By JULIA ROBERTS GOAD
DELBARTON - The halls of Burch Middle School rang out with wishes of a special day Thursday when a student was honored with her own day across Mingo County.
Victoria “Tori” Varney, an 8th-grader at BMS, won a competition with her essay on local government. The contest was sponsored by the County Commissioners Association of West Virginia.
The contest was part of CCAWV’s goal is to increase information and public awareness about county government. As an initiative of that goal, the Association partnered with West Virginia educators to encourage students to learn and write about their county government.
Tori won among over 300 entries in 15 counties.
The Mingo County Commission was on hand at the school Thursday to proclaim the day “Victoria Varney Day” throughout the county.
Essays were judged on understanding of the role of county government, grammar and spelling, clarity and organization of thought.
BMS Principal Jada Hunter told the Daily News that the MCC proclaimed “Victoria Varney Day” based on the positive recognition Tori had brought the county and her knowledge of county government. Hunter said Commissioners said that, to their knowledge, the honor has been bestowed on no more than 10 people.
Hunter also said she encouraged her students to share the news of Tori’s essay with their communities and on Facebook.
“We cannot be more proud of our school, our teachers and our students,” she said. “As educators, all we can ask for is to see the benefits of what we do.”
She went on to praise not only Victoria’s Social Studies teacher, but her 7th and 8th-grade English teachers, Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Hardin.
Victoria won a $250 cash prize. Her Social Studies teacher, Tanya Slone, also won $250 to be used for classroom activities.
“We are very excited,” Hunter said. “All day, students have been passing each other in the halls calling ‘Happy Tori Varney Day!’”