BOE recognizes Upshur Stars; approves personnel moves

BUCKHANNON — All members of the Upshur County Board of Education were present for their regular meeting Tuesday evening.

Board members and all attendees were welcomed by Buckhannon-Upshur High School student Beth O’Neill, who sang the National Anthem to begin the evening.

The Board recognized several Upshur Stars for their outstanding accomplishments and talents. First, was Allison Andrews, who was one of 22 students in West Virginia selected to attend the STEM Summer Camp, PING (Physics Inspiring the Next Generation) for 9th and 10th grade students.

Next, Harlee Gillum and Seneca Howell were recognized for completing the WV Governor’s Learning Academy, as well as Cameron Zuliani, Caden Andrick, and Beth O’Neill who attended the Governor’s Honor Academy and spent time on the Marshall University Campus.

B-U High School’s FFA Team was also recognized by their advisors Joe Hymes and Allyson Lewis, who trained their Livestock Team during the last weeks of Summer Learning Academy. These students competed in the State Competition, showing and assessing livestock, where they each showed great success in their fields. Awards were given to Lana Cobb, Emily Russel, Kaitlyn Evans, Savannah Reed, Isaac Kimble, and Emily Evans.

Following Upshur highlights and awards, the Board received brief reports from each department. Beginning with financials, Jeff Perkins reported July’s expenses and payments, and the status of each budget. Perkins opened the floor for a vote on re-hiring the Board’s auditor for the next 3 years. The Board voted unanimously to keep David Howell.

Next, a facilities update was given by Tim Derico, who informed the Board of several ongoing paving projects, fencing contracts for playgrounds, and the status of several summer projects coming to an end. He added information on several compressor failures with the HVAC system at four elementary schools. As they are still under warranty, the department plans to access their functionality to fix the problems.

Quinten Oldaker then provided a brief technology update, explaining the process of re-distributing iPad devices to each student for the upcoming school year. In addition, Upshur County Schools reportedly had a successful training day with Apple Professional Specialists, who gave dozens of tips and tricks to faculty and staff to better their Apple knowledge.

Following, Jody Johnson offered a Student Achievement update, notifying the Board that state test scores have been reported back, and are waiting to be accessed by her department. As school has almost returned, Johnson introduced Stacey Marteney who will serve as Upshur Schools Virtual Learning Coordinator. Mrs. Johnson and Ms. Stewart also introduced an opportunity with Proximity Learning, a platform designed for equipping schools with certified and qualified teachers for hire. The program would reportedly help to give Upshur Schools access to the best teachers looking for placement.

Following department reports, the Board unanimously approved the following personnel changes: the resignation of Patrina Thorn as 2nd grade teacher at HES; Isaac Casto as B-UHS Social Studies teacher; Trinity Currence as 3rd grade teacher at BAES; Melissa McConnel as PreK teacher at HES; and Matthew Wamsley and Robert Smith II as Bus Operators.

The retirement of Clayton Tenney as B-UMS Math teacher was approved.

The employment of the following individuals was also approved by BOE members: Randolph West as Assistant Principal at B-UHS; Louisa Terrell as Science teacher 9-12 at B-UHS; Jeremiah McCourt as PALS teacher at B-UHS; Rebecca Demastes as Cook at B-UMS; Linda Goldsmith, Patricia Wager, Christopher Brady, Jacob Coleman, Dilton Austin, Julia Cutright, and Abigail Tomasula as Substitute teachers; Daniel Gregory as Substitute Bus Operator; and Caitlin Miller as Substitute Aide.

The next BOE meeting will take place on August 24 at 7:00 p.m. at B-UHS.


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