BUCKHANNON — Upshur County’s Board of Education met Tuesday evening for the special recognition of Upshur County’s Teacher of the Year and other outstanding faculty, staff and students.
First was Camden Wentz, a cellist who just finished his junior year at Buckhannon-Upshur High School. He performed two pieces for all in attendance. In 2017 at age 13, Wentz went on a performance tour with the West Virginia Youth Symphony, traveling to and performing in Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. He later went on to found the Upshur County Youth Symphony. Over the past year, Wentz obtained over 26 college credit hours through Glenville State College, putting him on track to be the first B-UHS student to receive an Associate’s Degree before graduating. Wentz was the first Upshur Star recognized during the meeting, as all Board members applauded him on his great success.
Following, four students were commended for being the winners of the county’s Young Writers Contest. Alivia Cogar, Eliza Canter, Kaydence Monti and Briston Herron were recognized for their outstanding writing skills, and awarded Apple Pencils to continue their work.
Next, Colton Wendling, Benjamin Atkinson, Alexander Orsburn and Kristyn Hissam were recognized as winners of the Golden Horseshoe, a challenging assessment on West Virginia History. These winners will be dubbed Knights and Ladies of the Golden Horseshoe in a ceremony this summer.
After student awards, each school in Upshur County selected their own outstanding Service Personnel to be recognized for their exemplary work throughout the school year. The winners from each school were: Maria Rowan – Buckhannon Academy Elementary School, Shawna Dean – French Creek Elementary School, Bryant Akagi – Hodgesville Elementary School, Glenda Fisher – Rock Cave Elementary School, Doug Bennett – Tennerton Elementary School, Cecelia Stewart – Union Elementary School, Irene Miller – Washington District Elementary School, Tammy Kelley – Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, Carrie Lee – Buckhannon-Upshur High School, and Deborah Poling – Upshur County Transportation Department. Elaine Pugh was recognized as the overall Upshur County Service Personnel of the Year.
Following, each school also selected one teacher to be recognized as their “Teacher of the Year.” The individuals selected were as follows: Rebecca Squires – Buckhannon Academy Elementary School, Adrienne McVey – French Creek Elementary School, Jason Piacente – Hodgesville Elementary School, Shanah Carpenter – Rock Cave Elementary School, Kelley Caynor – Tennerton Elementary School, Deidra Casto – Union Elementary School, Monica Leigh – Washington District Elementary School, Clayton Tenney – Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School. All faculty and staff voted Buckhannon-Upshur High School teacher Michael Wilson as overall Upshur County Teacher of the Year.
Sharing a bittersweet moment, 10 of Upshur County’s teachers and staff members were recognized as retirees. After many years of exemplary work, Upshur Co. BOE said goodbye to the following educators: Kelly Collett – Coordinator of Accounts Payable, Patricia Wager – Visual Arts Teacher, Duane Stoeckle – Social Studies Teacher and Head Football Coach, Cheryl Mateal Poling – Alternative Learning Teacher, LeAnn Nutter – Driver’s Education Teacher, Sharon Powers – Cafeteria Manager, Ronald Taylor – Custodian III, Michael Hinkle – Transitional Learning Teacher, John Epler – Math/STEM Teacher, and Sherry Elbon – Office Secretary.