BUCKHANNON—The Upshur County Board of Education (BOE) held their regular meeting on February 11 at 7 p.m. at the Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School (B-UMS). Students of B-UMS prepare cookies and refreshments for each meeting held at their school.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Debra Harrison announced the Upshur STAR Awards during the BOE meeting Tuesday evening. First to be recognized, were Upshur STARS Teachers. Marisa Meadows received a STAR award because she has been instrumental in the success of B-UMS’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. She is the current chair of this committee and has actively formulated programs and activities that decrease behavior issues at B-UMS. Ms. Meadows is also responsible for the creation of the school store, the “Sail Mart.” She has been very proactive in starting the school Facebook page and serves as one of the three individuals responsible for its upkeep. Ms. Meadows also spends time after school, working with kids in the Project Isaac Program. In addition to all of this, she was recognized as simply being an outstanding teacher and what she does for some of the highest needs students is remarkable.
Carol Shenuski was also recognized as an Upshur STAR. Mrs. Shenuski has dedicated her life to the students of B-UMS. She has worked in Upshur County Schools for 47 years – that alone makes her worthy of an Upshur STAR Award. There isn’t much Mrs. Shenuski hasn’t accomplished during her time at B-UMS. She goes out of her to make sure things get done – she is always asking if she can be of assistance and will do anything for anyone, without anything in return. To give an example of Mrs. Shenuski’s dedication to her job, one student with limited mobility couldn’t necessarily participate in physical activities after lunch. Mrs. Shenuski noticed this, found out the student’s interests, went and purchased a keyboard with her own money to give the student something to do after lunch. She is a very special part of B-UMS.
The last educator who received an Upshur STAR Award during Tuesday’s meeting was Clayton Tenney. Mr. Tenney has been the sponsor of the MathCounts program since its foundation in 1983. He takes a team to regional competition every year, where they almost always place 1st or 2nd. Mr. Clayton was recognized Tuesday evening for his commitment, dedication and success to the MathCounts program.
Also recognized, were two substitute teachers, for their hard work and dedication to the children of B-UMS. Recognized first, was Pota Poulas. Mrs. Poulas is known for following plans to a “T” and leaving very detailed, useful notes for the teacher. In addition, her evaluations are always excellent and include many positive comments. Dr. Harrison expressed she gets a lot of enjoyment reading Mrs. Poulas’s evaluations.
Next, was Krista Sappy. She is a long-term substitute with the gifted program at B-UMS and has created a new sense of excitement in the students. She expressed, “I admit that I am not the smartest person in the room and enjoy learning from and with my students.” Students are always eager to see what she has in store for them next. Her passion and enthusiasm for teaching is contagious and B-UMS is appreciative of all she does for their students.
The next set of Upshur STARS were the exceptional students of B-UMS. The following students had work at Tamarack, a prestigious art gallery in Beckley. The selection process is very strict and there were two showings involving B-UMS students. The first being “The Power of Prints,” which explored the use of printmaking, relief, collagraph, mono prints and lino. These students include Allie Frye, Shaden Starkey, Aidan Phillips, Katrina Tenney, LoTena Diaz and Miranda Bennett. The other show was “Pigment of Your Imagination,” which explored the use of color and color theory in art. These students include Alayna Spotloe, Riley Ayars, Madison White, Jaime Navarette, Carrigan Perry, Miley Starkey, Brianna Dalton and Grace Ramsey.
Other students awarded were Josie Rosencrance, Evan McDowell, and Cassidy Rohr, also known as Lainey. According to her teacher, Josie is kind, responsible and hard-working. She cares about her grades and also understands the importance of knowledge. She is also willing to lend a helping hand.
Evan is currently on the wrestling team at B-UMS. He placed 7th at the Mason Dixon Tournament, which included over 20 different participating schools. Evan is very involved in his community and his church, the First United Methodist Church. Evan works diligently to maintain his grades while also playing sports.
Lainey maintains a 4.0 and plays for the B-UMS basketball team. She is a hard worker and desires to play on the B-UMS softball team in the spring. Lainey has a willingness and dedication in helping others. For these reasons, she was presented the Upshur STAR Award.
Community members Uto and Rutheda Dotson also received the STAR Award for graciously donating their own money and time to give teachers needed tissues for their classrooms.
In other news during the meeting Tuesday evening, the 8th grade field trip to Kennywood was approved for May 21. Also approved was the 2020-2021 school calendar and the appointment of Brett Robinson to be on the Upshur County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, to complete the remainder of the term left vacant by the resignation of Hannah Lively. The BOE will greatly miss Treasurer for Upshur County Schools, George P. Carver, as he turned in his letter of resignation. He has served as Treasurer for many years.
The Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP) meeting will be held on February 24 at B-UMS at 6 p.m. A new plan is made every 10 years, and they want the community’s input for the future of Upshur Schools. Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis-Stankus said, “Hope to see a lot of folks out.”
The Board went into executive session once, in regard to disciplinary action of a student. The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, February 25 at 6 p.m. at B-UMS.