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Metz named Gihon Elementary School principal

PARKERSBURG — Approved unanimously by the Wood County Board of Education during their meeting on Tuesday, Fairplains and Martin Elementary schools Curriculum and Instruction assistant Jeremy Metz was named Gihon Elementary School principal for the 2020-2021 school year.

It’s a position that he has been watching for a while, due to Gihon having the position filled by substitutes.

Once the job became available and thinking long and hard about a decision due to switching jobs during the uncertainty due to COVID-19, Metz decided that it was the right place to move due to Gihon being excellent performers despite only being in its second year as a Title 1 school, he said.

After spending his first day on Wednesday at Gihon going around to every class meeting students and staff, Metz will be involved in helping get the school ready as students will return to school on Nov. 9 for four days a week and helping remote students as well.

“They have had a long term sub, so I’ve kind of been watching for it to get posted,” he said of the principal’s position.

“I thought long and hard about it, just because it is such a crazy year, especially now we’re kind of switching plans again. It really is a blessing to come into this school and work with students and staff. Here you can kind of step in and have time to get your feet in because the people are doing things the way they should be. So that’s always nice,” he said.

“We want to do it safely and that’s what we’re working on right now is to make this go smoothly and as safely as possible. I think everyone wants to get back to some semblance of normal and be able to see those students four days a week and really have in-person instruction,” Metz said. “But also, we need to adapt for those students who don’t feel comfortable. So that’s another part of it as we’re starting to plan if those students want to do a five-day remote, how can we give them the best instruction and education that we possibly can? So we’ve got a week to figure that out and we’re already meeting and talking about it.”

Graduating from Wirt County High School and Glenville State College with a degree in English education, grades 5-12, in 2007, Metz started his teaching career working in Wirt County High School. Later earning his special education certification as well, Metz taught English and special ed for two years before moving to Wirt County Middle School to become the technology integration specialist where he helped integrate technology into the classroom and helped teachers with professional development as well for three years.

During his time at WCMS, Metz would work on his educational leadership degree from West Virginia University and was offered the assistant principal position at Ravenswood High School, a position he held for two years.

Metz would later become an instructor at West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s elementary education program and did that for four years. Metz returned to public schools after that, as a Curriculum and Instruction assistant principal for both Fairplains and Martin Elementary schools before moving on to Gihon.

Being the son of former Wirt County Middle School principal and superintendent Daniel Metz, it’s a long time coming for Metz to finally become a principal.

“It’s kind of been my goal to have my own school and eventually take over. I really liked my job as a CNI, I liked the schools I was at, but I ultimately wanted to be a principal,” Metz said. “My dad was a principal and then eventually moved to the central office in Wirt County. So I grew up running around the school, staying late working with him.”

Tyler Bennett can be reached at tbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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