BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Board of Education recently met in a special meeting to set their goals, mission and vision, and members also unanimously voted to appoint Melinda Stewart as the Interim Assistant Superintendent effective Aug. 29, 2022. Stewart, who previously served as the Director of Secondary Curriculum, was confirmed following an approximate 15-minute executive session regarding personnel.
The vacancy of assistant superintendent of Upshur County Schools came open when BOE members met in a special meeting on Aug. 19 and appointed then Assistant Superintendent Dr. Debra Harrison as the new interim Superintendent of Schools. Harrison stepped up when UCS Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus was tapped to serve as the new Deputy Superintendent of West Virginia by David L. Roach, West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools.
Harrison recommended Stewart because she feels Mendy is dedicated to filling the difficult position.
“Mendy is completely committed to the students and to Upshur County,” Harrison said. “She is a hard worker, she is bright, and she is a team player. Our focus is going to be on ‘team’, and I think Mendy is the perfect person to help us lead the team concept.”
In an interview with My Buckhannon, Stewart said she is originally from Lewis County but has served in Upshur County for many years.
“I worked in Berkeley County, West Virginia for three years and then worked in Upshur County Schools for nine years,” Stewart said. “After that, I worked in Randolph County Schools for three years as the principal of Midland Elementary School, and I have been in Upshur County Schools ever since then.”
Stewart attended Fairmont State University, where she earned a BS degree in secondary education, math education and library science.
“I have my master’s degree from West Virginia University in educational leadership,” Stewart shared. “I am currently completing the last year of my Doctorate from Arkansas State University.”
Stewart has served in Upshur County Schools as a classroom teacher, an assistant principal, a school principal, the UCS Director of Special Education and the UCS Director of Secondary Curriculum.
Special skills she believes she brings to this position include a long list of experiences from working with Pre-K students clear through high school seniors.
“I feel I can see at all levels because I have worked with students across the entire gamut,” Stewart said. “I think that is really important. Also, in the various positions I have held, I have worked with a number of the staff in the county and made some really good relationships with them. I feel I am a good listener and I would encourage anyone who has a concern to come, and together we will try to find a solution.”
Stewart said she loves Upshur County.
“I love Upshur County and Upshur County Schools, and they have given me a lot of opportunities,” she said. “I am excited for this opportunity and I am ready to serve them and give back.”