Local Elks Lodge resurrects Student of the Month program

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BUCKHANNON — It’s been a few years, but the Buckhannon Elks Lodge No. 1736 is back to selecting students of the month.

And for the month of September, the Elks Lodge picked Buckhannon-Upshur High School seniors Jenna Marple and Sean Crites. Mike Sharpolisky, retired B-UHS English teacher and an Elks member, stopped by B-UHS recently to present Marple and Crites with their certificates of appreciation. Sharpolisky now serves as the Teen of the Month chairman for the Elks.

“The Elks aspires to encourage youth,” Sharpolisky explained, “and we used to have this program in place some years ago, but it lapsed, so they are the first students of the month after this lapse.”

The Student of the Month program isn’t just something the local Elks Lodge has implemented — it’s actually a nationwide program, which will culminate here in the club naming a B-UHS student Student of the Year. The Student of the Year will be picked from the winners of Student of the Month, Sharpolisky said.

Marple and Crites were selected from a pool of students nominated by their teachers. The nominees had to meet a list of criteria, including maintaining a 3.0 grade point average and “just being a good kid,” Sharpolisky said.

“We’re not just looking for intelligence here,” he said. “We’re just looking for good kids, whether they’re interested in going to college or interested in going on to trade school. We want to reach out to the entire group; this is not elitism thing.”

“This is something for you to put on your resume under ‘honors,’” Sharpolisky added, addressing Marple and Crites. 

The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the United States of America founded the Student/Teen of the Month program to honor stand-out young women and men for their achievements in academics and community life, according to its website. Selected students may boast accomplishments in fine arts, hobbies, athletics, church, school, clubs and/or community service, the website states.

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