Gov. Justice presents $50,000 check to Mercer Elementary School through WVDE’s I Got Vaxxed Competition

11/16/2021

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Among highest-vaccinated elementary schools in West Virginia
PRINCETON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice and his pet English Bulldog, Babydog, traveled to Mercer Elementary School in Princeton today, presenting students and staff with a $50,000 check as winners in the West Virginia Department of Education’s I Got Vaxxed Competition.

“Today, there is some really special stuff going on,” Gov. Justice said. “We had this big competition with all the schools in the state to see who could get the highest percentage of students and staff vaccinated. And out of all those schools, all across the state, you won and earned $50,000 for your school. I could never be more proud.”


The I Got Vaxxed Competition was announced by Gov. Justice and the WVDE to encourage eligible school-aged children, faculty, and staff to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Through the competition, a total of 12 public and private schools – four elementary schools, four middle schools, and four high schools – with the largest percentage of eligible vaccinated staff and students will each win $50,000 to use for activities or initiatives which will improve the student experience. To encourage full participation, students were polled to have input on how they would like the funds to be used.

Mercer Elementary plans to use their winnings to expand their after-school programs, to offer more opportunities for students for robotics and their Running Club, to expand their playground allowing for more group exercise options during daily recess time, and to purchase health tools like a healthy mouth or a life-sized skeleton. 

During today’s ceremony, the MES Choir performed “God Bless America” for Gov. Justice and Babydog.
After the WVDE initially launched the program offering prizes of $25,000 for winning schools, Gov. Justice supplemented the competition’s funding, increasing the prize award to $50,000 to further incentivize school communities to participate.

A total of 77 public and private schools entered the competition, and all submitted vaccination data was verified by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to identify the winners. At least one winning school in each category is a private school.

Additional winning schools announced over the past week include:
  • Nov. 9 ceremonies:
    • Andrew Jackson Middle School
    • Elkview Middle School
    • Geary Elementary & Middle School
    • Morgantown Learning Academy
  • Nov. 15 ceremonies:
    • Mountaineer Montessori
    • Charleston Catholic High School
The remaining I Got Vaxxed Competition winners will be announced soon.
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Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov

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