‘It was my calling;’ New superintendent ready to hit the ground running for Fayette County

FAYETTVILLE, WV (WOAY) –  If you have been involved with Fayette County Schools at all in the past 40 years, odds are, Gary Hough, the new superintendent, needs no introduction.

He has been a full-time employee in Fayette County for 38 years. He entered into the system as a teacher and then became a principal.

From there, he went on to become the director of transportation before becoming an associate superintendent. He then retired in 2018.

However, his recent part-time work as an academic coach in the schools inspired him to fully return and apply for the job of superintendent.

“Education was not a job for me. It was my calling,” he said. “And I really feel strongly that that was what it was. It was my calling in life to be an educator. I didn’t do very well walking away from it, and this is a great opportunity to come back into it on a full-time basis.” 

As superintendent, he wants to continue to capitalize on the momentum getting construction going on the new Meadow Bridge High School and securing funds for a new Midland Trail Elementary School.

Hough says he has seen the teachers in the county make great strides in the past few years for academic achievement but wants to continue on that track to get to the top. 

“The first step is to get all of our schools academic achievement-wise in the top half of the state of West Virginia. That’s the first step, and then to try to get them in the top 15 to 20% of this state and eventually get us in the top of the state,” Hough said. “I think we see that and then finishing our facility projects and getting all of facilities up to speed. We made tremendous progress in that area.” 

He says he believes in a pervasive style of teaching making sure all students achieve mastery and says it is about giving the teachers resources and tools to do so.

Although his first day does not begin until July, he says he is ready now to hit the ground running. 

“This is my life,” he said. “This has been my life’s work and to be back a part where you have an opportunity to lead that process is pretty exciting.” 

As a friend and former colleague of Terry George, the current superintendent, Hough says he expects the transition to be smooth. George’s last day is June 30.

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Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.