PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Blennerhassett Middle School Principal Melanie Arthur has received the 2020-2021 West Virginia Association of Student Councils Principal of the Year Award.

The West Virginia Association of Student Council recognizes one outstanding high school and middle school principal every year at their annual fall conference.

Arthur has been principal at Blennerhassett Middle School for four years, and previously worked in Calhoun County as the Principal of Calhoun Middle-High School.

“I would like to thank Lisa Whirtley for the nomination and everyone who voted for me to receive this award. I am so grateful for the recognition for my work as principal at Blennerhassett Middle School,” Arthur said. “Winning this award would not have been possible without the inspiring and dedicated colleagues I get to work with every day. This accomplishment is not something that I did alone, and there are many others who deserve to share in this award.

“The staff, parents, students, and community we have at Blennerhassett work tirelessly every day. I appreciate them and all their support they have given me. I would also like to thank my family for their continued support.”

This past weekend, the WVASC held its 84th Annual Fall Conference. Typically, the conference is held at Jackson’s Mill. However, this year it went virtual for the first time due to COVID-19.

The mission of the West Virginia Association of Student Councils (WVASC) is to provide and coordinate programs that teach skills to develop positive student leaders. WVASC provides students with the opportunity to learn and develop leadership skills, practice learned leadership skills in a structured environment, and reinforce the students’ ability to lead in their respective schools.

Fall Conference activities typically include: campaign speeches and election of state officers, general sessions with known consultants, ice breakers, student and advisor idea exchanges, work in councils, an Olympics activity, advisor business meeting, WVASC delegate business meeting, banquet, workshop sessions, and social activities.

“This year we need to cut down the activities to online. We had an opening speaker, Keith Hawkins and a closing speaker, Shannon McKain. Both are favorites of our West Virginia students,” the WVASC said Tuesday in a press release. “We also offered many great workshops. Several of our past officers presented. As well as two young gentlemen that ran for state offices, Jarryd Powell and Luke Winters. We also had an appearance by Natalie Tennant, former West Virginia Secretary of State.

“Our conference was about six hours on Saturday, November 21. It was a long day, but the kids hung in there. There were delegates from both Parkersburg High School and Parkersburg South High School” in attendance.

The WVASC executive director is Lisa Whirtley from Blennerhassett Middle School. Assistant Executive Direct is Michelle Swisher from PHS. And Senior High Director is Jaime Moss from PSHS. Schools interested in joining WVASC can find information at