PRUNTYTOWN— Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) has been undergoing some changes and started the school year earlier this week under new administration, who is excited to bring his educational vision to the students of Taylor County.
The Knights welcomed new Principal Scott Hage for the 2021-2022 school year, and he is on a mission to build a stronger foundation for the area’s middle school students.
Hage has been in the education profession for a total of 18 years.
After earning an English degree from West Virginia University, he revealed he wasn’t sure what exactly he would pursue with that degree and had always had a desire to work in law enforcement.
So, Hage found himself back in school working towards getting his Masters in Public Administration, which landed him a job with the White Collar Crimes Unit for about three years, but did not feel as though he was answering his calling.
“I came from a family of educators,” he noted. “And felt like that is where I needed to be.”
With the support of his wife, Hage entered into the Army Reserve, who assisted with the costs of him farthing his education to earn his teaching certificate, something that took him three years to accomplish, because of being deployed three times during his service.
At the age of 28, Hage entered the world of teaching, matured and experienced in several aspects of life. Because of this, while working his first educator position teaching seventh grade English at Washington Irving, his superior Doug Hoag, encouraged him to put his leadership skills to good use and become an administrator.
Hage took his first administration job as assistant principal at Big Elm Elementary in 2007 and served as WI’s assistant from 2008-2013.
Prior to finding his way to Taylor County Middle, Hage worked as the principal of South Harrison Middle School remaining at that post for eight years, making the tough decision to part ways with the school for the benefit of his own family.
“My wife was named as the Superintendent of Marion County, and I had over an hour wrapped up in travel time working there. Because her new position was demanding, I needed to be closer to home. So, I started looking for openings,” recalled Hage.
Since making the move from a school family he had been part of was no easy decision to make, when Hage first came upon the opening for principal at TCMS, he passed up the opportunity and the opening was closed.
By fate, the position came open again, and this time, Hage took the leap and landed the job, ready to bring a whole new vision to Taylor County Middle School.
“My goal here is to make an impact and bring my very own unique vision to a school closer to home,” he commented.
He shared that one of his main areas of focus will be working to build on the trust that the community has for the school and will be doing this by providing his students with the best education he could possibly give them.
And although school has just concluded its first week back, Hage has already began making important changes and working toward delivering the new vision.
“We have already started doing walk throughs, visiting the classrooms being more involved in what is going on in those classes and really opening up the door of communication between administration and teachers,” he expressed.
He also revealed that this year, TCMS has two new classes on their roster to better provide life knowledge to their student. Those classes include Career Exploration, which is a STEM-type course that will have students exploring industry jobs and will open the eyes of those who may not be on track to attend college or may not have the desire to.
Another added class is Intro to Agriculture, which is currently on hold while they search for not just a body to fill the teaching position but find someone that is passionate about the course.
“Those are both great additions to our roster here, and we think they will be very beneficial to building that strong foundation we are working toward,” Hage added.
Under Hage, TCMS has also changed the way they greet students in the morning.
“How a student starts their morning will often determine how their day goes. We want to give them the best start to their day that we possibly can,” he remarked.
Thus, the Knights have instituted walk up music. Not only are TCMS students welcomed by smiling faces and waves each morning, but they are also greeted by cheerful tunes being played over the schools outside intercoms.
“These are just small changes or additions that can really create a huge difference,” said Hage. “If we can work together and build this strong foundation here at the middle school level, we will have an even stronger one at the high school.”
Hage is excited to be a part of the TCMS family, bringing school spirit to and continue getting to know his students and staff, making any necessary adjustments along the way to ensure the school is performing at its best and hoping he can make a community-wide impact.
“Most students don’t remember their middle school principals. I want to be remembered for my passion for this school, my students and for giving them the best education possible,” he pronounced. “The kids deserve it, and I am going to do my very best to achieve it.”