Buckhannon Academy Elementary School music instructor Braden Hoffman receives an Upshur Star during Tuesday’s Upshur County Board of Education meeting. Hoffman has been working hard with students and providing private lessons and using the proceeds to purchase additional instruments, music and fine arts experiences for students. Hoffman is pictured with Upshur County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus, BAES Principal Susanne Britton and BAES Assistant Principal Eric Brand. / All photos by Beth Christian Broschart

Buckhannon Academy Elementary School music teacher earns award during Upshur Stars presentation

BUCKHANNON – Upshur County Board of Education members met many Upshur Stars – those students, staff, teachers and volunteers who go over and above to make the school a better place to learn and grow.

Upshur Star awards were doled out during the regular meeting of the BOE Tuesday, Dec. 2 at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School.

The first Upshur Star was given to Braden Hoffman, who teaches music at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School.

BAES Principal Suzanne Britton said that Hoffman has been offering music lessons to BAES students after school where they can learn to play guitar, percussion instruments or have voice lessons.

“If students do not have their own instrument for the lesson, Mr. Hoffman provides the instrument,” Britton reported. “The money that Mr. Hoffman makes from these lessons does not go into his pocket but has been put into a music account at the school and that money is used to purchase additional instruments, music and fine arts experiences for BAES students. Mr. Hoffman is completely donating his time to help the students and our music program.”

Britton said one of the BAES students has asked her parents for a guitar for Christmas without having any guitar lessons.

“She has been able to work with Mr. Hoffman in these lessons for several weeks and has already learned a lot about the guitar,” Britton said. “Hopefully, her own guitar will arrive under the Christmas Tree.”

Next, Britton introduced members of the BAES Student Council and said the members do a lot to help out around the school and attend parent involvement activities. Members of the BAES Student Council include Braylea Squires, Ella Whitehair, Sofi Chen, Remington Phillips, Alliyah Boylen, Isiah Cole, Stephanie Seelback, Miley Tallman and Hayden Zickefoose.

Britton said the Safety Patrol members come into the school early and stay late. Members of the Safety Patrol received Upshur Stars and include Isaiah Cole, Macy Collett, Dane Louer, Ma Loudin, Stephanie Seelback, Miley Tallman, Logan Taylor-Rall, Hayden Zickefoose, Cynthia Cutright, Braylea Squires, Kyzer Tenney, Grayson Rothrock and Halee Wilmoth.

“The Safety Patrol workstations to make sure students are practicing safety techniques and behaviors within the school,” Britton said. “They are doing a phenomenal job. I am truly pleased with their efforts.”

Britton said these Safety Patrol members make sure the halls are safe and they are very dedicated.

Britton introduced the recycling committee members from BAES which includes Alliyah Boylen and Jadynn Riffle. She said these two students run around the school, gather all the materials that are to be recycled, and make sure the items get put out at the appropriate time for pick up.

Finally, Britton presented members of the BAES Pioneer Press. She said this is a new venture for the 2021-2022 school year that was organized by Brand.

“Our students in the Pioneer Press are taking photos, writing stories and being reporters,” Britton said. “They also completed the video for our LSIC presentation tonight and are doing a phenomenal job.”

Britton said the students who are part of the Pioneer Press had to complete applications and interview for their positions with the Pioneer Press.

Members of the Pioneer Press who received Upshur Stars include Socia Bennett, Alliyah Boylen, Macy Collett, Mason Conway, Lyric Dumas, Emma Hardy, Christopher King, Dane Lauer, Mya Loudin, Kacie Neal, Elizabeth Rader, Stephanie Seelback, Braylea Squires, Miley Tallman, Logan Taylor-Rall, Halee Wilmoth, Ella Whitehair, Ariyonna Bellomy, Emberlee Bennett, Cora Cottrill, Kova Emerich, Tate Keith, Brantley Jefferies, Sydni Landis, Jacob Mackey and Brock Williams.

“These kids are roving reporters and at the pumpkin drop they were getting all the shots from the different angles and getting the story,” Britton said. “They are very enthusiastic about it all.”

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