Bench to memorialize beloved swim coach


BUCKHANNON – In remembering a beloved classmate, members of the Buckhannon-Upshur High School Class made a request before the Upshur County Commission to have a memorial bench placed at the pool.

A motion was unanimously carried by the Upshur County Commission, on March 21, 2019, to place a memorial bench at the Upshur County Pool in honor of the late Tappan William Squires.

Tappan Squires, Buckhannon High School gym teacher and swim coach, passed away Monday, Dec. 31, 2018.

She was highly regarded in the community for her dedication in promoting physical health and was especially embraced by her students at Buckhannon Upshur High School.

She graduated from Buckhannon-Upshur High School in 1976. She went on to attend West Virginia University’s School of Physical Education and graduated in 1980; she later completed master’s degrees in Special Education in 1989 and School Health Education in 1998.

Tappan began working in the Upshur County School system in 1985 in special education and later physical education. She coached various sports in her career including women’s basketball and swimming as well as volunteered at the youth levels for swimming and soccer. Tappan committed her life to promoting physical and mental health through her passion for students and adults in her community. She was an original member of the B-UHS Hall of Fame Committee, served as Student Council Advisor, and was the department chair for the Physical Education and Driver’s Education department at B-UHS. She was named B-UHS Teacher of the Year in 1999-2000 and 2017-2018. 

Jack L. Reger, on behalf of the Buckhannon Upshur High School class of 1976, requested the commission to allow the placement of the memorial bench. All costs associated with the acquisition and placement of the bench will be defrayed by Tappan’s close friends and acquaintances. An exact location for the bench placement has yet to be determined.

A subsequent motion was unanimously carried that requested permission for use of the Upshur County Pool on June 1, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for participants in “Laps for Taps”.

Laps for Taps is a fundraiser which will be held in honor of Tappan Williams Squires. The money raised will be donated to the Catherine “Splash” Williams Scholarship Fund.

It was determined that a lifeguard and insurance for the event will be provided in advance.

Catherine “Splash” Williams was Tappan’s mother and instrumental in getting the first Olympic sized swimming pool in West Virginia. It is located here in Buckhannon. She also was a teacher and advocate for physical education in many facets, of which swimming was most notable.

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