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Robert Westfall receives an Upshur Star for his dedication to helping deliver meals for students during the summer in Upshur County. Westfall’s commitment to the program was touted Tuesday during the Upshur County Board of Education meeting and Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus presents the award to Westfall.

Upshur County Schools commends custodian who was instrumental in summer food delivery

BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County School custodian/truck driver who has been with the school system for 27 years was awarded an Upshur Star by Upshur County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus Tuesday during the Board of Education meeting.

Kayla Yocum, Upshur County Schools technology/digital communication specialist, read that Robert Westfall, in a normal week, delivers food and supplies to each school in Upshur County, saying that he lugs and moves hundreds of cases of food and custodial supplies each week.

“Since March, Robert has been a constant in the food distribution to the students of Upshur County,” Yocum read. “On distribution day, he reports early and leaves late to make sure the food is distributed. Often, when food remains the day after distribution, Robert hands it out to individuals who come to the warehouse to pick it up.”

Yocum said in June, Westfall completed his 240-day contract and took days off from his other employment to come back and assist with the Upshur County Schools food distribution.

Stankus also said the Upshur County Teacher of the Year, fifth-grade instructor at Tennerton Elementary School, Erin Anderson, is one of the top five teachers in West Virginia vying for West Virginia Teacher of the Year.

“She is now in the competition for the West Virginia State Teacher of the Year,” Stankus said. “If she wins, she will take the year off and travel around the country talking about teaching. We are very excited for Erin Anderson.”

Also, during Tuesday’s BOE meeting, Facilities Director Tim Derico said that the bleachers project at Buckhannon-Upshur High School football stadium was underway. Derico added that there are some concrete repairs going on at B-UHS, too.

“The high school concrete project was finished today, and so they started on the stadium yesterday,” Derico said. “Our summer maintenance crew is going to finish approximately at the same time.”

Upshur County Business Manager/Treasurer Jeffrey Perkins said they are still in their 60-day window of closing out the 2019-2020 school year.

“Everything is progressing according to plan,” Perkins said.

In other business, Upshur County BOE members took the following actions:

  • Voted unanimously to approve the revised Upshur County School Calendar for the 2020-2021 academic year. Stankus said the calendar has been approved by the State Education Department, adding that Upshur County was one of the first to submit their calendar for approval. “Basically, to not interrupt the pay schedule for our teachers and staff, we needed to continue the 200-day contract; we start our calendar one day after our original plan, beginning on Aug. 14 when staff will report for Apple training,” Stankus said. “We will have the one-to-one training in all schools. That has been scheduled for some time.” Stankus said during the convocation, all Upshur County Schools staff will be able to join in on Teams. She said all OS days were moved to the front of the calendar and that school will begin on Sept. 8 for students if all goes well.
  • Received an update on the one-to-one technology from Upshur County Schools TSS Quinten Oldaker. He said the iPads were being distributed this week and the television had been installed in Buckhannon Upshur Elementary School. “We are looking for a platform that will be communication, grades and work,” Oldaker said. “That was a big struggle. This new program will work flawlessly with our new iPads. We hope this will answer a lot of questions.” The cost of the program is $39,000, and the funding for that will come from Title I.
  • Received an update on the Hockenberry Property. Perkins said the property is 9.08 acres with a house. “The county appraised value of the property is $99,450 and the market value is $140,000,” Perkins reported, adding it has been offered to the Upshur County School system for $130,000. He said the property is adjacent to B-UHS. Perkins said the system had already put forth $2,000 in earnest money that would be applied to the purchase of the property and said the system has the first right of refusal on the property. BOE members asked Perkins to check with the Agriculture Program at B-UHS to see if they were interested in developing the land and cutting hay on the property.
  • Voted unanimously to approve the personnel as presented following an executive session.

The next meeting of the Upshur County BOE is scheduled for Tuesday, August 11, 2020 beginning at 7 p.m. at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School.

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