School Superintendent Terrence Beam Explains Why He is Leaving

During our last interview with School Superintendent Terrence Beam a couple of weeks ago, he announced his retirement and talked a bit about how he sees the future of the Pocahontas County Schools. Since then, Beam has felt that the school staff and parents as well as the community here deserve to know a bit more about his reasons for leaving at this time, and he also talked about the challenges he will be facing as he moves forward as the new Superintendent of the Nicholas County Schools.
“Well, good morning, Tim,” said Beam. “We’ve had a lot of conversations over the last 8 to 10 years, and today will be our last one, being Superintendent of Pocahontas County Schools. I just wanted to take a few minutes to explain why I made the decision I did. Like I said in our last interview, I think it is the right time for everyone here and for myself to have a change in leadership. But, people ask me why I would make a decision to leave a job I have to go into what a lot of people call a mess. It is sure simple, it’s my home. I’ve lived there 71 years, and my home county is sure struggling right now. They have a lot of bitterness and anger and frustration over the 2016 flood. In fact, the schools have not even begun to be rebuilt yet.”
“I went to Richwood High School, my brother and sister and mom all went to Richwood High School. My granddaughter goes there now, and, all my other kids and grand-kids are going to Nicholas County High School. So, I have a vested interest in the entire county, not just one end or the other. And I think that was attractive to the board members in Nicholas County, that they could bring somebody in that had a history there, and understood both ends of the argument. It’s a tough situation.”
“I had a meeting in Charleston -I took a personal day, I didn’t use Pocahontas time, but used personal time to go down wit FEMA, and we (Nicholas County Schools) are 72 million dollars short, and they are not giving us any more money. So we got to figure out a way-either changing our plan on what kind of buildings we are going to build or – they already cut out a lot of the pork out of their plans for the new buildings, but it is probably going to look a lot different from what they originally thought. I know I am going into a hornet’s nest with that. Anytime you change (after) you tell people all along that you are going to do this and you are going to do that, and then somebody else comes in and says we can’t afford to do that now, your going to have to do something else. I know what I am signing up for. But again, it’s my home county.”
I told the board members (here) the other night, that it didn’t really come to me that clearly until just about a week ago, when I got to thinking about our board members and I thought, why would anybody want to be on a Board of Education. I know why. It is their home, and they want to see a better school system. And that just kind of enlightened me-that’s why I am going home, it’s trying to help them do a better job. Yes, it’s more money, I was making enough money here, It is not about that. It’s about trying to make a difference in my home county before I retire.“
“And, if I were to be really honest, it’s probably been my dream job since I was a Principal at Panther Creek. I think everybody wants to be Superintendent of their home county if they have that drive. And, I had the chance to do that one time. I actually, a week before the flood hit in 2016, I was offered a contract to be Superintendent of Nicholas County, but I had already agreed to be superintendent of Pocahontas County, and I wasn’t going to back out of my agreement, so the time wasn’t right, but the time is better now, I am only a year or so from retirement. We have really good leadership here to carry on in my stead, and I think it is the best time for me to make this decision and an opportunity to do some good before I retire. And that’s the reasons I am taking the position.”
“But, again, I want to thank you for all the support you have given me and the accuracy of your reporting has been really commendable. And I appreciate you very much, and I thank you very much.”

On behalf of all of us here at Allegheny Mountain Radio, I thank Mr. Beam for his service here, and wish him the best at his new job.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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