Snack vendor bids, which previously were contested by one of the companies interested in a contract, were approved at Tuesday's Upshur County Board of Education meeting.
The school board chose to go with Mister Vend Inc. of Clarksburg, which previously submitted prices that many board members felt were more affordable to students that the local competitor, Superior Vending LLC. Alan Suder, vice president of the school board, voted against the bid.
Coca-Cola, the beverage vendor, was accepted separately.
In other matters, the faculty and staff of Union Elementary School, which was recognized as a School of Character nationally and in West Virginia, presented a video to show how their school builds character. In the video, school Principal Sara Stankus visits students in the gymnasium daily to teach valuable lessons. The school also practices love and logic, which is about teaching students to think about how they can fix their problems on their own without having an adult to intervene.
"Then they become involved in correcting it," Stankus said in the video.
Students spoke in the video about how Union Elementary School taught them the importance of kindness, not using drugs, the difference between right and wrong and more. One student said the teachings helped her in the transition to middle school and how to react to a bigger group of students.
In the video, Alfred Nesbitt, a Vietnam veteran, said his grandchildren at Union Elementary School not only know the words to "The Star Spangled Banner" and The Pledge of Allegiance, but they know the meaning behind the words and what veterans have done for the country. He gives his thanks to Union Elementary School for providing that education to students.
Union Elementary School was honored Oct. 21, 2011, for National School of Character Education Recognition by the Character Education Partnership.
At the school board meeting, Stankus said that through the video, "We're saying this kind of thing can be done anywhere." The video was a combined project of the Union Elementary School staff, and copies were presented to the school board.
Board member Greenbrier Almond also gave a gift to members of the school board. He recently published "Stories of a West Virginia Doctor's Son," which he wrote about growing up in Upshur County.
In other news, Superintendent of Schools Scott Lampinen announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency provided a waiver to move Hodgesville Elementary School out of the flood zone. Keith Moran, facilities director, recommended waiting until summer when students are out of school before undertaking the renovations.
"This is a major project," Moran said. "We're better to put it off."
The completed driver's education course at Buckhannon-Upshur High School has steered more students to make compliments and give feedback about the new course than anyone else, said Moran, who added that the course "kicked off well."