Schools revamp websites, increase connectivity


TENNERTON — The Upshur County Board of Education met Tuesday evening at Buckhannon-Upshur High School (B-UHS) where they unveiled revamped school websites and discussed WiFi connectivity throughout the county. With the exception of board member Kristi Wilkerson, all members were present, with board member Pat Long joining via Zoom call. The public was permitted to attend, with a recommendation to maintain social distance and wear masks.

The BOE recognized local veterans in honor of Veterans Day. Dr. Greenbrier Almond read the poem In Flanders Fields by Major John M. McCrae. Retired First Sergeant Jim Gregory spoke on B-UHS’s Future Leaders Program and student participant Michael Coleman led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Technology Support Specialist (TSS) Quinten Oldaker and TSS/Communication Specialist Kayla Yocum gave the Technology One-on-One report, showing off the new school website designs. Each school’s website was updated for a more cohesive appearance and to make them more user friendly. Oldaker also shared the different places around the area where students can access Kids Connect WiFi. He reported that with around 950 locations across the state, Upshur students can visit all schools, public libraries and even West Virginia Wesleyan College to access the internet. The board office, the Armory, fire departments and Audra State Park are working on their WiFi access as well.

The board acknowledged B-UHS art student Emily Adams, as she recently visited the White House where her art was displayed. Superintendent Dr. Sara Stankus presented her with an Upshur STAR. She explained her painting of “The Forgotten Suffragist,” West Virginian Coralie Franklin Cook, who along with Susan B. Anthony, played a role in the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Also presented with an Upshur STAR were Dr. Susan Aloi for her work with the Pallottine Foundation and Rock Cave Elementary’s third-grade teacher Nicky Smith for her exemplary work during the pandemic.

The BOE then recognized more Schoology Completers from B-UHS, which included Sloan Baisden, Tiffany Board, Shelley Bright, Cheryl Cain, Nichole Cerullo, Ann Clem, Alisa Compton, Codey Cutright, Jamie Davis, Mindy Dawson, Christy Dean, Tracey Fluharty-Godfrey, Garrett Friend, Delana Golden, Sherry Holley, Edwina Howard-Jack, Crystal Jones, Jill Kelley, Karen Leigh, Mike Lemley, Samantha Leput, Jennifer Lilly, Casie Linger, Michael Meadows, Laura Meese, Mary Miller, Natalie Nelson, Keith Nichols, Leann Nutter, Judith Payne, William Plymale, April Ramsey-Boyce, Cheryl Reger, Neil Reger, Randy Revels, Danielle Rexroad, Nickol Reynolds, Terri Sisk, Jeremiah Smallridge, Charles Smith, Deborah Smith, Paula Smith, Jessica Snyder, Adam Squires, Taylor Stacy, William Stalnaker, Carrie Stark, Jennifer Swift, Bridgette Tenney, Heidi Thompson, Amy Travise, Patricia Wager, Sarah Wamsley, Angie Westfall, Jessica Williams, Jodee Wilt and Jacqueline Zuliani.

In other business, the board approved their October 27 regular meeting minutes, as well as Treasurer Jeff Perkins’s financial report.

Director of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness Jeff Harvey reported on the current stats of the school-related COVID-19 outbreaks. He reported, as of the Tuesday evening meeting, 12 confirmed active cases within the schools and 44 currently quarantined.

B-UHS Principal Jonathan Pollock and Art Teacher and Faculty Senate President Heidi Thompson gave the school’s LSIC and Faculty Senate presentation.

The board approved all of the West Virginia Pre-K agreements, which Lori Wood explained were the same as last year’s agreements, other than an addition for COVID-19 related subjects. The agreements were for Kids R Kids, Creative Beginnings Child Development Center, Child Development Center of Central West Virginia, Inc. and Upshur Human Resources Inc. Head Start.

Josh Hinchman and JJ Ford from the Upshur County Parks and Recreation visited the board regarding their proposal to place three of the nine holes for a disc golf course on the B-UHS property, to which the board approved.

Lori Woods reported on Upshur County’s participation in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. She reported that West Virginia has over 37,000 enrolled and 895 children in Upshur County, despite 1,419 being eligible. Families can enroll their kids online at www.imaginationlibrary.wv.gov or at any elementary school and the BOE office. For more information, contact Lori Woods at (304) 472-5480.

For personnel, the board approved the following resignations: Darrell Burgess as B-UHS Boys JV Basketball Coach; Katy Ross as B-UHS Communities in Schools Site Coordinator; Rachel Kelly as WDES Full-time Temporary Custodian; and Benton Powers, Jr. as Full-time Bus Operator #28 for Upshur County Schools.

The board approved the following hires: Sloan Baisden as B-UMS Assistant Boys Basketball Coach; Erin Spangenberg as B-UMS General Music/Choir Teacher; Ryan Colaw as B-UMS Math Teacher; Roberta Hatcher as B-UHS 9th Grade Boys Basketball Coach; John Egress as B-UHS Boys Junior Varsity Basketball Coach; Matthew Wamsley as Full-time Bus Operator, pending a WVDE State Certification; Cliff Turner as Full-time Itinerant Bus Operator; and Tom Lang as Substitute Teacher.

The board approved Kirsten Hine’s maternity leave request.

The Upshur County Board of Education meets every other Tuesday. The next regular meeting of the academic year will be held November 17 at 6 p.m., tentatively scheduled at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School.

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