By Adam Pack
Though the Greenbrier County Board of Education was meeting for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Apr. 11, they were meeting under some more than regular circumstances. The board had time out for applause for at least seven different groups of students and teachers in Greenbrier County who have won accolades in sports, academics, and their professions.
The meeting began with the recognition of the 2023 Girl’s Basketball Single-A, Region III championship winning Greenbrier West Lady Cavaliers. Coach Mark Agee spoke briefly about how his girls “worked their hind ends off this year. Some of them have been playing since the ninth grade to get this point and they really made a fine showing at states, and we plan on going back next year.”
Recognition was then given to the Alderson Elementary Archery Team, who placed in their first ever state meet, and will be going to the national tournament on May 15. Coaches Jason Ward, Matt Tabor, Andrea Edge, Alicia Utterback, and Principal Thomas Niswander were present, all of whom had nothing but glowing praise for their student athletes.
Lauren Rodgers was also honored for achieving 5th place in the state poetry competition, “Poetry Out Loud 2023.” Her English teacher, Mrs. Kelly Cochran, was not available for the event, but a statement she prepared read, in part, “In competing against 47 students from around the state, she used her background in theater to help her express and perform and finish in the top five in the state.”
The Board was also pleased to recognize the County Spelling Bee winners, as well as the winners of the 2023 Young Writers Contest. Amelia Nichols (EGMS) won 1st place and Johanna Geisler (Ronceverte Elementary) won 2nd Place.
The 2023 Young Writers winners were selected from each grade and read as follows: Kindergarten, Mia Hunter (Lewisburg Elementary); 1st Grade, Charlotte Peplowski (Ronceverte Elementary); 2nd Grade, Elizabeth Spencer (Ronceverte Elementary); 3rd Grade, West Ridpath (Ronceverte Elementary); 4th Grade, Emma Martin (Lewisburg Elementary); 5th Grade, Isabella Justice (Frankford Elementary); 6th Grade, Hatcher Skelding (EGMS). Stories from Elizabeth Spencer, Emma Martin, and Hatcher Skelding were selected for submission to the state competition.
Moving on to mathematics, the board honored 2022-23 County Math Field Day winners and those winners advancing to the state competition. Many students showed well at the Math Field Day Tournament, and placed as follows: 4th grade: 1st place, Asa Brown (Lewisburg Elementary); 2nd place, Tucker Hale (Lewisburg Elementary); 3rd place, Ryeleigh Shirley (Frankford Elementary). Alternates: Mace Hanna (White Sulphur Elm), Ziggy Justice (Rainelle Elementary), and Charlotte Smailes (Homeschool).
5th grade: 1st place, Arabella Webb (Lewisburg Elementary) 2nd place, Tayton Martin (Smoot Elementary); 3rd place, Peyton Ervin (Lewisburg Elementary). Alternates: James Godby (Lewisburg Elementary); Amiah Adams (Rainelle Elementary); Jacob Kanode (Rainelle Elementary) Estimation Contest Winners: Khloe Short (Alderson Elementary) and Rylee Wickline (EGMS).
6th grade: 1st place, Emma Vincent (EGMS); 2nd place, Skyler Bishop (WGMS); 3rd place, Grace Brown (EGMS). Alternates: Ava Taylor, John-John Akers, Hatcher Skelding
7th grade: 1st place, Ben Butler (WGMS); 2nd place, Drew McClung (EGMS); 3rd place, Saja Huggi (EGMS). Alternates: Luke White, Beck Tremann, Rylee Wickline
8th grade: 1st place, Jeb Brown (WGMS); 2nd place Bhavvya Patel (EGMS); 3rd place Titus Mathias (EGMS). Alternates: Becca Lee, Maddi Sweet, Lydia Jackson
Grade 9: 1st place, Nathaniel Vincent (GEHS); 2nd place, Geoffrey Bland (GEHS); 3rd place, Andrew Holt (GEHS). Alternates: Noah Edwards, Lucille Skelding, Ian Diehl.
