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Two teachers, one student will receive certificates of honorable achievement at Feb. 23 board meeting

By Staff | Feb 20, 2015

During the second board meeting of each month, the Jefferson County Board of Education will recognize students and teachers who have made stellar contributions to their schools. “There are a lot of fresh faces on the board, including myself, and we want to address success,” said Alan Sturm, interim superintendent of Jefferson County Schools. “I think recognizing the contributions that members of Jefferson County Schools make to the community is vitally important to a flourishing school system.”

At the next meeting on Monday, Feb. 23, the BOE will present two teachers, Chris Atkins and Mary Stowell, and one student, Alexis Sauer, with certificates of honorable achievement. Each recipient’s principal will attend the meeting to say a few words and present the certificate.

Chris Atkins will be recognized for his outstanding accomplishments as physical education teacher at South Jefferson Elementary School. During his tenure with the school, Atkins has organized programs such as the youth-led Healthy Choice Ambassadors, a student floor-hockey group and the mother-son Olympics event. He also is credited with starting the school’s annual father-daughter dance.

“Mr. Atkins is a former Jefferson County Teacher of the Year-and for a very good reason,” said Richard Jenkins, principal of South Jefferson Elementary School. “He’s done so much during his tenure, and he continues to do new and innovative things for our staff and students.”

Alexis Sauer, an eighth-grade student at Charles Town Middle School, will be recognized for winning third place in the fifth through eighth-grade category in the YWCA Wheeling’s annual Project on Racism Essay Contest. The YWCA Wheeling, which received 500 essays during this year’s contest, is a member association of the Young Women’s Christian Association. The organization strives to empower women and eliminate racism.

“We are very proud of her,” said Timothy Sites, principal of Charles Town Middle School. “She did an excellent job of articulating a complex and important topic.”

C.W. Shipley Elementary School art teacher Mary Stowell will be recognized as the school’s Teacher of the Year. Stowell started teaching at C.W. Shipley in 2001 and will retire later this year. She has left her mark over the years, having painted a mural in the front hall and stenciled both her classroom and the office. She also developed a unit on art history during her tenure.

“Mary deserves the recognition,” said Heather Boucher, principal of C.W. Shipley Elementary. “She has dedicated so much of her time to our school and our students, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

The next BOE meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 23 at 110 Mordington Avenue, in Charles Town.