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Rhett Dusenbury, District Representative for Congressman Alex Mooney, WV-2, presents Erin Anderson, 2021 W.Va. Teacher of the Year, with a Congressional Recognition Certificate Tuesday during the Upshur County Board of Education meeting. Dusenbury is pictured with Anderson, fifth-grade teacher at Tennerton Elementary School and Upshur County Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus.

Erin Anderson receives accolades from Congressman Mooney, Stankus spotlights Upshur Stars

TALLMANSVILLE – Upshur County Board of Education members spent the beginning of their Tuesday meeting, which took place at Washington District Elementary School, recognizing teachers, staff and students for their accomplishments and thanking volunteers and community members for helping out in the schools.

Congressman Alex Mooney, WV-2, expressed his congratulations to Erin Anderson for being selected as the 2021 West Virginia Teacher of the Year. Rhett Dusenbury, District Representative for Mooney, said it was an honor to relay the Congressman’s best wishes and to present Anderson with a certificate of Congressional Recognition for her exemplary duty and performance.

In the recognition, Mooney said he knew Anderson would be an excellent ambassador for not only Tennerton Elementary and Upshur County Schools, but for the entire state of West Virginia.

“I wish you the best in all of our future years as an educator, and it is an honor to serve you,” Dusenbury read as he presented Anderson with the Congressional Recognition Certificate.

Anderson thanked Dusenbury and told those present she was working on her National Teacher of the Year application, which is due Oct. 31. She said was delving into what makes her tick and what is important to her and making sure her message comes across in her application.

“Thank you to everyone who is cheering me on in this adventure,” Anderson said. She said her theme is celebrating teachers and stressing that when teachers are in front of their students, they feel more like themselves than at any other time.

Upshur County Schools Director of Wellness Eddie Vincent recognized those who have successfully completed the ‘Getting Started in Schoology’ Self-Paced Professional Development Course.

Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus, Superintendent of Upshur County Schools, helps recognize those teachers who completed the Schoology Self-Paced Professional Development Course. Recipients present at Tuesday’s BOE meeting include Tonya Jeffries and Andrea Ellis. Other completers, not pictured, include Aika Murray, Monica Leigh, Lisa Tenney, Rebecca Wilfong, Ashely Woody, Tracy Hurst and Jason Piacente.

“These individuals have dedicated time to enhancing their knowledge and skills with using the Schoology platform and are being recognized for their efforts,” Vincent said.

Vincent recognized those completing the Schoology platform including Aika Murray, Tonya Jeffries, Monica Leigh, Lisa Tenney, Rebecca Wilfong, Ashley Woody, Andrea Ellis, Tracy Hurst and Jason Piacente.

Stankus said these teachers have gone over and above and thanked them for their accomplishments.

Next, Washington District Elementary School Principal Gabrielle Rhodes recognized some of the WDES students, volunteers and teachers. She said over the summer, students were challenged to read as many books as possible for their Summer Reading BINGO boards.

“This has been an extra special challenging time to get these in, so we wanted to recognize those students,” Rhodes said. “After being recognized, students can go over to the table and every student who completed the challenge will receive a ‘Build a Bear.’”

Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus and Washington District Elementary School Principal Gabrielle Rhodes offer congratulations to students who completed the Summer Reading Program, noting it was especially challenging during this year. Those recognized include Layla Tenney, Bentley Daft, Kaylee Daft, Alonna Jeffries, L. Raschella, Bruce Gooden, Nekotah Ware, Trinity Shaffer and Morgan Shaffer.

Students completing the Summer Reading Challenge included Layla Tenney, Bentley Daft, Kaylee Daft, Alonna Jeffries, L. Raschella, Bruce Gooden, Nekotah Ware, Trinity Shaffer and Morgan Shaffer.

Rhodes also offered thanks to Chris Tenney, Alan Suder and Riley Lamb for helping construct a new outbuilding; assembling furniture and shelving units for the new comfort closet; installing new signs for parent pick-up; and assisting with the installation of shelves and cabinets.

Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus and WDES Principal present Upshur Stars to Chris Tenney, Alan Suder and Riley Lamb for their help with projects in the school.

