Students excel, receive Upshur Star awards


BUCKHANNON — Multiple students received Upshur Star awards at the Upshur County Board of Education meeting that was held at Buckhannon-Upshur High School on Tuesday, April 5.

Technology and Communication Specialist for Upshur County Schools Kayla Yocum announced, “Thank you all for gathering here this evening as we honor these great individuals that help to make Upshur County what it truly is as they exemplify the greatness that comes with Upshur County Schools. Tonight, it is my pleasure to invite Mrs. Christy Dean, teacher at Buckhannon-Upshur High School as she recognizes her student leaders.”

Dean spoke and elaborated that is has been a pleasure to have the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) in class. Dean noted many of the students also participate in various clubs, athletics and activities outside of school. FBLA members competed in state-level competitions, representing Upshur County very well, and the winners will move forward to compete at the national level in June.

Jordan Brown and Makenzi Cutright were present, while Ian Donnen and Bryce Cayton were absent. Brown won first place in cyber security and fourth place in insurance and risk management, while Cutright won third place in health care administration, Donnen took second place in business calculations and Cayton won fourth place in organizational leadership.

Next, Educators Rising were recognized by B-UHS advisor Dee Golden. “Educators Rising is an organization that is student led. It is a recruitment process to help get young men and women interested in the field of education. I am very proud of them,” Golden said. She also noted that many of the students competed in state-level competitions and many received first and second place awards. Those in attendance included Roseline Shackleford, Elayna Propst, Caleb Ryan, Alexa Davis, Angelica Black, Savanna Smith, Hannah Robinson, Kadie Daugherty and Kamri Ratliff. Students Brandon Eskew and Jadyn Reed were also recognized but were not present from the meeting.

Davis, a senior at B-UHS, was also recognized for writing and publishing a book titled, “Perfectly Flawed.” Davis said, “I wrote a children’s literature book for Pre-K. It is about a deaf boy. I work at a daycare and there was a boy that was hard of hearing and had cochlear implants. I grew to know him. This book is about a boy and his dad thinks that he is different and wants to get his ears fixed, but in the end he figures out that he is not any different than anyone else.” President of Upshur County Board of Education Dr. Tammy Samples noted purchasing the book to be placed in Upshur County Pre-K schools.

Eighth grader Bryce Thanh Nguyen has excelled in both spelling and math competitions. Nguyen won the Upshur County Spelling Bee, the Regional Spelling Bee, as well as Math Field Day for the county and regional levels.

In addition to the various awards and presentations, the board voted on items in the agenda. The board approved the minutes for meetings which occurred on Tuesday, March 22 and Friday, March 25 with corrections. Financials were also approved as presented. The board approved affiliation agreement renewal between Upshur County Schools and Marshall University for supervised counselor field experience and the memorandum of understanding between Marshall University College of Education and Upshur County Schools for psychologist internships. The Upshur County Board of Education member self-appraisal was tabled for the next meeting secondary to absent members Dr. Greenbrier Almond and Mr. Patrick Long.

The consent agenda was approved and consisted of field trip request for Union Elementary School second grade to Carnegie Science Center on Friday, May 6, approval of French Creek Elementary School chaperons, field trip request for Tennerton Elementary School second grade to attend Spring House Market in Washington, Pa. on Wednesday, April 20, field trip request for Tennerton Elementary School first grade to visit Pittsburg Zoo on Friday, May 13, Salem University Renewal of Clinical Affiliation Agreement, field trip request for Washington District Elementary School second grade to attend Carnegie Science Center on Friday, April 29, approval of Washington District Elementary School chaperones for Carnegie Science Center, and approval of French Creek Elementary School second grade chaperones.

Policy 2023 regarding Therapy Animals was also approved following an update to the policy. Personnel was approved and correspondence including the Apprenticeship Building America (ABA) grant program letter of support and the Community Care of West Virginia grant letter of support. Public delegations were made by Buck Edwards, a candidate for the Upshur County Board of Education, who summarized his enjoyment of the presentations of awards to students and faculty.

However, Edwards then spoke, “I’m not a political person, but I am a person who really cares. A couple weeks ago at your last board meeting, you rejected a personnel issue, the whole personnel slate and it really upset me. I don’t know the whole story but I’m here speaking on what it looks like to the public. On the surface, it stunk really bad. People have concerns with the school system and economic development of the county. What the school board does means a lot. When we threw out that whole personnel list, how many votes did that cost you? I am all about trying to grow this county and get a new school built for this county. But when we do things like that, it sends the wrong message to people in the county. I want people to come and see what I saw here this evening. The public just knows what they read in the paper or hear in the street and what they heard after that was not good. I appreciate what you do for the students and the time to speak with you.”

Following public comments, board members made brief comments on tonight’s awards for the students and noted being very proud. There were no student disciplines on the agenda and the board voted to adjourn the meeting. A budget workshop of the Board of Education will be held Tuesday, April 12 at 7:30 a.m. in the second floor conference room at 5 W. Main Street.

The reconvened meeting from March 22 will be held Tuesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. with the next regular meeting immediately following at Buckhannon-Upshur High School.

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