BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Board of Education always begins its regular meetings on a high note, and during Tuesday’s meeting board members were introduced to some high-achieving math students. BOE members and administrators also offered congratulations to some of their hard-working, dedicated staff who were retiring.
Buckhannon Academy Elementary School students Flynn Fleck, Brock Williams and Braylee Squires received Upshur Stars during the meeting to mark their hard work and academic excellence during the last year, especially in mathematics. BAES Principal Susanne Britton said the students are very wonderful, high-spirited, hard-working children.
“We wish that all of our students would put forth the effort these students do,” Britton said. “They are very bright and hard-working and we appreciate them.”
Next to be recognized were Upshur County Schools staff members who have retired. Kayla Yocum, technology systems/digital communication specialist said the retirees were being recognized for their dedication, not only to the students of Upshur County, but also to the staff and community as well. Those recognized include Union Elementary School custodian Tim Cogar, bus operator Bennie Nazelrod, bus operator Brenda McCourt and French Creek Elementary School secretary Debbie Smith.
After presenting the Upshur Stars, more good news was announced for Upshur County Schools. Jessica Perkins and Kenna Leonard, representatives from the Foundation for better schools in Upshur County Inc., presented a check for $5,000 to Upshur County Transportation Director Jodie Akers and Upshur County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus. The donation from the foundation and Weyerhaeuser will be used to purchase ‘Buster the Bus.’
Perkins said the Foundation for Better Schools in Upshur County Inc. was formed for the betterment of Upshur County School students and staff.
“When Transportation Director Jodie Akers approached the foundation for funding for ‘Buster the Bus’ our foundation was elated and excited to be a part of an innovative way to educate the importance of bus safety,” Perkins said. “Buster the Bus travels across the Nation teaching students the importance of bus safety and promotes safety awareness. It is an interactive remote operated bus with lights. It even squirts water at the students and engages students in the importance of bus safety.”
In a release from the Upshur County School System, Buster the Bus is described as a three-foot-tall cartoonish replica of a full-size yellow school bus that makes learning bus safety fun. It will share safety lessons including how to cross safely, staying out of the danger zone, riding the bus safely, how to safely wait for the bus, how to cross in front of the school bus, how to climb the steps, how to ride school busses to and from school and how to evacuate the school bus.
During the business portion of Tuesday’s BOE meeting, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Debra Harrison spoke about Policy 4002, which deals with students transfers or the transfer of students out of their attendance areas. Harrison said the policy adjustments were mandated by the passage of Senate Bill 375 during the 2021 Legislative Session.
“Basically, it outlines open enrollment and provides policies [through] which an open enrollment can be denied and also the process for appealing the denial,” Harrison said.
Upshur County BOE members voted unanimously to approve Policy 4002.
Check back with My Buckhannon to learn more about the Upshur County Board of Education’s proposed plan for ESSERF Funding (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds) and about the proposed re-entry plan for the 2021-2022 school year.