Upshur Co. Cook Named State Service Personnel Employee of the Year

July 10, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Mary Lou Hyre, cafeteria manager and cook for Upshur County Schools, was honored Wednesday by the West Virginia Board of Education for being named the 2013 West Virginia Board of Education School Service Personnel Employee of the Year.

At Rock Cave Elementary School, Hyre has created a healthy, fun and safe place for children. Principal Amanda Craig described Hyre "as always eager and willing to help with any and all school activities."

"She has initiated and led classroom education sessions on various fruits and vegetables and provided taste testing," Craig said. "Mrs. Hyre has also promoted the importance of good nutrition in various ways, including essay contests and coloring contests where students write or draw how good nutrition affects academic success."

Hyre has worked to promote the West Virginia Department of Education's (WVDE) Farm to School program, the WVDE Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program, among other child nutrition efforts. She has participated in staff development in Upshur and Barbour counties as a presenter by teaching a session on the new food pyramid. In addition to the new food pyramid training, she also has taken part in Healthy Edge training, Federal Emergency Management Agency training, and the West Virginia School Nutrition Association Conference training on new breakfast and lunch requirements.

The West Virginia Board of Education established the annual award program to recognize outstanding school service personnel employees. Each year the program honors one person, chosen from aides, bus drivers, cooks, custodians, maintenance workers, office workers and other school service personnel, for his or her contribution to the school and community.

"School service personnel are an important part of any school family," said state Board of Education President Wade Linger. "We are proud to honor them for their many contributions that help our students in many ways every day."

The recognition program is designed to work similarly to the state's Teacher of the Year program, which honors classroom teachers who inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, have the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues and play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school.

Hyre, a 30-year school veteran, was chosen to receive the award from county school service personnel employees of the year.

For more information, contact the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

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