By Melissa Toothman
PHILIPPI - The Barbour County Board of Education celebrated the achievements of students in the county's schools at Wednesday's meeting.
he Inter-Mountain photos by Melissa Toothman
Barbour County 4-H took home the national championship in both the land judging and homesite competitions in Oklahoma. Representing the team Wednesday are. from left, Nathan Yocum, a student of Elkins High School who placed second in land and 12th in homesite, and Philip Barbour High School students Mikhela Freeman, who placed 21st in land and 23rd in the homesite, Chloe Mouser, who placed seventh in land and fourth in homesite, and Kelton Miller, who placed first in land judging and second in homesite.
Barbour students are recognized Wednesday for various achievements and awards. From left, Isabella McNaboe represents Belington Elementary School with a third place award in the West Virginia Social Studies Fair, Anna Marie Ruf represents Belington Middle School with a second place award in the Barbour County Science Fair and Jordan McGee represents Kasson Middle School in the Regional Science Fair.
Not all students were able to be present, but all were recognized nonetheless. Retired West Virginia University Extension Agent Roger Nestor announced that it is rare for any competitor to win both homesite and land judging competitions in a national land judging contest, but for the fifth year ever, the local 4-H organization has done just that: Barbour County took home the national championship.
"Barbour County is the only 4-H land judging program to win both the land judging and the homesite judging competition in the same year in the 63 years of the contest," Nestor said. "Barbour County has done it five times. This makes the fifth time."
Nestor said that 17 Barbour County teams have participated in the competition over the years. All but two of those teams have placed in the top seven nationally. Not only did this year's team win, but they received a perfect score in the homesite category.
Some of the students involved also took home individual awards. They include Nathan Yocum, a student of Elkins High School who placed second in land and 12th in homesite, and Philip Barbour High School students Mikhela Freeman, who placed 21st in land and 23rd in the homesite, Chloe Mouser, who placed seventh in land and fourth in homesite, and Kelton Miller who placed first in land judging and second in homesite.
"I'm proud of this group for the work that they did," Nestor said. "They worked hard all winter... it's been a privilege for me to have been a part of that through the years. I can assure you, Barbour County pulls into Oklahoma City, they know we're there.
"They take note. I don't say that boastfully. It's a matter of fact. When you hear teams saying 'they're here,' they're talking about us. I try to help our kids understand not to talk about winning. Talk about giving our best effort. I believe if we give our best effort, good things happen."
Central Office Director Elaine Benson announced other student winners.
"It's my pleasure this evening to lift up some students who are high-achieving in our school system," Benson said.
Isabella McNaboe, a Social Studies Fair winner from Belington Elementary School, represented Barbour County when she competed in a state-level social studies competition and won third place in world history. Cody Cooper won an honorable mention.
Benson announced that all three Golden Horseshoe winners for this school year are Belington Middle School eighth-graders: Maddi Carpenter, Brandon Messenger and Johnny Williams.
Many Regional Science Fair winners also were from BMS. For the applied science category, Mykal Hoffman won first place, and Anna Ruf won second place. In biology and environmental sciences, Zoe Payne won second place, and J. T. Ward won third place. For physical science, Brandon Kyle won third place. Team project winners include Nathan Riccio and Tanner Talbott, third place winners.
Patriots Pen awards went to Shelbi Collins, who won first place in the county competition and second place at the regional contest, and Austin Davis, who won second place in the county and first place at regionals.
Kayla Lampkin of Philippi Middle School also won second place in the local science fair category for physiology and behavior.
In the regional science fair, Moriah Mitchell won an honorable mention. Jessica Melvin won a categorical first place and, overall, second place. Sarah Reed and Jama Marshall also each won a first place award. Others who went to the regional competition include Jordon McGee, Micah Harris, Colby Nestor, Stephanie Riel and Allison Phillips.
Benson also announced that Barbour County BOE was awarded a plaque for a Confucius Classroom Grant. The grant provides $10,000 cash and $10,000 worth of materials for Chinese language classes and programs at schools in the county.