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Upshur County art instructors are recognized for being named West Virginia Art Education Association Teachers of the Year. Board of Education members gathered with Virginia Hicks of Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School and Heidi Thompson of Buckhannon-Upshur High School during Tuesday’s board meeting. B-UMS Students were on hand to congratulate the teachers on their award.

The only middle school, high school WVAEA Teachers of the Year are from Upshur County

TENNERTON – Parents and grandparents – along with Upshur County teachers, staff and students – recognized the only middle school and high school art instructors selected as West Virginia Art Education Association Teachers of the Year on Tuesday.

Virginia Hicks, who teaches at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, and Heidi Thompson, of Buckhannon-Upshur High School, gathered with art students from B-UMS to be honored during Tuesday’s Upshur County Board of Education meeting, which took place at Tennerton Elementary School.

Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus said only one high school art teacher was selected, and only one middle school art teacher was selected as Teacher of the Year – and both were teachers in Upshur County.

Stankus said Hicks brought along a few of her standout students as well.

“We have a new program at the middle school we just introduced this year, and it is the Students of the Week,” Hicks said as the students introduced themselves. “We have just many fabulous students, and we wanted to honor the sixth- seventh-grade students during the year. So, a lot of the students here tonight have been Students of the Week.

“The rest of them are basically some of my best students,” she added. “I picked out students who show a genuine interest in art, those who are very respectful and behave. Here they are. I feel so honored they showed up tonight.”

Thompson said she is looking forward to getting the middle school students in a couple of years as students.

“I teach a variety of classes at the high school level,” Thompson said. “I feel very fortunate to have had all grade levels of experience, and I am looking forward to getting you guys at the high school level in a couple of years.”

Thompson said she works with two other art teachers at the high school.

“They are amazing,” she said. “If you guys are into art, we are able to offer lots of wonderful art classes like pottery, ceramics, stained glass and photography. I want you guys to keep your interest in art, so I get to have you as students in the high school.”

Stankus said she thinks the awards speak volumes about the quality of art classes offered in Upshur County.

“To have two teachers selected as art teachers of the year is amazing,” she said. “We are so proud of you all.”

Following the recognition, Stankus led those gathered in a moment of silence and prayer for Upshur County School employees who recently passed away.

“During the last couple weeks, I think we all have realized the value and the importance of teachers and school personnel in our lives,” Stankus said. “We have seen that as we lost Mr. Roy Pettit, Tappan Squires, and today, we had the funeral of our beloved custodian, Kermit Pugh.”

Stankus asked everyone to remember all Pettit, Squires and Pugh had done for the Upshur County School system.

Also, during Tuesday’s board meeting, members voted unanimously to approve the following personnel recommendations:
-Neil Reger, Title I tutor at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, two hours, effective Dec. 19, 2018.

-Emily Drennon, itinerant art teacher, effective Nov. 19, 2018.

-Brian Williams, itinerant music/strings teacher at B-UMS, HES and WDES, effective Jan. 7, 2019.

-Anna Linger as substitute custodian, effective Jan. 7, 2019.

-Diana Moore as substitute secretary, effective Jan. 7, 2019.

Employment, pending appropriate certification(s) and background check
-Bailey Callison as first-grade teacher at Union Elementary School, effective at the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year.

-Neil Reger as Title I tutor at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, up to 6 hours, effective Jan. 9, 2019.

-Roseanne Siggia-Walker as long-term substitute special education/multi-categorical teacher at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School for the remainder of the 2018-2019 academic year, effective Jan. 9, 2019.

-Alice Howard as long-term substitute fourth grade elementary teacher at Buckhannon Academy for the remainder of the 2018-2019 academic year, effective Jan. 9, 2019.

-Sarah Stansbury as substitute teacher for Upshur County Schools, effective upon confirmation of recertification from the West Virginia Department of Education.

-Lisa Hildreth as substitute teacher, effective Jan. 14, 2019.

-D.J. Ray as volunteer assistant wrestling coach and volunteer assistant lacrosse coach at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, effective Jan. 9, 2019.

-Kevin Sharp as long-term substitute in health and physical education at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, effective Jan. 9, 2019.

-Jennifer Ervin and Wade Sinclair as substitute custodians, effective Jan. 9, 2019.

-Update due to release from Lewis County Schools, Skylar Fulton as fourth-grade teacher at Hodgesville Elementary School, effective Jan. 2, 2019.

Request for unpaid leave of absence
-Brenda Davis, Dec. 10 to 14, 2018.

-Andrea Ellis, Dec. 10 to 14, 2018.

Request from Fairmont State University
-Loryn Frame to volunteer and observe with Upshur County Schools’ occupational therapist, effective Jan. 9, 2019.

-Kristy Spencer from cook II at B-UMS to itinerant special education aide at French Creek Elementary School, effective Jan. 9, 2019.

The next regular meeting of the Upshur County BOE is slated for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School.

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