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Upshur County Schools Finance Director George Carver receives recognition and thanks from the Upshur County BOE Thursday evening for his dedication and commitment to Upshur County Schools. Upshur County School Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus gives Carver a large pair of sunglasses for the ‘bright future in his retirement.’

Stankus receives satisfactory review; Suder, Carver mark end of journey with Upshur County Schools

BUCKHANNON – Members of the Upshur County BOE met Thursday evening and one of their tasks was to share the evaluation of Upshur County Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus, who assumed the duties of the position on July 1, 2018.

Upshur County BOE President Dr. Tammy Jo Samples said in a release issued following the evaluation that the Board was pleased with Stankus’ performance during the past year.

“Dr. Sara Stankus, Superintendent, received a satisfactory evaluation for the current year,” the release read. “We discussed areas of strength and our opportunities for growth. Even with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, we have had a successful year. We are proud that we have been able to meet the nutritional needs of our students. We continue to work hard for the students of Upshur County.”

Stankus brings more than 30 years of education experience to the position, having served as principal of Union and Rock Cave Elementary Schools as well as serving as a counselor at Buckhannon-Upshur High and Hodgesville Elementary Schools. She began her career at East Main Elementary School, which is now Stockert Youth & Community Center.

In 2019, BOE members touted Stankus for her role in helping facilitate the passage of the five-year excess levy as well as her part in partnering with entities such as Community Care of West Virginia and the Child Advocacy Center to provide much-needed mental health services for students.

During the BOE’s evaluation of Stankus in 2019, they extended her contract for two years – through the school year 2020-2021.

Also, during Thursday’s BOE meeting, members recognized Finance Director George Carver and board member Alan Suder, who will both retire June 30 at the end of this fiscal year.

Stankus said the BOE wanted to recognize two men who have dedicated a great number of years to Upshur County Schools. Finance Director George Carver received a certificate of recognition for his years of dedication to Upshur County Schools. Stankus presented Carver with the name plate from his office door, adding it was an emotional time as the plate was taken down.

“We wanted to give him these glasses, too, because he keeps saying ‘life is so bright, he may have to wear shades,’” Stankus said as she presented Carver with a large pair of sunglasses. “He definitely is looking forward to this time.”

Carver thanked BOE members for the opportunity to serve the residents of Upshur County, adding he feels he is leaving his position in good hands with Jeffrey Perkins.
Carver’s career with Upshur County Schools began in July 2009. He said his decision to retire this school year was a result of two things – he reached age 65 and has been working for 40-plus years without ever taking a long vacation.

Stankus then recognized BOE member Alan Suder.

Upshur County BOE member Alan Suder is pictured with his family during Thursday’s BOE meeting at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School. Suder has served on the Upshur County BOE for 12 years and was recognized for his commitment to his community and the students of Upshur County Schools.

“This will be his last BOE meeting, but he does plan to come to Buckhannon-Upshur High School Graduation,” Stankus said. “He has served as a dedicated BOE member for the last 12 years and he has done a great job representing his community.”

Stankus presented Suder with a certificate of recognition.

Suder thanked everyone and said he was at a loss for words.

“None of this would be possible without God, my family and the voters of Upshur County,” he said.
Suder, who completed 12 years on the board, has served as the vice president and was also a BOE representative for the Hall of Fame Committee, the Upshur County Parks and Recreation Board and as a member of the Fred W. Eberle Technical Center Advisory Board.

During his tenure, he pushed to make sure students received the opportunity for varied types of learning, including the DNR Hunter Safety Education Program. He said he initially ran to serve on the BOE to give back to his community while he was a parent volunteer at his children’s elementary school, making and selling popcorn for 25 cents a bag.

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