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Upshur schools honor employee with ceremony

Bennett

BUCKHANNON — An 18-year employee of the Upshur County Board of Education was named the Service Personnel of the Year in a surprise ceremony.

Stephanie Bennett, coordinator of payroll services at the central office, has been an active member of the West Virginia Association of School Business Officials since 2005. She earned an Associate Degree in business with honors from Piermont Community College and holds numerous state service certifications. Bennett also is president of the Upshur County Service Personnel Association.

On Wednesday morning, Bennett’s co-workers began filing outside at the board office while Bennett continued working — something that she said she noticed.

Finally, Bennett was lured outside.

“They told me there was an emergency across the way that they needed my assistance with,” she said.

Instead, Bennett was greeted with a banner announcing her award in front of central office staff and administrators.

Bennett said, “It is a wonderful honor.”

George Carver, director of finance, said in a release, “Stephanie is outstanding in the performance of her job duties in a high pressure position with two hard deadlines to meet each month to prepare payroll timely and accurately. She is always willing to help with other activities and takes on many responsibilities to help keep things moving.”

Superintendent Dr. Sara Stankus said, “I commend all of our Upshur County service personnel for their work, especially during the pandemic. I want to thank Mrs. Bennett for her work ethic and concern for our community. She has been very active in the food delivery and distribution from the beginning and has stepped up in a variety of capacities as have faced this pandemic. She is, indeed, an ‘essential’ employee.”

Bennett said she enjoys contributing to the staff and students of the county and “making sure that we are keeping people paid and happy to provide all the services to our students.”

Although Upshur County Schools closed to in-person instruction in March, Bennett’s job at the central office continues with little change.

“In my job, it’s been no different,” she said. “I’m continuing to pay two people twice a month. There is a difference in how much we are having to process.

“Of course, the pandemic has caused a lot of issues in the county and everywhere.”

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