepherd University, West Virginia University, and is a National Board Certified teacher. In 2014, Erin was named the West Virginia Teacher of the Year, an adventure that took her to schools and colleges across the state, as well as to the White House to meet the president. She has lived her entire life 90 minutes from the nation's capital in Martinsburg, West Virginia, where she resides today with her husband.
In 2017, Erin founded Next Chapter Press as a means to begin writing and illustrating children's books. Although not a trained artist, she has always enjoyed drawing as a pastime. The Adventures of Berkeley the Bear is her first children's book. It is based on the children's travel blog she maintained during her tenure as the West Virginia Teacher of the Year.
The Adventures of Berkeley the Bear
Children's Picture Book
Berkeley is a black bear living in the Monongahela Forest with his Sugar Maple Friends. He is content to represent his beloved state of West Virginia from his forest home, until the day his favorite park rangers ask him to be the state travel bear. Berkeley learns to have confidence in his abilities as he tries new things traveling the Mountain State, introducing children to the most beautiful and historic places in West Virginia. His Sugar Maple Friends - each representing a state symbol and county in West Virginia - are there to support Berkeley each step of the way. Erin Sponaugle, the 2014 West Virginia Teacher of the Year, uses an endearing storyline and full page illustrations to instill the values of state pride, friendship, and self confidence in young readers.