By Beth Christian Broschart
The Parsons Advocate
PARSONS – Tucker County Activities Coordinator Karen Linton introduced the winners in three academic contests held recently in the county during the Tucker County Board of Meeting Monday. Linton said the Golden Horseshoe Contest is a test that has been administered in West Virginia since 1931.
“It is the longest running program of its kind in any state,” Linton said. “The top scoring 8th graders from each county receive the award and will be inducted as Knights and Ladies of the Golden Horseshoe in Charleston.”
The program takes its name from the golden horseshoes given to the early explorers of West Virginia. The West Virginia Golden Horseshoe website said that each year, approximately 22,000 8th grade students spend the school year studying a comprehensive West Virginia curriculum that engages students in the intense study of the history, geography, economy and government of the Mountain State. They develop intellectual and participatory skills as well as foster attitudes necessary for students to participate as effective, involved and responsible citizens. The State Department of Education, in effect, uses the Golden Horseshoe award to honor ‘all state’ West Virginia Studies students.
Winners of the Golden Horseshoe honored were Stacey Moore of Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School and Nathan Davis of Davis Thomas Elementary Middle School.
Linton said Math Field Day is a competition where students complete various math activities that cover the Next Generation standards.
“Three people from each county in each grade level go to the regional competition and then three people from the region in each grade level go on to the state,” Linton said. “We have not had any participants from the high school for a while but I do know there are a few 8th grade students that will be interested in participating as 9th graders.”
Linton said the following students were winners in the Tucker County Math Field Day and will move on to the regional competition.
4th grade winners were first place, Wenkai Campbell; second place, Eden Burton; and third place, Jessie Hamrick. Linton said Wenkai and Jessie were not able to participate at the regional competition so Curtis Dean was an alternate. 5th grade winners were first place, Jacob Devilder; second place, Ivy Wilt; and third place was Aaron Chambers. 6th grade winners were first place, Morgan Cowgill; second place, Wayne Clark; and third place, Mason Tibbs. 7th grade winners include first place, Emma Wamsley; second place, Taylor Long; and third place, Alexis Evers. 8th grade winners include first place, Nathan Davis; second place, Jacob Moore; and third place Zack Mowery.
The Young Writers Winners will travel to Charleston. 3rd and 4th grade winner was Wenkai Campbell, 5th and 6th grade winner was Jay Hamric, 7th and 8th grade winner was Emma Wamsley, 9th and 10th grade winner was Mikela Betler and 11th and 12 grade winner was Taylor Ambrose.
Linton said the state winners will not be publicly announced until Young Writers Day in Charleston. “But we do have a second place state winner among our county winners,” Linton said.
Jay Hamric, principal of TCHS, recognized the theater group for participating in the State and Regional Theater Competition.
“This is the first time in school history the theater department was approved to compete at the regional competition,” Hamric said. “Last week, they advanced on to the state competition and I heard they did a fantastic job. I am so proud. People do not realize the time and effort it takes to compete at that level.”
Erin Marks, assistant for the theater, said the most amazing thing was the players had from the beginning of January to mid to late February to put the one act together.
“These guys did it and they did an amazing job,” Marks said. “If you guys want to see the one act, it is going to be part of our evening of one acts for our spring production.”
Marks introduced Kaylee Nedrow, Abby Holm, Alex Dyer, Kyle Stemple, Jazzmyn Hinz, Hope Roy and Jack Melnick.
Also during Monday’s meeting, TCHS Art Instructor Mary Waters showcased her student STEAM Tiny House project. She said the unit was called design a tiny.
“It began as trying to figure how art fit into the STEAM initiative,” Waters said. “I found out art is part of STEM as STEAM because art is part of engineering, science, math and technology. I applied for a grant through WV Power and received about $4,500 to design tiny houses. I started with design ideas.”
Waters said the ability to use our hands to create causes brain development. She said employers are searching for creative applicants. She said she is taking her students to visit Fallingwater, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, in Mill Run, PA in May.
Board members approved the following resignations/retirements – Heather Clower, Caroline Snyder, Billie James, Christina Drenning and Kathy DiBacco. The approved the following employment – Rebecca Moore, homebound instructor; Christopher Wilson, English teacher TCHS for the 2016-2017 school year; James Alex Cork, social studies instructor TCHS for the 2016-2017 school year; Joshua Michael, assistant football coach TCHS 2016-2017; Daniel Helmick, assistant football coach TCHS 2016-2017; Jerod Caligiuri, volunteer assistant baseball coach, TCHS, effective immediately; and Teresa Simmons, long term secretary effective April 5.
BOE members approved the probationary contracts for the 2016-2017 school year and the continuing contracts for the 2016 to 2017 school year.
Members approved the following personnel transfers for subsequent assignment: Alison Rapp to 2nd grade teacher at TVEMS effective for the 2016-2017 school year; Denver Gaydon to music teacher, virtual course facilitator at DTEMS for the 2016-2017 school year; Megan Helmick to 2nd grade teacher at DTEMS effective 2016-2017; and Jaqueline Roy to Title I Coordinator/elementary education instructor at DTEMS for 2016-2017.
Superintendent Dr. Eddie Campbell announced the following days are now instructional days because of snow days: May 25, May 26 and May 27. He said the tentative last day of school will be May 27.
The next Tucker County Board of Education meeting is slated for 4:30 p.m. April 19 at Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School. The change to a Tuesday is statutory because the BOE is required to lay the levy.