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Wood BOE honors student academics

The Wood County Board of Education on Tuesday honored the Vienna Elementary “Viking Voyagers,” a FIRST LEGO League team which will compete this weekend at a competition at Fairmont State University. The team consists of, front from left, Aubree McDonald, Kayden McDonald, Parker Woods, Rylan Taylor, Addison Somich, Kayley Kalika, Jaelyn Kalika, Brock Gillispie, Hayden Carey and Will Bashaw. The coaches are, back from left, Kristin Doepker and Melissa Taylor. (Photo by Michael Erb)

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Board of Education on Tuesday honored students for their academic achievements both in the classroom and on the road.

The Vienna Elementary School “Viking Voyagers” will travel Saturday to compete in the WV FIRST LEGO League Jr. competition at Fairmont State University. The team was recognized Tuesday as the first grade 3-5 LEGO team from Wood County Schools.

“They’ve competed two times, they’ve won both events, so they are going to the state this weekend,” said Superintendent Will Hosaflook. “They will be representing Wood County Schools in the LEGO Robotics League.”

The team consists of Aubree McDonald, Kayden McDonald, Parker Woods, Rylan Taylor, Addison Somich, Kayley Kalika, Jaelyn Kalika, Brock Gillispie, Hayden Carey and Will Bashaw. The coaches are Kristin Doepker and Melissa Taylor.

“This is the first step in building a culture of creative and imaginative thinking,” said Hosaflook. “All of Lego Robotics is coding and a lot of math.”

Zachary Gaston, a fourth-grader at Madison Elementary School, was honored Tuesday by the Wood County Board of Education for receiving a perfect score on the online essay program MIWrite. Gaston is the only perfect score so far on the MIWrite program in Wood County Schools. (Photo by Michael Erb)

As the students were leaving the meeting, Hosaflook wished the team luck.

“Hopefully after this weekend, we can come back and introduce the state champions,” he said.

“Let’s hope it’s us,” Woods said.

The board Tuesday also recognized Zachary Gaston, a fourth-grader at Madison Elementary School, for receiving a perfect score on the online essay program MIWrite. The district uses several online programs which help students work through West Virginia curriculum and standards while testing and tracking their knowledge of those materials.

“The only student in Wood County that I know about that scored perfect on the MIWrite program, a perfect essay,” Hosaflook said. “That is a computer-assisted program, and it grades everything within that program.”

The 9-year-old Gaston said his essay, called “I Can Fly,” uses characters from the “short animation site” he created.

Hosaflook said Gaston’s achievement came to administrators’ attention during one of the monthly central office “data chats” in which principals present all data for their schools.

In other business Tuesday, the board voted on two employee disciplinary items. The votes followed a 22-minute closed door session.

The board unanimously approved the 20-day unpaid suspension of service employee William Gray. The board also unanimously approved the termination of service employee Rebecca Eichorn. No details on either disciplinary action were given.

“There will not be any further discussion in public,” said board President Rick Olcott.

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