Spotlight on Terriers

By the Administrative Team at William Byrd High School

Each school week, the administrators at William Byrd High School recognize faculty and staff members for their wonderful contributions to our students and community with the Terrier Spotlight of the Week.

The first Terrier Spotlight of the Week for December 4 was Mr. Dan Plybon. Mr. Plybon is our wonderful band director here at William Byrd. As the son of a professional drag racer, Mr. Plybon knows a thing or two about shifting gears. During the 2020 school year, Mr. Plybon has had to make many adjustments to accommodate his students, while still following CDC guidelines. That has included adjusting seating arrangements from six to ten feet, as well as holding symphonic and jazz band classes in the cafeteria. Mr. Plybon has been a great sport and a consummate professional throughout this year. He has also continued to devote time and energy to extra-curricular activities, such as the marching band, as well as preparing for the annual Vinton Christmas Parade. We would again like to thank Mr. Plybon for all of his hard work and commitment to our students.

Dan Plybon

Next up is a new member of our Terrier family, Ms. Keagan Vickers. The recent RU grad has brought her talents from the NRV to the town of Vinton, and we couldn’t be more thankful for it! As an instructional assistant, Ms. Vickers is asked to do a little bit of everything, from assisting classroom instruction, taking temperatures in the morning, to managing Hybrid Help Days. Her hard work and dependability this year have been invaluable. We should also highlight that apart from being a fantastic IA, Ms. Vickers is also a gifted dancer and nationally recognized archer. Thank you again Ms. Vickers for supporting our students and staff this year.

Keagan Vickers

From recognizing a new Terrier, to welcoming one back, our next Terrier Spotlight of the Week is Ms. Elizabeth Oliver-Smith! Ms. Oliver-Smith is the epitome of an English teacher. From Orwellian posters on the walls, to a vast collection of scarves, cardigans, and shawls, this Hollins University graduate has all the English teacher vibes. Ms. Oliver-Smith has provided meaningful instruction and curated engaging resources to help support her Sophomore and Senior English students throughout the year. She has also worked tirelessly reaching out to parents and guardians, as well as devoting time each Wednesday to provide additional support to help her students succeed. In her free time, Ms. Oliver-Smith enjoys tucking into a thrilling crime novel while enjoying a pumpkin spiced latte. Did I mention, she’s an English teacher? Thank you again, Ms. Oliver-Smith, for all of the guidance and support you provide to our students.

Elizabeth Oliver-Smith

Our final Terrier Spotlight of the Week is a true William Byrd icon and legend, the one, the only, Mr. Kevin Tuck! The former Byrd graduate, who married his high school Terrier sweetheart, bleeds orange and maroon. He has done a little bit of everything over the course of his 18 years at William Byrd. Whether it’s teaching world history, coaching basketball or golf, or training countless teenage drivers, Mr. Tuck has been there for the students and staff of William Byrd. Of course, he does it all with that classic laidback Tuck style. You may ask yourself, why do all of the students and staff vibe with Coach Tuck? Is it his indefatigable spirit? His charismatic smile? Is it that he can still rock shorts in December? Is it the Ric Flair mask? Or is it all just a by-product of his mentor and life coach, Mr. Thacker? We may never know, but what we do know is his style and rapport with the students is second to none. Thank you again Mr. Tuck for being that teacher!

Kevin Tuck


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