BECKLEY, W.Va. — The Raleigh County Board of Education appointed a new principal earlier this week for one of southern West Virginia’s largest high schools.

Rocky Powell has served as Woodrow Wilson High School’s assistant principal for about two and a half years. He has also worked as the boy’s soccer coach and driver’s education teacher.

Powell replaces Ron Cantley who announced his retirement in November. He praised Cantley saying he wants to follow his leadership model when officially taking over as principal on January 1.

“Mr. Cantley tried to keep Woodrow as transparent as we could. People can look and see what we’re doing and how we’re running things and I want to do the same thing. I want people to be able to see what Woodrow does and build that pride in Woodrow.”

Woodrow’s student enrollment is at around 1,300 making it the largest of Raleigh County’s four high schools. Powell said keeping a facility of this size safe has its challenges, but is his top priority.

“That’s my number one job. As long as they are here with us they’re going to be safe and well taken care of. I don’t want parents to worry about anything. If there are any problems that we need to deal with I hope they will contact myself, or one of my assistants or a counselor.”

Since Raleigh County has a policy prohibiting coaches to also be principals, Powell has stepped down from his role as head boy’s soccer coach.

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