Valley Elementary in Bath has new Principal

As the new school year in Bath County begins, Valley Elementary School is welcoming a new principal, Kevin Kendall, who just started in the last week. After his first few days meeting teachers and staff, and some parents, Mr. Kendall shares excitement and enthusiasm about his job, his plans for the year, and the school community.

“The last ten years I’ve been the gifted coordinator for Lexington City Schools, and there I was responsible for Kindergarten through eighth grade. To do Kindergarten through seventh grade here at Valley seems like a really great fit. The other thing I loved about Lexington was that it was a strong close community that supported education. I certainly got those feelings here last night for our Open House Sessions. I believe in small schools, and small school systems.”

Even before his arrival, Bath educators had been brainstorming a way to fit what they stand for into a strong, memorable phrase. Kevin Kendall believes it’s a good one.

“The new Bath County slogan, ‘Every child, every class, every day’, that they all should be learning something new; it’s exactly at the core of my beliefs, and it’s great to have a t-shirt on my back, but knowledge in my heart and soul, that that’s the right thing to do for kids everyday”.

When asked what words of advice he has for a first grader getting off the bus at Valley in the morning, Mr. Kendall replied.

“Bring your best smile; ask lots of questions when you’re confused, and know that there are lots of adult in this building that are going to look out for you, and even though some kids look really big around you, remember that they were all six years old at one point too.”

Mr. Kendal, and this year’s teachers are introducing PRIDE time to the Panthers. They encourage parents to join in, as their children set aside part of each evening to use at least some the five skills that spell out Pride. P is for Practice, as in: spelling words, math facts, or a musical instrument. Next comes the all-important Read. Kevin Kendall:

“With reading, read anything, anywhere, any time. You know, vary it up between fiction materials and non-fiction materials. Read poetry; read cereal boxes, I don’t care, but just keep kids actively engaged in that process of reading.”

After the “R” for read, comes I for investigate, D for discuss, and E for evaluate. Discussing and Evaluating may seem like higher-level skills, but Mr. Kendall believes that for children, talking about things takes practice, and it’s a practice that improves family time too.

When our conversation was nearly over, Kevin Kendall wanted to make sure all Valley families know about getting together at the end of this week to celebrate the start of something new.

“This Friday we’re going to have a Panther Pride picnic from 4:30-7:30.” Valley’s Parent Teacher Organization is planning to provide barbeque or chicken, and all of the other dishes will be potluck. The event will be rain or shine. With any questions, call the school office at 839-5395.

For more coverage throughout the school year on Millboro Elementary, Bath County High School, and Highland and Pocahontas Counties Schools, stay tuned to Allegheny Mountain Radio.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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