Summer Break: Staff, community say goodbye to retiring McKinley principal

PARKERSBURG – Students throughout Wood County spent Tuesday playing games, turning in books, cleaning out lockers and saying goodbye to friends.

Tuesday marked the last day of the 2012-13 school year, with many schools holding special events to both reward and say goodbye to students.

At Franklin Elementary Center, students took part in a variety of Field Day activities, including relay races and a tug-of-war.

“We just wanted to end the year on a positive note,” said Principal Melissa Powers.

The school divided the games among kindergarten through second-graders in the morning, and grades 3-5 in the afternoon.

“This morning was a little bit cool for the younger kids, but this afternoon it is beautiful,” Powers said. “Last year it was so hot, so this makes it just perfect.”

Other schools, such as Criss Elementary School, held student recognition ceremonies, handing out awards and recognitions for accomplishments throughout the school year. At Jefferson Elementary Center, parents joined students for a picnic lunch and a community reading event. Each student received a book to take home for summer reading.

Tuesday wasn’t the last day of school only for students. For some retiring teachers and administrators, it marked their last official day in the classrooms or office.

Longtime McKinley Elementary School Principal Fred Shreve announced his retirement earlier last week, and on Tuesday faculty and community members celebrated his time at the school with cake and a gathering in front of the school. Hundreds of students, parents, staff and community members gathered to say goodbye to Shreve, who has served Wood County Schools for 36 years.

Shreve shook hands with community members and hugged and praised students as they came to say goodbye, but choked up when asked his retirement and the outpouring of support.

“It’s tremendous. It moves my heart,” he said. “I’ve got a tremendous staff, a tremendous community and students. They’ve been so supportive over the years, and I love them dearly.”

Shreve said health concerns and increasing demands from the state led to his last-minute decision to retire.

“It was time,” he said.

Some administrators will also be moving to different positions this summer. The Wood County Board of Education was scheduled to approve three transfers and a new hire Tuesday evening to fill principal positions at four elementary schools.

Some positions that have opened up at the central office due to retirements have been filled by principals, including Mike Fling, assistant superintendent of school services; Christie Willis, assistant director of federal programs; and Joe Oliverio, director of elementary education.