Wilkerson named to school board


Several express interest in temporary seat

BUCKHANNON — The Upshur County Board of Education selected a new member Tuesday night who will serve through June.

Following an executive session and consideration of 10 applicants, Kristi Wilkerson was appointed to the seat.

Prior to the executive session, board member Dr. Greenbrier Almond moved to table the interviews of applicants because some candidates were not in attendance. Four of the 10 were at the meeting.

After the executive session, Almond moved to appoint Wilkerson, which was seconded by board member Katie Loudin.

The other applicants were Keely Burnside, Graham Godwin, Peggy Hall, Shane Jenkins, Kenna Leonard, Dan Nesbitt, Robert Osburn, J. Mike Sharpolisky and David Weese. Godwin, Jenkins, Nesbitt and Weese have all filed to run for UCBOE in the May primary.

Wilkerson will fill the seat vacated by Carl “Robbie” Martin, who resigned to run for House of Delegates. The seat is up for election this year.

Board vice president Alan Suder said, “I would like to thank all the applicants. Thank you for your support and I ask for prayers for our school system and country.”

Loudin, who was one of three interviewed in 2017 to fill an unexpired term, also thanked the applicants for their interest in the position.

“It was really wonderful to read through everyone’s letters and materials,” she said. “It was very obvious we have so many people who are dedicated to our schools and who are integrated into the very fabric of our schools. It really means a lot to know people care about our kids.”

Wilkerson said her interest in filling the unexpired term comes from being a parent and having a background in education.

“First and foremost, I have two children,” she said. “One is currently in the school system here and the other is young but will be in a few years. I think as a parent with two children, it’s just critically important to be involved in their education.”

Wilkerson currently serves at First United Methodist Church as director of Christian education and programming. She previously has held positions as the director of alumni relations at West Virginia Wesleyan College and associate director of West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities, an association for public policy and fundraising.

Wilkerson earned a Master of Arts in instructional communication from Miami University in Ohio.

“I spent two years teaching college full time at Wesleyan and then also adjunct instruction at West Virginia State University and Wesleyan,” she said. “When I was earning my master’s degree, I taught at Miami as well.

“All of that combined has sparked a real passion for education and recognizing that whatever issues we are facing, I truly believe education is a way to overcome that.”

Wilkerson will be sworn in at the next board of education meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 13 at
7 p.m. at Buckhannon Academy.

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