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Preston County looks for principal

With Plum’s move to transportation, position opens up

KINGWOOD — The search is on for a new principal for Preston County’s only high school.

On Monday, the Preston County Board of Education hired current Preston High School Principal Steve Plum as the county’s new transportation administrator.

Plum starts in the new job Nov. 30. The board approved the change Monday night.

“I’ve been principal  15 years at different schools, and it’s time for me to switch gears,” Plum said Thursday. 

He  took the lead job at Preston High in 2017. It entails supervising 130 people and, “when we’re in session, it’s the largest town in the county.”

During his tenure PHS was named first in the state in college and career readiness. Plum is particularly proud of that, coming as he does from a vocational technical background. 

 “That was quite spectacular, to have more kids college and career ready than any high school in the state. That was a highlight,” he said.

Another goal fulfilled is “with the help of the passing of the levy, we have a full-time police officer at Preston High now. Which we were one of the last AAA schools in the state without one,” Plum said.

 In addition to his vocational background and administrative skills, Plum is a former driver’s education teacher, all skills he thinks will help in his new job. He has been in education 29 years.

He doesn’t expect to make any drastic changes in the transportation department.

“The people before me have done a great job and the transportation system is running great. I just want it to continue to run efficiently and serve all the families in the county.”

 Even as he continues his job at PHS, Plum has already started riding all the snow routes on buses and eventually will ride all the routes to familiarize himself with them. 

Preston Superintendent Steve Wotring said   the principal’s job will be posted for 10  days, statewide. He hopes the new principal is hired at the Dec. 21 board of education meeting.

 “We are looking for an individual with strong leadership qualities and a strong understanding of curriculum and instructional leadership.  We want someone who will bring innovative ideas to the table to improve student achievement,” Wotring said in an email exchange.

Plum replaces Jason Lenhart who, like his predecessor, Tony Harris, left for a job with Monongalia County Schools. Six people, all from within the system, applied for the job, Wotring said.

 As principal, Plum earns $80,338.80 with a 240-day contract, according to the county schools treasurer.

  This amount is a total of  his base salary, which is based on degree level plus years of experience;  the state principal supplement, based on the number  of teachers supervised plus  degree level plus 240 days contract, for $6,361.20; and  the county principal supplement of $3,420, which is  based on the number  of students at the school. 

He will be making $70,557.60 for a 240-day contract as the transportation administrator.