Grade 10-12: 1st place, Kendra Culyer (GEHS); 2nd place, Jonathan Nguyen (GEHS); 3rd place, Sophia Nguyen (GEHS); 4th place, Cameron Little (GEHS); 5th place, Nixon Brown (GEHS); 6th place, Peyton Barker (GEHS); 7th place, Mollie Pack (GEHS); 8th place, Lorelei Eagle (GEHS); 9th place, Tiffany Redden (GWHS); 10th place, Gavin Erskine (GEHS). Alternates: Jakob Tomlinson, Staci Thompson, Meagan Poticher, Isaac Agee, Brandon Poticher
Those students advancing to states are: 5th Grade, Arabella Webb (1st place regionals); 7th Grade, Ben Butler (1st place regionals); 8th Grade, Bhavya Patel (1st Place regionals); 8th Grade, Jeb Brown (3rd place regionals); 9th Grade, Geoffrey Bland (2nd place regionals); Grades 10-12, Kendra Culyer (2nd place regionals).
Next, the board honored 2022 H.O.S.A State Leadership Winners. Greenbrier East High School H.O.S.A students, under the direction of Margaret Dodd, traveled to Marshall University March 3rd and 4th to compete in the West Virginia State H.O.S.A Leadership Conference Competition. Out of the 25 participants, 21 students placed and are eligible to compete in the International H.O.S.A competition in Dallas, TX in June. Those students, their category of competition, and their places are listed as follows:
Vet Science: Alexia Tipton, 1st; Ellie Gregory, 2nd; Mya Monroy, participated
PT: Bailey Caraway, participated
Behavioral Health: Mackenzie Friend, 2nd
MRC: Josi Ervin, 1st; Jonathan Nguyen, 1st; Laken Bennett, 1st
Community Awareness: Sara Whitt Community Awareness, 3rd; Elizabeth Baldwin, 3rd; Madison Jackson, 3rd; Madeline Johnson, 3rd.
Mental Health Promotion: Jiya Patel, 1st; Sophia Nguyen, 1st; Cera Lim, 1st.
Medical Reading: Alyssia Ratliff, 3rd
CPR: Isabella Harrison, 3rd; Ashlyn Blevins, 3rd
PSA: Emily Pyles, 3rd; Hallie Rhodes, 3rd; Bailey Birchfield, 3rd
Medical Terminology: Shaylee Helvey, participated
Health Career Photography: Skylar Shockley, 3rd
Sports Medicine: Taylor Brammer, participated
Be-The-Match Award: Sara Whitt, 1st; Elizabeth Baldwin, 1st; Madison Jackson, 1st; Madeline Johnson, 1st.
Healthcare Issues Exam: Cera Lim, 1st; Mya Monroy, 2nd
Healthcare Issues Exam: Taylor Brammer, 3rd
HOSA Happenings: Alexia Tipton, 1st
Lastly, the board honored the Teachers of the Year from each of Greenbrier’s Counties Schools and announced the overall Greenbrier County Teacher of the Year. School-level Teachers of the Year are Jason Ward (Alderson), Jamie Howard (Crichton), Karen Lockhart (Frankford), Holly Bush (Lewisburg), Lisa Witt (Rainelle), Sara Hill (Ronceverte), Amber Osborne (Rupert), Rachel Holliday (Smoot), Tracy Asbury (WSSE), Rachelle Henderson (EGMS), Sandra Tharp (WGMS), Jennifer Banton Knisely (GEHS), and Misty Boone (GWHS). All of these teachers were accompanied by glowing words from students and administrators with whom they work.
The Elementary Teacher of Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year, respectively, were Amber Osborne and Rachelle Henderson. The overall Greenbrier County Teacher of the Year for 2023-24 was announced as Sara Hill, a Multicategorical/Autism Specialist at Ronceverte Elementary.
The Greenbrier County Board of Education is beyond proud of all the students and staff honored. The Board will be meeting again on Tuesday, May 11, at 6 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend. Interested parties should call 304-647-6470 to confirm meeting time, date, and location prior, as they are subject to change.
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