BOE recognizes Upshur Stars, hears summer updates


BUCKHANNON — All members of the Upshur County Board of Education met Tuesday evening, apart from Katie Loudin and Greenbrier Almond. During their regular board meeting, they recognized Upshur Stars and heard reports from each department.

Beginning the Upshur Stars Awards, three students were recognized for their outstanding artwork that has been on display in the Board of Education Office for several months. Students Milo Baumann, Loreli Wolfe and Raymond Rammel received their artwork to take home, as well as Upshur Stars certificates.

Next, Jody Johnson recognized several students for their exemplary work on this school year’s standardized test, completed by grades K-10. Because there was no Math Field Day this year, Johnson recognized the top three scorers in math for each grade K-10. These 33 students received certificates and recognition for their academic achievements

Following, Dr. Stankus and Kayla Yocum celebrated and commended several retirees for their many years of service in the Upshur County School system. Carol Shenuski, Beth Williams, Ronald Taylor, Denver “Keith” Carr and Bryan Greene were given Upshur Stars Awards and recognition for the roles they played in the betterment of their students.

Mr. Michael Wilson, Upshur County’s Teacher of the Year, received an Upshur Stars Award for setting a wonderful example to students and teachers alike. Mr. Eddie Vincent also presented an award to Chelsea Rogers, Director of Home Base. Vincent explained Rogers is an “unsung hero,” as she leads this organization to provide compassion, camaraderie, and a structured household to 10+ young boys in Upshur and Lewis County. Wilson and Rogers both work tirelessly, in unique ways of their own, to shape our youth into the best they can be.

Don Nestor spoke on behalf of Stockert Youth and Community Coalition, encouraging members of the community to attend SYCC meetings to give their own input. Nestor and the SYCC Board work daily to find different ways to contribute to the community, helping more than just students. SYCC continues their efforts to help students and families with technology education, tutoring, mental health, and much more.

Next, Mr. Tim Derico gave a Facilities update. He explained to the Board the many ways this summer will be difficult for his department, as many students have returned to the schools already for Summer Learning. Working around this new schedule, Derico and his crew continue projects on several bathroom repairs, building renovations, and installations, including an HVAC project at Washington District Elementary.

Following, Kayla Yocum provided a Technology update. Her department is continuing over the summer to provide students and families with reliable internet, and assistance with their technology questions and help-desk inquiries. Yocum also notified the Board that the Technology Department has started to collect iPads and devices from students, as the official academic year has concluded. They were surprised and glad to see the devices in such good shape, with very few still missing.

Dr. Jeff Harvey, in a very brief Safety and Preparedness update, happily expressed that COVID-19 is “calming down” in all entities of his department. There have reportedly been fewer cases, quarantines, and lower numbers surrounding the entire issue. Dr. Harvey has been able to focus on more emergency preparation efforts and will continue to monitor case numbers in Upshur County Schools.

Concluding department reports, Jody Johnson provided a short update on Student Achievements. As Summer Learning classes have started, Johnson’s department will work on collecting data regarding this extra educational time, and how it contributes to the student’s education. She discussed the implementation of School Improvement Specialists at different schools in Upshur County—staff members who would work to find the best ways each school can improve their operations.

As the Board voted to cancel the regular meeting on June 29, the next Upshur County BOE meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the B-UHS auditorium.

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