Next, Rhodes recognized Joyce Lamb for sewing facemasks for every student and staff member in Washington District Elementary School. Rhodes said it was a huge contribution which took a lot of time, effort and money on her part.

“Next, we would like to recognize Nick and Theresa Raschella and Johnna Figueroa for helping our school get a facelift over the summer,” Rhodes said. “They power-washed our building, decorated the halls and entryway to welcome our little superheroes back to class. I have to say, Theresa was here with me every morning for the first four days of school at 5:30 a.m. to carry out every decoration and blow up every balloon. With us having four first days of school, we had to celebrate every day just the same.”

Nick and Theresa Raschella and Johnna Figueroa are recognized during Tuesday’s BOE meeting at Washington District Elementary School. WDES Principal Gabrielle Rhodes said the group helped give the school a facelift inside and out by power-washing the building and decorating the halls and entryway to welcome the school’s superheroes back to school. Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus presented the trio with Upshur Stars for their help in the school.

Rhodes also thanked them for helping with refreshments and decorations for the Tuesday BOE meeting.

Some other volunteers Rhodes recognized for their assistance at WDES include Samantha Wagoner for volunteering countless hours to keep the library up-to-date, for running the book fair and for packaging treat bags for upcoming events. She also offered her thanks to Tim and Kris Leggett for spreading mulch and giving the WDES playground a much-needed facelift.

Finally, Rhodes offered her gratitude to WDES head cook Irene Miller.

“She goes above and beyond every week, and she would probably be embarrassed that I say this, but for families who do not have transportation to pick up meals, she personally delivers the meals to their home and does that with each and every meal delivery,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes also recognized her staff at WDES as each one has been designated as Apple Certified Teachers.

Those recognized as being Apple Certified Teachers include Christy Suder, Shauna Moody, Dorian Carrico, Lisa Tenney, Lisa Bennett, Rebecca Wilfong, Jennifer Barry, Tonya Jeffries, Tracy Hurst, Aika Murray, Monica Leigh, Andrea Ellis, Jason Piacente, Ashley Woody and Gabrielle Rhodes.

Teachers at Washington District Elementary School receive Upshur Stars during Tuesday’s Upshur County BOE meeting. All WDES teachers have completed their Apple Certified Teaching Class, successfully passed all exams and earned their Apple Badges. Those teachers are recognized by WDES Principal Gabrielle Rhodes and Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus.

Vincent then recognized Upshur County art students, adding that Virginia Hicks could not be present to present the awards. Vincent recognized Wyatt Morris for his creation.

Wyatt Morris receives recognition and an Upshur Star from Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus for his art creation which was on display at the Upshur County BOE Central Office.

“This artwork was created when Wyatt was in sixth grade as an extension of the ‘seven elements of art’ unit,” Vincent said. “The students were studying lines, shapes and space which they incorporated into the drawing stage. The second stage required the students to add value using a variety of techniques and subsequently they created the look of form. The third stage involved the creation of texture with organic glue lines and patterns on the leaves. Finally, color was added by blending and layering chalk pastels.”

Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School Art Instructor Sherri Butler also recognized Wyatt for a blue jay he created as well as students Alecsis Butler and Alona Collett. Stankus presented Sherri Butler with an Upshur Star for her dedication to her arts students.

Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School Art Instructor Sherri Butler returns a 3D blue jay to Wyatt Morris he created.

Finally, Upshur County Schools Director of Finance Jeffrey Perkins recognized Don Nestor and KD Flanigan Coleman for the work of the Foundation for Better Schools and the Backpack Program. Perkins said work of the Foundation for Better Schools began in 1997 and continues to provide aid and betterment and improve all schools in Upshur County.

Upshur County Schools Director of Finance Jeffrey Perkins recognized Don Nestor and KD Flanigan Coleman for the work of the Foundation for Better Schools and the Backpack Program.

“One in every five children in the United States is hungry,” Perkins said. “This staggering statistic is happening within our schools. Together, these two organizations make it possible for Upshur County to operate the county-wide backpack program. The goal of the program is to insure no child goes hungry.

The next Upshur County Board of Education meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020 at Buckhannon-Upshur High School.

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