Berkeley's 'best and brightest' honored

May 16, 2002|BY SARAH MULLIN

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Berkeley County Business Education Partnership members passed out 200 awards to the "best and brightest" among Berkeley County students, teachers and staff during a recognition ceremony Wednesday at Martinsburg High School.

The recognition ceremony has been held for more than 20 years and is one of several events the partnership sponsors, Berkeley County Schools spokeswoman Mary Jo Brown said.

The awards, in the form of plaques, are given to students and school personnel that have won a first place standing in any county, state or national competition, said Tom Cummings, president of the Business Education Partnership and regional manager for City National Bank.


"The best and the brightest walk across this stage," said Manny Arvon, superintendent for Berkeley County Schools.

The business partnership, which is a statewide program, has been in existence for more than two decades and pairs a local business with a school to create a working partnership.

"It's not just about throwing money at people. Each business partner tries to figure out what their school needs," Cummings said.

"We do the little things that wouldn't get done" for financial or manpower reasons, such as help with science fairs and mock interviews, he said.

Cummings added that the Berkeley County Business Education Partnership is the largest and most active in the state.

Awards were given for 34 different competitions, including National Merit Finalists, Teacher of the Year, state Drama, Latin, and Social Studies Fair, Science Fair, Golden Horseshoe and Student Leadership awards, and Top Ten students from all three high schools.

For the past seven years, the partnership has awarded four $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors to be used for higher education.

One student from each of the county's three high schools (Martinsburg, Musselman and Hedgesville) is given a scholarship, while the fourth is awarded to a student from any of the three high schools.

This year's recipients were Sara Miller and Laytoya Renee Parker of Martinsburg, Brian Thomas of Hedgesville and Noah Ashton of Musselman.

Teacher of the Year was Verne Colleen Miller of Rosemont Elementary School. Finalists for the award were Nettie Atkinson of South Middle School, Patricia Brockway-Votel of Opequon Elementary School, Beverly Nadebousch of Winchester Avenue School and Cynthia Rocheck of Martinsburg High School.

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