MOOREFIELD, W.Va. (WBOY) — Hardy County Schools Superintendent Sheena Van Meter has received the 2022 SMART529 Superintendent’s Award after more Hardy County Schools students entered the 2022 SMART529 “When I Grow Up” essay contest than anyone else.

“I was honored to recognize Superintendent Sheena Van Meter and Hardy County Schools for their efforts to teach students the importance of post-secondary education and career exploration,” said State Treasurer Riley Moore, who presented the award. “I’m looking forward to my Office’s essay contest for this upcoming year and reading about students’ future career aspirations.”

According to a release from the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office, “more than 2,800 students across the state submitted essays” for the 2022 SMART529 ‘When I Grow Up’ essay contest. Participating students were given the chance to win up to $5,000 for higher education while teachers could win a $2,500 cash prize. 

Although a grand prize winner was already announced in September, Hardy County Schools boasted a participation rate of 13.2%, based on “the number of entries submitted by students in the county in relation to the total number of SMART529 When I Grow Up essay contest entry forms mailed directly to schools each January,” the release said.

“I’m proud of Hardy County faculty and staff’s hard work to help students plan for their future beyond the high school, trade school or college classroom,” Superintendent Van Meter said. “It’s our goal to prepare them to productively contribute to their community, and the State Treasurer’s Office When I Grow Up essay contest helps them think about what that looks like, which is a great start!”

Entry forms for the 2023 SMART529 When I Grow Up essay contest can be found at SMART529.com as well as at elementary schools throughout the state. The deadline is Friday, Feb. 24, 2023.

More information about SMART529 can be found at SMART529.com.