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Assistant principal takes the reins at Widmyer School

August 21, 2007|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The new principal at Widmyer Elementary School is looking to build on past successes at the school and to working with teachers and staff to face the challenges of modern-day education.

Daniel W. Reynolds was the assistant principal at Widmyer last year and worked with Joan Willard, who was its principal for the past three years.

Willard was appointed assistant superintendent for Morgan County Schools in July.

"We are pleased that Mr. Reynolds entered into a situation of a West Virginia School of Excellence, and he has the perfect demeanor to work with K-2 students," said David Banks, superintendent of Morgan County Schools.

Widmyer was honored recently by the state Department of Education as one of the 13 Schools of Excellence for 2007-08. It was the only school chosen in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

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Banks said Reynolds "has good people skills that will enable him to connect with the parents of the students and the staff."

Reynolds, 37, is from Petersburg, W.Va., and graduated from Fairmont University in Fairmont, W.Va., with a bachelor's degree in biology.

He taught science at River Road Middle School in Elizabeth City, N.C., for four years and received his master's degree in educational leadership from East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.

Reynolds returned to West Virginia and was the assistant principal at Capon Bridge Middle School in Hampshire County for three years.

He came to Morgan County to Warm Springs Middle School and taught science for two years before becoming assistant principal at Widmyer.

"I learned from Joan (Willard) how to be more nurturing in an elementary school environment," he said.

Reynolds said two years ago, Widmyer started using Response to Intervention (RTI) with the kindergarten through second-grade students. With RTI, data is gathered to find out how all the students are performing, he said.

"All kids are benchmarked, but this gives us the ability to work with those that need extra help early on," Reynolds said.

Widmyer teachers are really embracing the 21st century objectives and use the appropriate tools available including Smart Boards and the hand-held Palm Pilot tool that is used for testing, Reynolds said.

"I'm coming into a situation where there is already a high level of success, and now we have the challenge of maintaining that success and moving forward," Reynolds said.

"I have a wonderful staff, and with their teamwork, I feel very confident that we will make great strides," he said.

Widmyer has 21 classrooms plus art, music and physical education for the K-2 students there. It has about 30 teachers, Reynolds said.

He received his appointment as Widmyer's principal on July 25.

His wife, Kristen, is a kindergarten teacher in Winchester, Va.

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