BUCKHANNON — During the Upshur County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, several Upshur STARS were celebrated and awarded by teachers, students, Board members, and staff.
Kicking off the evening, Upshur County’s Teacher of the Year Michael Wilson, and West Virginia’s Teacher of the Year Erin Anderson welcomed students, families and staff members to the 2021-2022 school year with words of encouragement.
Mr. Wilson, teacher at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, began, “As we reflect on how we start the school year, we look at the excitement that we’ve been seeing for the last five days. I think that gives us the opportunity to see the importance of being in our buildings.” Wilson continued, “The impact that our teachers make isn’t something you can get off a computer, but you can within the presence of the school. I’m thankful we have the opportunity to be housed in the buildings this year with our students.”
Mrs. Anderson followed, sharing her experiences learning from and connecting with her fellow state teachers of the year. She spoke of one lesson in particular she recently learned from her new teacher friend from Wyoming—everyone has a backpack. “We all have backpacks that we carry. Each and every one of us has a backpack. Students have them; adults have them. Your experiences are in there. Good and bad, old and new; some backpacks are heavy, some back packs are light,” Anderson described of her lesson learned as she made her point. “Some things in your backpacks are visible, but most of what’s in your backpack won’t be seen unless you open it or share the contents of your backpack with someone… After thinking about what’s in my backpack, I can see the importance of listening and learning about my students… I am encouraged to build trust, build community, and build respect by allowing my students to unpack their backpacks.”
Recognizing students with Upshur Art Awards, Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School art teacher Sherri Butler commended Colton Smith, Aden McCartney, and Peyton Depew on their outstanding artwork. Their talent is currently showcased at the BOE office, where all visitors can see the pieces on display.
Next, Quinten Oldaker, member of the UCS Technology department, was given an Upshur Stars Award for becoming a certified Apple Learning Coach. After many classes, self learning, and in-depth lessons, Oldaker is now better equipped to assist and teach students and staff.
Mr. Joe Hymes, one of B-UHS’s FFA advisors, congratulated a number of his students for applying and receiving their FFA State Degree. Confirmed in July, the following students were candidates and recipients of their degree: Brandon Carpenter, Isaac Robinson, Devin Black, Kaitlyn Evans, Amberle Ward, and McKenzie Gross. Hymes added that, during the first week of school, students put in a great deal of work on the school’s greenhouse, equipping the facility with brand new flooring.
Following, Dr. Jeff Harvey recognized Upshur County School’s three Prevention Resource Officers and thanked them, along with the Board, for their diligent and appreciated work. PRO Officers Dewayne Linger, Seth Cutright and Mike Coffman were awarded and commended. B-UMS PRO Seth Cutright will be leaving the department at the end of August, and the vacancy will reportedly be filled by recently retired West Virginia State Police Cpl. T.A. Menendez.
Beginning individual school reports and assessments, the next BOE meeting will take place at Rock Cave Elementary School on September 14 at 6:00 p.m.