GRAFTON -- Returning to Taylor County brings back some inspiring memories for Jane Reynolds, who will begin work as superintendent of schools July 1.
"I remember going with my mom to take my brother to school and I wanted to go so badly, to get on the big bus," Reynolds said of an early childhood spent in Flemington.
Memories like those are part of what inspired this Baby Boomer to dedicate her career to education, and rejoice with her generation in what she suspects is the most influential group of teachers and administrators the nation will ever see.
"These (Boomer) teachers are a powerful group of teachers who really want to make a difference," Reynolds said. "A part of that is because we were raised by the greatest generation. Baby Boomers have always been trying to contribute to this world the way our parents have."
Reynolds' contribution has taken several routes.
After graduating from the former Shinnston High School in Harrison County and earning bachelor's and master's degrees in education fields from West Virginia University, Reynolds taught language arts courses for 16 years at the elementary and secondary level.
She mov-ed to administration in 1989, eventually becoming superintendent of Marion County's 23 schools in 1992. For the past three years, she has served as Marion's curriculum specialist for language arts.
"The greatest part of teaching is to help a child learn and be successful," Reynolds said. "The move to administration allows you to take those very same goals and expand them to a county-wide level."
Reynolds is Taylor's first female school superintendent.
Reynolds, who will replace retiring Superintendent Kermit "Butch" Bias, met with community members and school officials Tuesday at the county school board meeting.
She will be meeting plenty of other Taylor County residents in the near future, as well.
To comply with state law, she will relocate to the area from the Fairmont residence she shares with her husband George, principal of Mt. Vernon Elementary School in Barbour County, and daughter Meredith, a senior at Fairmont Senior High School.
Regional Editor Nora Edinger can be reached at 626-1403 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.