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Last updated: April 15. 2014 10:10AM - 555 Views
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CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission recognized the academic achievements of nearly 200 ‘GEAR UP’ students at the sixth annual Governor’s Honors Symposium, held April 5 at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences. GEAR UP, which stands for “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs,” is a college preparation initiative providing services to students in ten West Virginia counties. The Symposium highlighted the accomplishments of the program’s 12th-grade students, many of whom have participated in GEAR UP since the seventh grade.


During the Symposium, a representative from Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s office presented a proclamation designating April 5, 2014 as “West Virginia GEAR UP Day” in recognition of the program’s efforts to ensure equal access to higher education opportunities and increase workforce preparedness in the State.


“West Virginia GEAR UP is one of the Commission’s most unique and innovative efforts,” Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the Commission, said. “Program counselors begin working with students in middle school and continue to guide them — step by step over the course of six years — to find a path that will lead to career success and self-fulfillment. That path is different for every student. Some may choose to pursue a trade certificate program; others may choose a two-year or a four-year degree. Helping these students discover their way and work toward their goals is a truly inspiring experience for our staff, and I believe this work will lead to great outcomes for our state.”


West Virginia GEAR UP is funded by a grant from the United States Department of Education. The program serves Boone, Clay, Lincoln, McDowell, Mingo, Roane, Summers, Webster, Wirt and Wyoming counties.


The following Boone County students were recognized during the Governor’s Honors Symposium:


• Jenna Backus, Scott High School


• Dillan Barker, Scott High School


• Olivia Peri Barlas, Sherman High School


• Aaron Baxter, Sherman High School


• Briar Berry, Sherman High School


• Sarah Blair, Scott High School


• Kathryn Blethen, Scott High School


• Morgan Booth, Scott High School


• Jennah Brinegar, Scott High School


• Ikie Brooks, Scott High School


• Emily Chambers, Scott High School


• Beth Comer, Scott High School


• Ashley Dangerfield, Sherman High School


• Nisa Dolin, Scott High School


• Haylea Donevant, Scott High School


• Abbey Duffey, Scott High School


• Danny Egnor, Scott High School


• Kenny Elswick, Scott High School


• Chassidy Engel, Scott High School


• Allison Epling, Scott High School


• Chelsie Gillenwater, Scott High School


• Courtney Gillenwater, Scott High School


• Samantha Graffius, Scott High School


• Kari Griffith, Scott High School


• Keaira Hager, Scott High School


• Margaret Hager, Scott High School


• Shannon Hager, Scott High School


• Tyler Halstead, Sherman High School


• Kasey Huffman, Scott High School


• Ciera Kinder, Sherman High School


• Myrtle Kinder, Sherman High School


• Nicholas Kuhn, Scott High School


• Breanna Linville, Scott High School


• Cameron Loftus, Scott High School


• Holly Elizabeth McCallister, Sherman High School


• Landon Mitchell, Scott High School


• Kyle Mosley, Scott High School


• Colin Nelson, Scott High School


• Donovan O’Connor, Sherman High School


• Seth Pettry, Sherman High School


• Taylor Raby, Scott High School


• Kendyl Ryan, Scott High School


• Samantha Sansom, Scott High School


• Kaitlyn Shreve, Scott High School


• Alexandria Slone, Scott High School


• Octavia Smoot, Scott High School


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