BUCKHANNON – French Creek Elementary School students and staff who went over and above to achieve greatness were introduced to the Upshur County Board of Education as Upshur Stars during Tuesday’s Upshur County BOE meeting.
First to be recognized was Eliza Canter, a fourth-grade student from FCES. Eliza was introduced by Kayla Yocum, Upshur County Schools technology/digital communication specialist, who described her as ‘very eager to learn.’
“She enjoys reading, writing and exploring in the woods with her sister,” Yocum read. “During the time we were fully remote (learning), she wrote a story about an 80-year-old oak tree that her teacher, Christine Hull, chose to submit for the West Virginia Young Writers Contest.”
Yocum said the story detailed Eliza’s family and friends gathering under the oak tree for get-togethers.
“The oak tree was 60 feet tall and 60 feet wide,” Yocum read. “It provided the perfect amount of shade for their gatherings.”
Yocum said Eliza’s story was awarded first place in Upshur County and said it was submitted to the West Virginia Young Writers Contest where she placed third.
“We are very proud of Eliza and her writing ability,” Yocum said. “We thank you for all of your hard work throughout the year.”
Upshur County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus presented Eliza with an Upshur Star.
Next to receive Upshur Stars and recognition for their accomplishments were FCES fourth-grade teacher Kayla Sesco and her students. Yocum said Sesco and her students published a book.
“The book is titled, ‘This is Our Home, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia,’” Yocum read. “Each student chose a topic about West Virginia and wrote a one-page essay. They also created beautiful illustrations to go with their essays.”
Yocum said the topics included in the book were Blackwater Falls, the sugar maple tree, the rhododendron, Native Americans, Blennerhassett Island, the monarch butterfly, pepperoni rolls, coal mining, Seneca Caverns, black bears, brook trout, New River Gorge, the timber rattlesnake, cardinals and the West Virginia State Flag.
“Each student in Sesco’s class received a color copy of the published book,” Yocum read. “We are very proud of our young authors and illustrators.”
Students recognized include Zoey Burr, Kloey Crites, Koltyn Cronan, Tyler Gillis, Payton Hoover, Angelena Lewis, Olivia Linger, Adelaide Mcvey, Jaden Messenger, Brycen Michaels, Dakota Mullens, Caleb Servetas, Serenity Sutherland, Collin Ware and Bella Wolfe. Each student, along with their teacher Kayla Sesco, received an Upshur Star.
“It has been a really trying year for everyone,” Sesco said. “After Christmas Break, these kids came back and they poured so much time and effort into this book. We are so proud of them and happy for all the work they put into this book.”