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Buffalo High principal to retire

Buffalo High School Principal Richard Grim is retiring June 30 after 39 years with the Putnam County school system, Superintendent Chuck Hatfield said.

The Putnam Board of Education approved his retirement at Monday’s meeting. Hatfield said he received Grim’s resignation letter last week. He said the departure isn’t much of a surprise and that Grim has been eligible for years.

“He just decided 39 years was enough,” Hatfield said. He said the board will now advertise for a replacement.

Grim, whom the Gazette was unable to reach Monday night, began his career teaching music and math at George Washington Middle School in 1975, according to a short profile posted on the school system’s website when he was named Putnam administrator of the year for the 2012-2013 school year.

Hatfield said one of the greatest contributions of Grim and his staff was bringing to the board the idea of becoming part of the New Tech Network, a group of 135 schools in 23 states and Australia, according to the nonprofit organization’s website. As part of New Tech, students all receive laptops and work on projects in small groups, Hatfield said.

Grim said in 2012 that Buffalo High was the first school in the state to convert all grades, nine through 12, to the New Tech system.

The school system, pending final touches like those on Winfield elementary and middle schools, will be finished in August with about a decade of extensive school building and major renovations, Hatfield said Monday. He estimated about $120 million has been spent on construction over that time, which kept 450 people at work, mostly contractors from Putnam, Kanawha and Cabell counties.

Putnam residents voted for higher property taxes in 2009 that allowed the school system to sell $57 million in bonds for new building projects. The state School Building Authority contributed about $22 million when voters made that commitment.

“Our facilities were pretty bad, quite frankly, so the community stepped up,” Hatfield said.

The Putnam County Board of Education also met in closed session Monday for about 45 minutes and didn’t take action upon coming back into open session.

Hatfield declined to give more specifics about the closed session, other than that it was about personnel.

Reach Ryan Quinn

at or 304-348-1254.

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