William Reaser was born into a large blended family in Ritchie County. His step-father worked for the Department of Highways. With such a large family to support, money for day to day life was scarce and left little room to consider college. However, Reaser was an apt student and a hard worker and was able to attend West Virginia University and eventually obtained a masters degree.
Following his education, Reaser returned to Ritchie County as a teacher at Harrisville High School, moving to RitchieCounty High School when the smaller, local high schools consolidated. Conaway asserts that Reaser was one of the top vo-ag teachers in the state. Conaway explained that she created this scholarship because of her admiration of Reaser for coming from nothing, earning scholarships and returning to his home community to teach.