Homecoming King Zach White and Queen Iris Tenney
Homecoming King Zach White and Queen Iris Tenney (Photo courtesy Susie Herndon)

Iris Tenney crowned 2020 B-U Homecoming Queen, Zach White selected as King

A delayed and socially distanced Homecoming Coronation was held at Buckhannon-Upshur High School on Wednesday.

While schools in Upshur County have now been closed to students for five straight weeks due to COVID-19, B-UHS decided to proceed with Coronation under strict health guidelines – temperature checks, limited guests and required masks (except briefly for photos). The event was livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook.

Iris Tenney was selected the 2020 Homecoming Queen and Zach White served as King.

Student council advisor Mr. Michael Wilson acknowledged the challenges this year and reminded students to cherish the things that matter most.

“When you go home today, thank your parents for all the efforts they have made in your life,” Wilson told the members of the Homecoming Court. “We don’t know how long our time is here on this Earth, and sometimes we need to show appreciation to the people who have been the biggest influences in our lives. So I ask you to make sure to let your parents, grandparents and other family members know how much you love them.”

The 2020 Buckhannon-Upshur High School Homecoming Court.
The 2020 Buckhannon-Upshur High School Homecoming Court (Photo courtesy Susie Herndon)

In her Queen’s address, Tenney did just that.

“My family is a huge part in what has shaped me into the young woman I have become and am still becoming, and I honestly couldn’t be more grateful,” she said. “I love you all so much.”

Tenney also addressed the resiliency she sees in this year’s senior class.

“I think I can speak for the majority of us when I say the past few years have been pretty challenging here at B-U,” Tenney said. “When we lost our special Tappan Squires and our beautiful Jenna Davis, in an instant, our lives were changed forever.

“We had to learn how to cope with the void that was left in their place. Losing them brought us closer together and made us stronger as a B-U family. They may be gone; however, they will never be forgotten because their legacy lives on through the lives they touched at B-U.”

The 2020 Homecoming Queen touched on current challenges.

“During these unprecedented times, all of our lives have been turned upside down,” Tenney said. “Nothing is normal – our school, our work, our relationships – the list goes on and on. We are all struggling to cope with this new normal, but what we do not realize is from this struggle comes growth.

“Because of this ‘new normal’ we will be stronger and better people; we will be more resilient. A wise man named Kevin Elko once said, ‘Be glad for your adversity. Be glad for your suffering. It will teach you patience and endurance.’”

In his King’s speech, White recalled his freshman year in Mrs. Patty Wager’s art class, when he nominated himself for Homecoming Court as a joke.

But he won, and what happened next surprised him.

“It turned out to be one the best and most memorable weeks of my life,” White said. “From then on, I decided I wanted to be Homecoming King my senior year.”

Still, White said he played it low-key, simply posting a photo on social media and asking classmates to vote for him. The honor is one of many he will remember from his time as a Buccaneer, White said.

“I’m pleased with my four years of school here at B-UHS, and I can say I’ve been looking forward to this year for awhile,” he said.

Both White and Tenney thanked their classmates.

“Right now, I am so thankful and grateful for the students of Buckhannon-Upshur High School for bestowing this honor upon me,” Tenney said. “Because of you, I will go through life carrying this title like a badge. I will not take this honor lightly. No matter where my future takes me, B-U will always be my home.”

The full 2020 Homecoming Court:

  • Freshman Court
    Mary Ellen Adams and Payton Adams
    Genevieve Gregory and Dirk Riley
  • Sophomore Court
    Chloe Cale and Tucker Hatfield
    Tanley Triplett and Zade Woody
  • Junior Court
    Allie Claypoole and Branson Carpenter
    Olivia Ellis and Cameron Ervin
    Kaitlyn Shannon and Oliver King
  • Senior Court
    Gracie Boyles and Nathan Allen
    Laikelyn Leggett and Atlee Howes
    Maggie Nolte and Ryan Hurst
    Lindsay Robinson and Isaiah “Trapper” Samples
    Kennedy Samargo and Samuel Squires
  • 2020 Homecoming Queen & King
    Iris Tenney and Zach White

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