WELLSBURG - The Brooke County Board of Education recognized students who won contests involving writing, knowledge of West Virginia history and public speaking and a local teacher for being selected to attend a program offering instruction in making math and science more fun for pupils.
The West Virginia Young Writers Contest is sponsored annually by the West Virginia Writing Project and funded by the West Virginia Department of Education, with support from Marshall University, the University of Charleston and the Charleston Daily Mail.
No Brooke County students were state winners this year, but it's been customary for a panel of Brooke County judges to name local winners in an effort coordinated by Diane Rasz, an English teacher at Wellsburg Middle School.
The local winners and their respective grade levels are:
First and second grades: Estella Lahita of Jefferson Primary School, first place; Brody McAllister of Wellsburg Primary School, second; and Sarah Sheetz of Jefferson Primary, third.
Third and fourth grades: Riley McAllister of Wellsburg Primary, first; and Sidney Felouzis and Rachel Kazmirski, both of Colliers Primary School, second and third, respectively.
Fifth and sixth grades: Ashley Eby of Wellsburg Middle School, first; Ethan Secrist of Follansbee Middle School, second; and Aryana Talbott of Wellsburg Middle, third.
Seventh and eighth grades: Jackie Carbasho and Courtney Cupps, both of Wellsburg Middle, first and second, respectively; and Gabriella Taverne of Follansbee Middle, third.
The pupils could write about anything they wanted, provided their entries were prose and met word counts required for their respective grade levels.
The diversity of their subjects was revealed by the titles of their entries, which included, "My Dog Patchy," "The Knight that Did Not Give Up," "A Cool but Weird Experience," "Those Unsaid Words" and "The Fight."
Recognition also went to Brooke County's winners of the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe competition, which involves an online examination testing West Virginia eighth-graders' knowledge of the state's history, culture, geography and current events.
Brooke County's winners are Madeleine Marks of Wellsburg Middle School and William Combs and Dalton Minger of Follansbee Middle School.
The students' West Virginia history teachers are Miranda Zwicker and Zak Harvey at Follansbee Middle and Ron Javorsky at Wellsburg Middle.
The three Brooke students and other top scorers on the exam will be inducted to the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe Society in Charleston in a ceremony conducted by the governor or state superintendent of schools later this month.
The board also recognized Brooke County winners and participants of the "Gettysburg Address" speech contest sponsored earlier this year by the Brooke County Commission.
Ashley Eby and Kadee Grzybek, both of Wellsburg Middle, placed first and third in the contest, while Allie Morrocco of St. Paul School in Weirton placed second.
Also receiving kudos was Suzanne Davidson, a fourth-grade teacher at Hooverson Heights Primary School who was selected to participate in the Mickelson ExxonMobile Teachers Academy at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey in July.
The five-day program is designed to instruct teachers in making math and science fun and interesting to pupils through a variety of hands-on activities. It was initiated by professional golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, and developed by the National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions with the financial support of ExxonMobile.