CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Garry Wheeler, a custodian at Talcott Elementary School in Summers County was honored Wednesday by the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) as the 2017 School Service Personnel Employee of the Year.

A 23-year veteran, Wheeler is known for being dedicated, loyal and incredibly hardworking. Last summer, Talcott Elementary was used as a shelter and supply center when the area became flooded. Wheeler managed and organized the center as well as helped those in need dedicating both his own time and expenses. Wheeler was selected from a field of applicants from 30 counties, making this year’s program participation the highest since its inception.

“School service personnel are the heartbeat of our schools,” said WVBE President Tom Campbell. “As a Board, we are proud to present this honor annually to the employees whose contributions ensure a safe and healthy environment for our students every day.”

Wheeler takes pride in his work and serves as a role model to the students at Talcott Elementary School.

“I am particularly impressed with Garry’s dedication to our school and our community,” said Renae Jones, Principal at Talcott Elementary School. “He is a consistent favorite of the school staff, students, parents and community members.”

Wheeler currently serves on the Local School Improvement Committee, Safety Committee and the Code Red Committee. He also donates both time and money to Talcott Elementary School for their Adopt-A-Kid for Christmas, Coach Bingo Fundraiser, Donkey Basketball fundraiser and Talcott Schools Beautification.

The WVBE established the annual award program in 2010 to recognize outstanding school service personnel employees including aides, bus drivers, cooks, custodians, maintenance workers, office workers and other school service personnel who best exemplify the qualities of an outstanding employee.

The West Virginia School Service Personnel Association supports this recognition and provides a $500 financial gift to the winner each year.

For more information, contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Communications Office at (304) 558­2699 or

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