CHARLESTON — Twelve schools in the Mountain State have a shot to win big money from the state with the vaccination contest unveiled by State Superintendent Clayton Burch last Wednesday. 

The contest is simple: the 12 schools in the state, public or private, with the highest percentage of eligible staff and students vaccinated will win $50,000. 

That means that statewide, 4 elementary schools, 4 middle schools and 4 high schools all have the change to pocket the big bucks from Big Jim by the time the contest closes. 

“We’re going to do everything we can to support our schools and teachers,” Burch said. “We want to get as many folks vaccinated as possible.” 

Initially, the state school board put out a brief that detailed the competition as offering $5,000 to the schools with the highest percentage of vaccinated students and staff, but after Gov. Justice and Burch committed more funds to the pot, the contest award grew to $50,000. 

The contest will run through the 1st week of October and is a part of the #IGotVaxxedWV campaign that encourages folks to get their shot and help stop the spread of the virus and its variants throughout the schools and the community. 

Students 12 and older are encouraged to get the vaccine, as well as all school staff and service personnel. 

“If you don’t want an interruption in your school year, in your sports programs, and everything else, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” Justice said last week. “It’s incredibly safe and it’s the absolute best answer that we have.” o

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