TENNERTON — An Upshur County School Board employee was honored at a recent Upshur County School Board meeting for his achievements and dedication.
Rick Wentz, Upshur County Schools Chief Mechanic, received an Upshur Star for his performance in a state transportation contest and for representing Upshur County on the Transportation Executive Committee. Transportation Supervisor Stephanie Bennett said that during the 78e Annual conference of the WV Student Transportation Association, Wentz competed in the School Bus Technician Inspectors Competition, where he placed third in the state.
“It’s a hands-on diagnostic inspection and written exam, and the competition allows mechanics to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in a competitive way,” Bennett said. “We are very proud of Rick.”
Upshur County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus said Wentz also mentored the young mechanics, one of whom just graduated from the Fred Eberle Technical Center in diesel mechanics.
“That is to be commended as well,” Stankus said. “Thanks.”
Bennett also noted that Wentz was nominated for a position on the executive committee as a maintenance representative – a position Wentz accepted.
“He will support the state of Upshur County,” Bennett explained.
Wentz spoke to My Buckhannon and said the competition contained both a practice test and a written test.
“It’s based on the ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification for mechanics,” Wentz said. “We had 50 questions on the written exam. The practical work included three different stations where we had electrical panels that we had to troubleshoot. Another station had to identify five different components and how they would be used if something went wrong with the bus. In 2017, I entered the competition and won first place in the state. I then went to the national competition.
Wentz worked for Upshur County Schools for 33 years; this is his third year as chief engineer.
“I worked for 30 years before becoming chief mechanic,” Wentz said.
The Wentz Executive Committee will be responsible for addressing issues such as school bus safety.
“We will plan and offer state training conferences,” he said. “My position on the committee will involve working with four other people to help set up trainings for mechanics and helping vendors get set up. We’re also working with the state school bus rodeo to put that in place. in place.
As a member of the executive committee, Wentz will be called upon to speak on school bus safety practices in the West Virginia Legislative Assembly.
During the reunion, Wentz received an Upshur star for going above and beyond what is required of his position.