For The First Time In A Decade, Bath County High School Has Started A School Year Without Principal Pete Pitard
Warm Springs, Va – In August, for the first time in a decade, Bath County High School began a school year without Principal Pete Pitard. Pitard, who resigned over the summer, feels his experience in Bath County was unique.
“It really taught me a lot,” says Pitard. “There’s a lot of thank yous that need to go out. People were kind and generous and worked hard. We created a continuity and a program that I think is very good, even in the light of the fact that in the future there’s some dark days ahead because of budget cuts and declining enrollment and stuff like that.”
“You know I was an assistant principal in California and my tenure here at Bath is completely different with relationships with kids, with faculty, with parents, just completely the opposite. It is really nice to work with the people in this community to educate their children.”
Pitard resigned after the Bath School Board eliminated the assistant principal position at the high school, due to a tight budget. Pitard felt he could not effectively handle the workload of being principal and assistant principal and Career and Technical Education Director, which was part of the assistant principal job.
Pitard’s career in education began in California, where he taught for nineteen years and then worked as a curriculum coordinator for four years. He was a special education teacher one year at Bath County before spending ten years as principal. Pitard was the longest serving principal at Bath County High School. And why did he do it for so long?
“Because of the community, I enjoyed it, I loved it,” says Pitard. “The people in the community were great and finally, the kids. When you have kids that come up to you every year and they hear that you’re thinking of retiring and they’re begging you not to do that, because they want you to stay. And every year there was another class that said We enjoy you, we want you to be here’.”
“And I love the faculty and staff. They supported me. Everything we tried to get involved with and do they were a hundred percent behind.”
Although he’s eligible for retirement, Pitard is back in school. He is teaching World History and US History at Covington High School this year. He says he always wanted to get back to the classroom and now he’s doing what he loves best, teaching history.
“I’m definitely not as stressed,” says Pitard. “I mean I’m stressed in different ways because I’ve got to try to make lesson plans for every day and I’ve been out of that area of teaching for awhile, so it’s getting back into the groove again. I’m still working with kids, I enjoy kids a lot, teenagers.”
“I don’t deal with a lot of the other administrative stuff that I did when I was up here. And that has eased off, so I can spend some more time with my grandchildren and spend some more time reading history books.”
Bath County High School’s new Principal this year is Sarah Rowe. She has come back home for the job. She graduated from Bath County High School in 1993.