Buckhannon-Upshur High School

BUHS receives Program Modernization Grant


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.