TENNERTON – Upshur County Board of Education members and administrators gathered with Tennerton Elementary School officials, teachers and students Thursday to celebrate a Major Improvement Project Grant from the West Virginia School Building Authority for $882,625. Funds will be used for renovations and an addition to the school.
Tristen Gray, principal of Tennerton Elementary School, said the grant will allow the kindergarten classroom to move inside the school and add a new Pre-K classroom.
“For me, the biggest selling point of this project is the fact that we will be able to create a safe school entry inside this building – something we have desperately needed,” Gray said. “I am so thrilled about that. This was my number one request. We are so excited about this – almost all of my staff is here.”
Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus, superintendent of Upshur County Schools, said she was delighted to see all of the students, staff and personnel from Tennerton Elementary School who came out for the presentation.
“I am so proud of this school and all that you have done to make this a great place for children,” Stankus said. “We hear so many great things and how happy the families are to be here at Tennerton Elementary School. Thank you for embracing the community. It feels like a family here.”
Stankus said each time there is a round of grant funding, Upshur County has made an application for funds because “there is so much need.”
“We take good care of our facilities,” Stankus said to SBA Executive Director David L. Roach, who was on hand for the presentation. “We are so excited to think about not having this old building on the side (of Tennerton Elementary School), but we will have a new classroom. It is so exciting for our students to have a new environment. Thank you for being here and for all you have done for Upshur County. We appreciate you so much.”
Roach introduced Mark Miller, who is the assistant director of architectural services at the SBA.
“He really wanted this project to be funded, and he was an advocate and is a good advocate to have,” Roach said. “He is thorough and does a good job.”
Roach also noted that this was the county’s third attempt to receive funds for this particular project at Tennerton Elementary School and thanked Stankus for her perseverance.
“She represents this county probably better or as good as any superintendent,” Roach said. “I could not think of a better place to send a child than Tennerton Elementary School. You being here today and listening to your principal – this is simply the place to be.”
Roach also addressed the school bond election for a new high school, saying he was sorry the vote failed.
“I knew what the curriculum was going to be and I would have loved to send any of my children to this county, because I sincerely believe it is going to be the cutting edge,” Roach said. “There is no obstacle that Upshur County cannot overcome – no matter how bad or bleak it looks. I believe your superintendent is a leader and the (Upshur County) board members and people like you will overcome anything for the children. I appreciate you all very much.”
“On behalf of the governor, the chief of staff and authority members, we are very honored to be here today,” Roach said. “It is always nice to give away money. You all were very fortunate and we are very proud to give that to you. Thank you.”