TENNERTON – Buckhannon-Upshur High School seniors Jayme Lantz and Logan Bailey were recognized Thursday as the January Elks Teens of the Month.
Jayme is the daughter of Clyde and Trisha Lantz of Buckhannon. At B-UHS, she is a member of the marching band and concert band, as well as a member of the lacrosse team and the treasurer of the Youth Leadership Club.
“Whenever Ms. Westfall told me I was receiving the Elks Teen of the Month, I was very shocked, honored and very humbled to be nominated to receive this honor,” she said.
After graduating, Jayme said she wants to attend college and major in graphic design.
“After that, I hope to hold a city job and be successful with what I do,” Jayme said. “I hope to attend West Virginia University.”
Jayme attends South Buckhannon Mission Church, where she is very active.
“I love to help and volunteer,” she said. “I like to teach the classes and love to be very involved in my church.”
Logan is the son of Barbara and James Bailey of Buckhannon. He said being named the Elkins Teenager of the Month is “pretty cool.”
“I consider it an honor to be recognized and I am very grateful,” he said.
In school, Logan is a member of the B-UHS boys baseball team – and has been since his freshman year. He serves as a captain on the team.
“In the community, I am always helping at my church,” he said. “I help do weed eating at my church – Reed Chapel United Methodist Church.”
After graduating, Logan hopes to attend West Virginia University and study petroleum or electrical engineering.
“This award really means a lot to me,” Logan said. “I am very thankful to be receiving it.”
Angie Snyder-Westfall, school librarian and Elks member, said the Buckhannon Elks used to present the Teenager of the Month award to a male and female senior at B-UHS for many years, but the program stopped for a period of time. She said the awards were resurrected a couple of years ago.
“Each month, teachers nominate students who have a certain G.P.A. and those who are involved in school activities,” Westfall said. “Students nominated have an all-around good character and something we would like to see others strive to be.”
Westfall said later in the month, the teachers vote on those nominated, and the Buckhannon Elks Lodge No. 1736 members come in and present the winning teens with a certificate and a $25 cash prize.
“In May, we will do nominations from the monthly winners for the Elks Teen of the Year,” Westfall said. “They will receive an additional check and can go on to the next levels. At the end of the year last year, we had a dinner at the Elks for the monthly winners. That is where they revealed the Teens of the Year.”
Buckhannon Elks Lodge No. 1736 exalted ruler Michael Livesay said the Elks Teen of the Month program is designed to recognize a male and female high school senior.
“It goes on how active they are in their community and their school,” Livesay said. “It is voted on by their teachers and shows students with all around good character who work hard.”
Livesay said the program had been on hiatus until a couple years ago.
“Tappan Squires, who recently passed, was the chairperson of the Teen of the Month program 15 years ago and took care of everything,” Livesay said. “We resurrected the program about two years ago with retired B-UHS English teacher Mike Sharpolisky and B-UHS Librarian Angie Westfall bringing the program back.”
He said at the end of the year, a male and female Teen of the Year are selected from the Teens of the Month.
“The Teens of the Year winners go on the Central District, and then the winners go on to the state level and then to the national level,” Livesay said. “There is a Teen of the Month committee that selects the winners at the central, state and national level.”
Livesay said the Buckhannon Elks focuses its efforts on helping children and veterans.
“We are very active in the community with the backpack programs in the schools, and we help out around four or five community organizations,” Livesay said. “We are active, and we are looking to grow our membership.”
Mike Sharpolisky said the beauty of the Elks Teen of the Month program is the student doesn’t need to be a member of the top 10 of the senior class to be selected.
“We want to find a good kid – one with good grades and good participation – someone that you wouldn’t mind being your kid,” Sharpolisky said. “They are just wonderful kids, and they get a pat on the back. They get a certificate and a $25 check. They can go on to the state competition and the national competition.”
Other Elks Teenagers of the Month for the 2018 -2019 school year at Buckhannon-Upshur High School include September, Tayler Sisk and Evan Trent; October, Kristen Young and Drew Griffith; November, Hannah Hollen and Jonathan Warner; and December, Mariah O’Hara and Austin McCartney.