FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Marion County Superintendent Dr. Gary Price was recently recognized as Superintendent of the Year in West Virginia by the State Association of School Administrators.
“It is nice for other people who do the same work that you do to feel that you’ve done an exceptionally good job,” Price said.
After 40 plus years in education, Price, who was considering retiring this year, has now decided to stay on for two more years.
“We’ve got a couple irons in the fire that are kind of halfway done, and we thought that it would be good to have, at least for a couple years, some continuation of leadership on those same things,” he said. “There will be some other big projects that will be on board for the next person. We’ll have the current bond paid off within the next couple years, and they’ll be able to start working toward a new and exciting project for the school system.”
Those projects will include several elementary schools that need additions and several other schools need renovations, Price said.
One challenge that Price said Marion County Schools still have to face is doing better for students in the STEM fields, which he says are more limited in Marion than in other counties throughout the state.
“Some counties are really hitting that inparticularly harder, but we have been successful in math and science,” he said. “Our math scores have been climbing. One of our high schools had some of the highest scores in the state and another one was not far behind, so our achievement in those areas has been good.”
Testing platforms have been successful as well, Price said.
“They’ve changed them several times, but we’ve ended up with National Blue Ribbon Schools, Schools of Excellence and A Schools. Whichever thing came up, we’ve had success, though everybody gets nervous,” he said. “There was a new testing platform this year, and everybody gets a little bit nervous when a new one comes around, but I feel that our teachers do a superb job of taking their job seriously and preparing the students to the best of their ability.”
Price received kudos from many Marion County teachers and other school employees for being very supportive during the work stoppage.
“We kind of stepped into what was a void at the time, as far as any direction. There seemed to be a lot of splintered ideas of what might resolve the issue during their walkout,” he said. “I was proud that our association was able to galvanize on the point of the 5 percent raise. We went to Charleston solely with the intent to try to get our elected officials to understand that this is what needed to be done to get the children back into the classroom.”