BOE meeting celebrates Upshur Stars and more


ROCK CAVE — Upshur Stars were recognized at the last Upshur County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, September 13 at the Rock Cave Elementary School (RCES). In addition to the Upshur Stars recognition, an official swearing in ceremony took place for the recently appointed interim superintendent and interim assistant superintendent.

Students honored with an Upshur Star included Charlotte Davis, Caroline Arey, Wyatt Collins, Jackson Marteney, Lawson Bickel, Ilias Lee and Payden Lane.

Davis was nominated by RCES Pre-K Teacher Jill Stemple. Stemple’s commented, “Charlotte has been following PAX rules within our classroom. She followed the PAX signal for quiet, walks quietly in our hallways, listens for instructions and is kind to others.”

Arey was nominated by RCES Kindergarten Teacher Samantha Gainer. “Caroline Arey is my PAX lead of the month. She exudes all the traits of a PAX leader. She is kind, caring and on task all the time. She sets a wonderful example for all students in kindergarten,” shared Gainer.

Collins was nominated by RCES First Grade Teacher Pamela Hissam. “Wyatt Collins is the first grade PAX leader for August. Wyatt is always prepared and ready to learn. He is a good friend to others and makes good choices. Wyatt is a PAX leader!” as noted by Hissam. 

Bickel was nominated by RCES Third Grade Teacher Nicky Smith. Smith’s comments about Bickel were, “Lawson has been an absolute joy to have in my classroom this year. From day one, he exuded all the behaviors of a model student. Not only does he listen, follow directions and always do his best academically, but he is also a great help to me and other students. He never hesitates to help even before he is asked. I will often drop something or miss making something in the trash can and Lawson is there before I even have a chance to pick it up myself! Lawson is an amazing student and it’s never too early to recognize greatness! I cannot wait to see all he achieves this year.”

Lee was nominated by RCES Fourth Grade Teacher Sheila Reynolds. Reynolds comments of Lee were, “Ilias is a conscientious, hardworking and dedicated learner. He is kind and is willing to help others in his class. He follows the PAX Vision that we created together in class. He demonstrates self-control and takes ownership for his behaviors. I love how he shows excitement for learning. Ilias always brightens the classroom with his smiles and kind words. He is a pleasure to have in class. He leads by example. Way to go Ilias! I am so proud of you!”

Lane was nominated by RCES Fifth Grade Teacher Alana Rennix. “I am truly honored to recommend Payden Lane as not only a PAX leader, but also an Upshur Star. Payden represents herself well as a devoted student that is committed to learning. Payden is also a leader in our classroom and our entire school. Each day I watch as Payden goes out of her way to help others from the smallest to the largest acts of service. Payden never asks for acknowledgement, but instead performs these deeds from the kindness of her own heart. I am constantly inspired by her hard work and dedication. Outside of the classroom Payden is an athlete that plays soccer competitively. As a retired player myself, I know how hard it is to be discipline at practice after a long day at school, but I am sure she does it well. I believe that she loves to draw and is a very talented artist. On top of everything else, Payden proudly helps with announcements each morning. I can always count on her bright smile to make my day and I love being her teacher very much,” shared Rennix.

Following the students recognition, teachers were also recognized. Nicky Smith, Third Grade Teacher at RCES, was nominated by Samantha Gainer, RCES Kindergarten Teacher. Gainer shared, “Mrs. Smith is an extraordinary teacher. She takes the time and effort to build very strong and positive relationships with her students. Her students can attest to this because they come back to see her for years to come. She has made a huge impact on every student she has had in class. Not only does she make huge efforts to build relationships with her students, but she also does the same for her co-workers. She always displays a positive attitude and genuine happiness when she first walks in and that is contagious for both students and staff. As her co-worker, I strive to be like her every day. She is committed to this career and the countless hours she spends of her own time is proof of that. I can’t wait for my son to have her as a teacher!”

Hannah Lively, Art and PE teacher at RCES, was nominated by Stemple. Stemple comments on Lively were, “Mrs. Lively was the Upshur County Favorite Teacher of the Year for The Record Delta. She always goes out of her way to help students and staff at RCES. She is the faculty senate president and is always willing to help set up the gum for special events at our school. We appreciate you!”

Stemple also nominated the RCES Relay for Life Team, which includes Mrs. Stemple, Mrs. Carpenter and family, Mrs. Natasha Davis, Mrs. Ashley Arnold and students Kooper Arnold, Jaxon Arnold, Kaitlyn Davis, Caroline Davis and Charlotte Davis. Stemple’s comments on Relay for Life Team included, “Congratulations to the Rock Cave Relay for Life team for participating in the annual event held on July 16. Our team was presented with the Rising Star award for raising over $1,000. Our school won first place in campsite competition with matching t-shirts, hats and an amazing display. We also placed first place is total number of laps walked and Kaitlyn Davis tied for the walker with the most laps. Our team is looking forward to participating again next year.”

In addition to the Upshur Stars as noted above, Upshur County Schools’ Interim Superintendent of Dr. Debra Harrison and Interim Assistant Superintendent Melinda Stewart were officially sworn into duty by Judge Jacob E. Reger.

Both Dr. Harrison and Mrs. Stewart took their oaths of office with Judge Reger presiding. This ceremony marks the officiality of Dr. Harrison and Mrs. Stewart’s roles within the Upshur County Board of Education.

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