Upshur County Schools

B-UHS Awarded $20,000.00 for Business Department; Digital Buccaneers Project

For Immediate Release

Contact Name: Buckhannon-Upshur High School Digital Imaging/Business Classes, instructor Mrs. Sarah Wamsley

Contact Phone: 304-472-3720 and email: swamsley@k12.wv.us

Digital Buccaneers, a Business CTE Simulated Workplace class at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, instructed by Sarah Wamsley, Receives a $20,000.00 Program Modernization Grant for new high-powered coding and design computers.

Last school year students of the Digital Buccaneers Simulated Workplace worked on writing a grant to the West Virginia Department of Education (CTE Division) for the Program Modernization Grant. Each year various CTE Programs are awarded this grant ranging from $1,000 to $20,000. Buckhannon-Upshur was awarded the highest amount of $20,000. One of the requirements for this grant is contribution from the County Office. Upshur County BOE Technology Director, Glenna Clutter provided assistance in financial means to cover the remaining computers not covered by the grant, 26 additional monitors, and TSS (Dusty Campbell) and Technician (Levi White) to set up the computers and install software. Additional supporters through the process included: Eddie Vincent, B-UHS Principal; Carla Rogers, B-UHS CTE Director with her assistance on submitting the grant to the state; and Danielle Rexroad, BUHS TIS with software updates and licenses for software. The computers have been set-up in Mrs. Sarah Wamsley’s classroom in which students completing in the CTE concentrations of Information Management and Coding, App, and Game Design will have the opportunity to work with these powerful machines on a daily basis.

Mrs. Wamsley states: “This is an exciting grant, my favorite part is that it was researched, and written by the students for the students. It goes to show how amazing our students are here at Buckhannon-Upshur High School. We have currently finished the installation of the computers and things are working wonderfully. To see the excitement and joy on my student’s faces when learning the content, and when experiencing dual monitor displays is the reason I became a teacher. Our students are entering a workforce known as the ‘gig economy’ which is simply the idea that many of our students will work from home on computers dealing with designing and programming for different companies or various projects aka gigs. I am beyond excited to expose our students in Upshur County to high powered machines and equipment that they may use in their future STEM/CTE Careers. ”

For a student to become a completer they must take the 4 required CTE classes, create a portfolio, and take the NOCTI evaluation test. The 4 required classes for Coding, App, and Game Design are Digital Imaging I, WebPage Design, Coding, App, and Game Design I and II. Students in these classes also have the opportunities to earn Industry recognized certifications in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign.

For a student to become a completer in Information Management they must take 4 of the following 6 courses: Digital Imaging I, Digital Imaging II (Digital Buccaneers Simulated Workplace Course), Desktop Publishing, Business Computer Applications I, Business Computer Applications II, and WebPage Design. In this cluster students have the opportunity to obtain industry recognized certifications in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

The grant was written by a group of students in the simulated workplace with the student leader Joseph R. Tomasula. Students wrote the following quotes for the grant "With a new Game Design class opening at B-UHS , our hardware is inefficient to run required programs. Dusty Campbell our IT Technician, stated our 'computers are not capable of 3D Design... the programs would crash from inadequate processing power'."

We have received support for these Programs from Robert Hinton with the Upshur County Development Authority, "The base skill sets that you have outlined would prepare students for more advanced training as is usually provided by the employers." Mr. Hinton also explained " Employment opportunities are becoming more virtual and the opportunity to work from anywhere is growing ... coding, app, and game design classes are essential to providing STEM readiness to the community. Through research it is apparent that STEM careers are in high demand and the need for computer science and programming skills is essential to our community and state development.”

Current Student remarks: "The new computers give us new capabilities to use new programs to maximize our knowledge within the coding career opportunities where everyone should learn how to code." - Ryan Bevans, Coding, App, and Game Design Student

The new computers are being used in Coding, App, and Game Design Courses, Digital Imaging Courses, the WebPage Design course, and for the Digital Buccaneers Simulated Workplace course. The new computers are providing students with adequate equipment to effectively learn the curriculum without malfunction as seen in the previous hardware.
In addition to the upgrades the computer allows for multiple screen displays and will offer opportunities to give students at B-UHS a competitive edge in future STEM/CTE Careers.