Bob Miller has had a variety of jobs in the education field. He taught math, was an assistant principal, career technical administrator and coach. Adding to that list, Miller has taken on the task of being principal at Pocahontas County High School.
“I’m just excited to be here,” Miller said. “I lived in between Parkersburg and Clarksburg growing up and we would come up here, and camp, fish and things like that. I’ve always wanted to move here.”
Prior to coming to Pocahontas County, Miller was the career technical administrator at Hampshire Senior High School where he was in charge of the career and technical program.
“We had a lot of programs there,” he said. “We had four ag teachers, three business teachers, health, auto, construction, law enforcement, nursing. We had all that there and it was a pretty big job, really, because I had to manage the purchasing for all those folks. Then I was also assistant principal doing discipline and teacher evaluations. I had a lot going on there.”
Although moving into a principal position is a step up, the work load is bound to be lessened in part because there are fewer students at PCHS. The rural aspect of the school appealed to Miller when he applied for the position.
“It’s really exciting because at Hampshire, we had almost eleven hundred or so kids, and so this is like a third of that,” he said. “That’s awesome, and not having cell phone service here is amazing. That would drive me nuts. It’s nice not to have to worry about that aspect of technology.”
Miller took the job without any expectations and plans to follow the lead of his staff who know the school and its operations. He also plans to be visible in the school and not just sit behind the desk.
“I think this year mainly, I just want to get to know the staff, get to know the culture, climate of the school and see what we need to work on,” he said. “That’s the big thing for me. I’m not the kind of person to just sit in here. I’m going to be in the classrooms and hallways because that’s how I can learn how things are going. I can’t learn by sitting in here.”
Because he was hired in the summer, Miller has had a chance to ease himself into the job, somewhat, and was given opportunities to meet staff and students before school starts.
“The kids that I’ve met here are really nice kids,” he said. “I’ve talked to some of the guys when they’ve come to play ball. I had two or three teachers come in and we went through the handbook. I’ve talked with [custodian] Morgan McComb, because he’s been here awhile and he knows this school better than anyone.”
While Miller has held jobs outside of the education field – including insurance agent – he’s main goal was to be an educator, coach, and later, an administrator.
“I knew I wanted to teach and coach, and I did that for many years,” he said. “My son played for me and I knew after he graduated, I wanted to get into administration the last ten, fifteen years of my career.”
At PCHS, Miller said his main goal is to be consistent with the students and faculty.
“We just need to be consistent,” he said. “From what I’ve heard from a lot of teachers, there’s a lot of inconsistencies. Kids know in a heartbeat if you’re not fair. Fair to them is important, so I think that’s really important. If you take care of the little things – like the hats and the cell phones – then usually the bigger things just kind of fall in line. You’ve got to do detail. It’s important to pay attention to details and make sure you’re fair with everybody.”