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WV Service Personnel employee of the year is Upshur cook

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Mary Lou Hyre, cafeteria manager and cook for Upshur County Schools, was honored July 10 by the West Virginia Board of Education after being named the 2013 West Virginia Board of Education School Service Personnel Employee of the Year.

Rock Cave Elementary School Principal Amanda Craig described Hyre as "always eager and willing to help with any and all school activities." Hyre, a 30-year school veteran, has become known for creating a healthy, fun and safe place for children.

"She has initiated and led classroom education sessions on various fruits and vegetables and provided taste testing," Craig said in a news release. "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 promoted the West Virginia Department of Education's Farm to School program, the WVDE Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program, she has participated in staff development in both Upshur and Barbour counties and taught a session on the new food pyramid.

Hyre 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 WVBE honors one person each year, chosen from among 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," state Board of Education President Wade Linger said in a news release. "We are proud to honor them for their many contributions that help our students in many ways every day."