Attention eighth-grade Bucs: You can earn bucks, learn about county government through essay contest

Upshur County Commissioners announce county government essay contest at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School

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Upshur County Commission members recently visited B-UMS to discuss an essay contest about county government. Pictured, from left, are commissioner Terry Cutright, commissioner Kristie Tenney and commission president Sam Nolte.

BUCKHANNON – In April, Upshur County eighth-graders can learn about county government – and possibly win some cash in the process.

The Upshur County Commission visited Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School last week to chat with eighth-graders about the upcoming 2019 county government essay contest.

The commissioners visited the middle school Monday, March 11 to announce the essay topic, which is “How does my county commission make life better for me?”

The essay is 500 words and there are prizes for the first, second and third places. First place earns $500 for both the student and the teacher, second place earns $300 and third place earns $200.

County commission president Sam Nolte said the visit went so well that they hope to visit again next year.

“I think we’re going to try to do this every year with the eighth-graders,” Nolte said. “We want to kind of give them a little education on county government and I think they were interested.”

The contest is hosted by the County Commissioners’ Association of West Virginia every year for eighth-graders and starts in April for “National County Government Month.”

“I thought it was interesting just that they knew a little more than I thought they would,” Nolte said. “They paid attention closely and I think getting that introduction to what we actually do at the county level is helpful.”

County commissioner Kristie Tenney said the contest had about 200 entries last year and they met with about 265 students at the middle school last week.

“I just thought it would be nice to be able to get involvement and just get right in front of the students,” Tenney said. “It was awesome to have the support of the teachers, the principals and all the staff, and it was just fun to be able to educate those students about county government.”

County commissioner Terry Cutright said teachers learned something during their presentation, too.

“I actually had one of the teachers tell me that she didn’t even know about a lot of the stuff that we brought up to them, and I really hope we go next year to keep everyone informed about what the commission does,” Cutright said.

A committee of commissioners and CCAWV staff are the judges for the contest, and the deadline is 5 p.m., April 19. The winner will be announced April 29.

In other county commission news from the commission’s Thursday, March 14, meeting:

  • The commission approved a letter of agreement between the Upshur County Commission and Nate Kennedy, consulting engineer for Kennedy Forest Management Services. It set forth the terms of agreement for marketing and selling timber on the Selbyville Youth Camp Property. The fee will be 5 percent of the timber sale.
  • The commission approved a correspondence from Shane Whitehair, executive director of Region VII Planning and Development Council, regarding Small Cities Block Grant recipient requirements to further fair housing approval.
  • They also signed a resolution proclaiming April 2019 as Fair Housing Month.