BUCKHANNON — Last Tuesday evening, the Board of Education held a regular session meeting at Buckhannon-Upshur High School and recognized the best of B-UHS. Upshur County educator Brent Kimble announced the Upshur Stars Awards. “We have the pleasure of recognizing some of our absolute best kids,” explained Kimble.
The first to be recognized was Alexandria ‘Alex’ Black, who wrote a poem after the death of her classmate Jenna Davis, who was recently killed in a tragic car accident. Black read the poem for the students that were unable to attend the funeral and before the varsity games held that week. Black has been recognized in showing great leadership and understanding of the needs of her school community. Mr. Randall Roy commended Black, stating, “She has blossomed. She is so kind and so considerate.”
Jessica Lane was also recognized with the prestigious US Award. Lane was selected as the 2019 Homecoming Queen and is the Youth Leadership America (YLA) President, which is the largest club at B-UHS. Kimble stated, “I could not do my job without good leadership of my students and Jessica Lane is by far an exceptional leader.”
Kimble announced Caitlyn Wendling as the next Upshur Star to be recognized. Wendling is the President of the Student Body, a YLA Officer, and she was also on the 2019 Homecoming Court. Recently, she sustained her state office as Student Council Representative. Kimble proclaimed, “Caitlyn makes student council go.” Wendling was notified of her official acceptance to West Virginia University during Dr. Gee’s recent visit to B-UHS, which she spearheaded.
Finally, Emma Reger was the last student to be recognized for her tremendous Advanced Placement success during the previous school year and her representation of B-UHS at the Governors Honors Academy over the summer. “Emma is by far one of our best products of the AP program. Emma is one of the best of the best,” explained Kimble.
Two educators from B-UHS were also recognized by the BOE during the meeting, Angie Westfall and Cheryl Cain. Westfall was noted as always being behind the scenes in the library, devoted to promoting learning, exploration, creativity, reading and teacher awareness. Westfall constantly assists teachers in finding activities for their students and engages students in projects of cooperation and leadership. B-UHS truly has a learning center due to the work of Westfall and the innovations she promotes.
Cain was presented as an incredibly hard worker who goes the extra mile to help her students and the school. Cain has devoted a great deal of time developing and organizing the Military Club at B-UHS and she has been instrumental in the B-UHS Alumni Wall. She also works on grants and tries to help the school community in any way she can. Cain was instrumental in planning and managing the school Veteran’s Day activities.
During the community recognition portion of the Upshur Stars Awards, Kenna Leonard and Vanessa Perkins were recognized for their hard work and dedication to the Upshur County BOE partnership with the Mountaineer Food Bank. Through this partnership, the backpack program is able to distribute 1,500 backpacks monthly. There is also a monthly drive-thru pantry program, where approximately 30,000 pounds of food is handed out to nearly 600 families in Upshur County each month.
Most recently, the Mountaineer Food Bank donated 70,000 pounds of brand-new clothing. The clothing amounted to approximately 3,000 items of young men’s designer clothing that was distributed to elementary and middle school students. Dr. Debra Harrison stated, “We cannot say enough to express the gratitude we feel for the impact that donation of brand-new clothing meant to our students.” The BOE recognized Brenda Thompson, Sister Katelynn Glines, Sister Chayce Weiman, Elder Durham Hendricks and Elder Bracken Beutler for their contribution of unpacking, sorting and distributing the clothing to the community.
Jodie Akers presented the final award of the night to Cpl. Rocky Hebb of the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department and Prevention Resource Officer of B-UHS. “Corporal Hebb promotes such a positive law enforcement presence in all of our schools in Upshur County,” Akers announced. She continued, “He is such a hard-working and multi-tasking officer and he really takes his job to heart, making sure students always have what they need and provides assistance in any way he can help.” Hebb has made home visits, met one-on-one with students, participated in trainings, worked games, and has done anything asked of him by the school system. His presence in the schools will be truly missed by all.
The next meeting of the Upshur County Board of Education will be held on November 19 at 6 p.m. at the Buckhannon Academy Elementary School. For continued updates follow The Record Delta.