BUCKHANNON – Tuesday’s Upshur County Board of Education meeting was scheduled to meet at the Upshur County BOE Office, but the venue was changed at the last minute because all county school principals were invited to attend for a surprise.
The meeting was held at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School’s Art Room, where Robert Kincaid, who served as president of former Rotary Club of Buckhannon, said he, Connie Tenney and other members would be making check presentations to each county school principal.
“We have some donations for the individual schools,” Kincaid said before Tuesday’s meeting. “We recommend the money be used for direct support of the children in each school in educational endeavors – anything they need for the kids.”
Although the amount of each donation was not disclosed, Upshur BOE President Dr. Tammy Samples said the look on each principal’s face when they looked at their donation was wonderful.
Rotary members also awarded three vocational scholarships to 2019 B-UHS graduates Kerri Monnett, Rebecca Bond and Jennifer Stemple.
“These folks did a written application for the scholarship,” Kincaid said. “They did a great job.”
Kincaid said he believes there is no better way to invest in the future than to invest in education and the children of Upshur County.
“That was the intent of these donations,” Kincaid said.
Upshur County Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus thanked Rotary members for their hard work in the community.
“What you have led in our community, we can’t thank you enough,” Stankus said.
Upshur BOE members each expressed their gratitude for the donations to each school.
Stankus said there is a lot to celebrate during the week before school begins for employees next Thursday.
“We are very excited to recognize students who have taken their summer grow themselves personally and academically,” Stankus said.
Emma Reger, who will be a senior at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, was recognized for spending three weeks this summer attending the Governor’s Honor Academy at Marshall University.
Emma said the Governor’s School was awesome.
“It was one of the best experiences of my life,” she said. “I met some of the most amazing people, and I will stay really good friends with them.”
Stankus said participation in the Governor’s Honor Academy requires a high GPA. B-UHS Principal Eddie Vincent said participation is a great commitment.
“It’s a great opportunity, and a big commitment for students in the summer,” Vincent remarked. “They get to go and have a great time – and it is well worth the time.”
Emma is the daughter of Billy and Tammy Reger.
“We are really proud of her,” Stankus said, adding that Emma also attended the American Legion Auxiliary W.Va. Rhododendron Girls State at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins. While at Girls State, Emma served as a Senator and was in the Nationalist Party.
Vincent introduced two of the three Buckhannon-Upshur High School students who attended the American Legion Mountaineer Boys State, held at WVU Jackson’s Mill in Weston. Garrett Butler, Nathaniel Beer and Isaac Stankus attended this summer’s Mountaineer Boys State.
“Isaac Stankus could not attend (tonight) because of soccer,” Stankus said.
The students said they enjoyed Boys State.
“We learned about the political processes, and we were both part journalism, so we wrote as well,” Nathaniel said. “There were great speakers including West Virginia Governor Jim Jackson and both senators.
“We made a model city,” Garrett said. “I liked getting to mess around with Photoshop for the newspaper.”
Nathaniel said he served as the banker for his cabin – taking care of all the transactions, and Garrett said he took a full-time job at the newspaper.
Nathaniel, who was in the Nationalist Party, is the son of David and Stephanie Beers. Garrett, who was in the Federalist Party, is the son of Sherri and Steve Butler.
Near the end of Tuesday’s BOE meeting, members voted to hire Michael Lynch as principal at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School. Lynch will fill the vacancy of Renee Warner, who is returning to the classroom in Harrison County.
Lynch said he applied for the job in hopes of moving closer to home.
“I originally grew up in Clarksburg,” Lynch said. “I have worked in Lewis and Preston counties. My wife and I lived in Southern California for multiple years. We have lived in the area before and fell in love with it. We looked for a good opportunity in the area and here we are.”
Lynch said he wants folks to know he is open to new ideas.
“We had good training today with the ICU Program and a lot of good things have happened at B-UMS,” he said. “I want to continue to see good things. What I lack in skills, I make up for in hard work. I am really looking forward to the school year. I am happy to be here and hoping the parents join in and support the school as they have in the past.”
The next Upshur County BOE meeting will be Tuesday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School.
Stay tuned to My Buckhannon to read about the business items addressed in Tuesday’s Upshur County BOE meeting.