Pocahontas County Super Scholars Recognized In Ceremony At High School

Dunmore, WV – Parents, teachers and students filled the auditorium at Pocahontas County HS on May 19th for the Super Scholars awards ceremony. In order to qualify as a Super Scholar, students must in grades three through twelve, have an overall average of 93% in their core subjects such as math, language arts, and science after the third nine weeks of the school year, and nothing less than a “C” average in other subjects such as physical education, music or art.

Students from four of the five county schools were recognized during the ceremony – 8 from Hillsboro Elementary, 28 from Marlinton Elementary, 35 from Marlinton Middle, and 30 from Green Bank Elementary Middle School. Scholars from the high school will be recognized on May 26th during the honors banquet. Hillsboro Principal Ricky Sharp summed up the feelings of many in the auditorium that night.

“Tonight is a direct reflection of an old saying that I believe very much in – it takes an entire village to raise a child” says Sharp. “What you see in front of you is not only a reflection of our efforts as educators, but as yours as parents. And I would like to thank all the parents tonight for doing your part and participating in the lives of these young children.”

Phillip Green of Green Bank Middle and Casey Griffith of Marlinton Middle school were also recognized as West Virginia Golden Horseshoe winners for this year. A list of children by school and grade can be found at the end of this story.

Students were not the only ones honored that night. Nominees for the Service employee and Teacher of the Year were also announced. In the Service category Sandy Irvine from Hillsboro, Karen McCoy from Marlinton Middle, TaBeatha McCoy from Marlinton Elementary, Cindy Pritt from the high school and Donna Gragg from Green Bank were all nominated for the service employee award. Green Bank Principal Ruth Bland presented the award to the winner.

“It is with great pride that I come to you tonight to tell you that one of our staff members, Donna Gragg, has been awarded the Pocahontas County Service Personnel of the Year award” says Bland. Donna began her career in Durbin School. She has spent 40 years in the school system; she was one of the first aides ever hired by Pocahontas County Schools.”

Gragg now works as a Kindergarten aide at Green Bank. Nominees for the Teacher of the Year award are nominated by their peers at each school. This year the nominees are Gina Hardesty from Hillsboro, Beth Peterson from Green Bank, Virginia Shaw from Marlinton Elementary, Rebecca Spencer from Marlinton Middle, and Cammy Kesterson from the high school.

Pocahontas County Teacher of the Year is Cammy Kesterson. PCHS Principal Tom Sanders praised Kesterson for her enthusiasm and rapport with her students.

“You know when you hire a teacher, I sometimes compare it to getting married” says Sanders, “you never know what you’re going to get for sure until you’ve lived with them for a year or two, but we did really well here, in picking up this teacher from Grant County.”

Kesterson, who’s been teaching at the high school for 7 years, says she loves her job.

“I could not imagine my life doing anything else but teaching” she says. “It’s the kids; that’s why I get up every morning and come to school.”

She’s also got another reason to celebrate this year.

[Heather] I understand your FBLA team is going to Nationals again this year?”

“Yes, and that’s one of my bragging and boasting rights is that this being my 7th year, after my first year, we have gone to Nationals six years in a row. This year we have a desktop publishing team and it’s Karen Wilfong and Brittney Phillips.”

They will travel to Orlando, FL for competition at the end of June. Kesterson is also hard at work preparing her documentation for the state Teacher of the Year competition, to be announced later this year.

2010-2011 Super Scholars

Hillsboro Elementary:

3rd Grade – Michael Hardesty, Kearstin Bogart, Isaac Evans, Kolton Alderman
4th Grade -Brianna Hefner, Victoria Rose, Patience Garretson
5th Grade – Khy Williams

Marlinton Elementary:

3rd Grade – Abram Leyzorek, Alexis Gibson, Charity Morrison, Amelia Rose, Trevor Wilson, Brody Buzzard, Julianna Agee, Colleen Buzzard, Emily Doss, Carly Keatley, Michael McGee, Matthew Moore, Thomas Smith

4th Grade – Cody Kiner, Colton Massey, Brandon Puffenbarger, Elijah Robertson, Kayla Sharp, J.D. Sharp, Braeden Hicks, Caitlin Greenwald, Taylor Tegtmeyer, Madelyn Thomas, Dylan Robinson, Kayla Williams, Jordan Nutter, Benjamin Davis, Hannah Carper

Marlinton Middle School:

5th Grade – Katie Gibson, Laura Leyzorek, Briar Wilfong, Hunter Wilfong, Mark Jordan, Nathan Morrison, Catlyn Sparks, Caitlin Keatley, Briana Mills, Walker Shinaberry

6th Grade – Logan Burks, Allie Burns, Kayla Gibson, Sydney Hall, Taylor Layne, Ryan Puffenbarger, Autumn Vance

7th Grade – Caitlin Barnes, Mia Ellison, Chad Friel, Conlin Halterman, J.D. Hensler, Audrey Lore, Goldie McClure, Ashlyn McKenney, Brittany McMillion, Tyler Owens, Matthew Rao

8th Grade – Corinne Airgood, Danielle Cain, Jensen Dean, Casey Griffith, Vincent Harper, Kayla Lester, Cary Robertson

Green Bank Elementary-Middle School:

3rd Grade – Chase Minghini, Dillon Shinaberry, Alexa Taylor, Charity Warder, Sadie Whitehead

4th Grade – Jacob Jones, Nathan Lambert, Brianna Morgan, Mathias Solliday

5th Grade – Madalaine Fleming, Jake Gardner, Cora Hedrick, Aspan Holder, Meggan Long, Tara Warner, Henry Whitehead

6th Grade – Brandon Halterman, Lindsey Hartzell, Brady Jones, Drake Warner

7th Grade – Lara Baudler, Jenna Bryant, Marilyn Creager, Megan Galfored, Makayla Marks, Melissa Murphy, Michelle Murphy, Kristie Topper

8th Grade – Miles Goodall, Natalie Hartzell

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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