At their December 18th meeting, the Bland County Board of Supervisors recognized the outstanding 2018 season of the Bland County High School Theatre Team and the Bland County Elementary School Bearbots who both recently competed in state competitions.
“It was a great turnout tonight and it is an honor for the Board of Supervisors to get the opportunity to recognize so many great accomplishments achieved by the youth of the county,” stated Adam Kidd, Chairman of the Bland County Board of Supervisors. The Bland County Board of Supervisors recognized the Bland County Theatre Team for their outstanding competition performance season in their production of "Canterbury Tales" by Arnold Wengrow. The 2018 theatre team was the 1A C Combined Sectional Runner-Up with Outstanding Acting Awards for Luke Saferight and Owen Cagle, the 1A CD Super Regional Runner-Up with an Outstanding Acting Award for Owen Cagle and acting honorable mentions for Hanna England and the entire ensemble, the 1A VHSL State Theatre Runner-Up with an Outstanding Acting Award for Owen Cagle and acting honorable mentions for Hanna England and Luke Saferight.
The theatre team is comprised of cast and crew members Kali Archer, Kyle Arnold, Mina Black, Owen Cagle, Matthew Cantrell, Meghan Chewning, Matthew Coleman, Kaylee Dunford, Hanna England, Michaelyn Fanning, Abbie Harman, Maddie Hatcher, Jasmine Hodge, Chloe Kidd, Lilly Lundy, Ashtin McLaughin, Hannah Minnix, Sky Mitchell, Bridgette Potter, Emma Rasnake, Leanndra Saferight, Luke Saferight, Madison Sink, Matthew Sisk, Charlie Sloop, Hailey Tyeryar, and Cameron Woolwine. “Bland County is a small, rural community, but we are very proud of the achievements that our students, teachers, coaches, parents, volunteers, and school administration have obtained,” stated Supervisor Randy Johnson. The Bland County High School Theatre Team, under the direction of Tiffany Carter and Cameron Burton, has established a tradition of excellence for several years, having achieved several conference, regional, and state awards for various performances.
The Board of Supervisors also recognized the Bland County Bearbots for their outstanding competition season in 2018. The Bearbots are two robotics teams at Bland County Elementary School that participate in the FIRST® LEGO® League, one of four (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) STEM-learning programs from FIRST®, which immerses students in realworld science and technology challenges, where teams ages 9 to 14 are challenged to design their own solution to current scientific problems, then build LEGO®robots that perform autonomous “missions”, while in the process, they developed valuable life skills and discover exciting career possibilities in science and technology. There are 605 robotics competition teams in the Commonwealth of Virginia and Bland County has two teams that competed in 2018 with the Bearbots Blue team being one of two teams from the Abingdon region to qualify for the state competition known as the FIRST® LEGO® League Virginia/DC.
The Bearbots Blue Team consists of members Jacob Myers, Andrew Coleman, Maddie Stultz, Bryson Fanning, Valeska Fulford, and Chase Duncan, and the Orange Team consists of members Addison Myers, Jocelyn Parks, Colton Lambert, Mary Harrison, Riley Gibson, and Ayden Maxwell, and the Bearbots are coached by Ariel Goins and Marilyn Fortner. “When you evaluate what the young people of Bland County have accomplished over the years, along with the high level of community support that they receive, it creates an inspirational atmosphere and it fosters additional achievements,” stated supervisor Karen Hodock. Supervisor Stephen Kelley followed Mrs. Hodock’s, statement with, “Success is not given to anyone, it is obtained through hard work and dedication and that is why it is important, that as a Board, we recognize our youth for their outstanding accomplishments.”