New principal aims to make middle school ‘even better’
When Tyler County middle-schoolers head back to the hallowed halls of learning this fall, they will be under the leadership of a new TCMS principal.
Tab Mathis, a Wayne County native, has accepted the principal’s position at Tyler County Middle School and says his goal as TCMS principal is “to make a great school even better.”
“I’m excited to be here,” said Mathis.
Mathis, a 20 year veteran educator, plans to put his communication and leadership skills into use and focus on enhancing the middle school’s academic program in order to best meet student’s needs.
“Middle school scheduling has the flexibility to allow students to be situated in the learning environment that best suits them,” explained Mathis. “Once you get into high school, the criteria are pretty much set, but in middle school we can determine what our students’ direction should be educationally and tailor the schedule to accommodate that need.”
“I’m very data-driven,” added Mathis. “I like to look at the hard facts, look at testing scores and other information, and get a good overview of students’ strengths and possibly weaknesses, then create a schedule that better benefits the students’ needs.”
Mathis holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Marshall University, earning his BA in Social Studies and a master’s in administration. His first teaching position was in special education at Wayne County Schools, his native county.
Mathis next became Principal at Vinson High School for a period of two years, then moved on to Ceredo-Kenova Middle School to become their principal for one year. His last employment as principal was at Tolsia High School in Wayne County.
When asked how he chose his career, Mathis said, “I was in pre-law studies and a friend and mentor who was a judge encouraged me to get my undergraduate degree in education. I took his advice and when I began my student teaching, I loved it. I gave up on the idea of law school and became a teacher.”
“After I’d been teaching for a while, I saw a lot of things I liked about the school system, and others where I thought improvements could be made,” added Mathis. “This inspired me to go on to obtain my master’s degree in administration. I wanted to make the schools better, and that was one way to do so.”
Mathis’ latest place of employment was with Workforce Investment Board, Region II, as an adult education teacher. While there he worked with Jake Hunt, a former teacher from Sistersville,
“Jake was always telling me good things about Tyler County and their schools,” said Mathis. “When I attended my first Principal’s Academy, I met Chuck Heinlein (former Tyler County principal). He was actually my mentor at the Academy and he spoke highly of this area. Chuck was very good to me, he’s a great administrator, and he was very influential as my mentor.”
“Coincidentally, I met Robert Daquilante at another Academy, who’s a former Sistersville and Paden City principal,” said Mathis. “He was very positive about the schools and Tyler County, We became good friends and was another mentor.”
“I have family in the Parkersburg area,” said Mathis. “I had traveled to Tyler County on a few occasions, to see the area I’d heard so many good things about. “
“I was online one day and saw the posting for the TCMS position,” adds Mathis. “I sent my resume and applied, and to my surprise and joy, I was hired.”
Mathis has been becoming familiar with TCMS during the past week and says, “The staff has been wonderful. They are a very professional group and truly put the kids first. The environment is spotless, the students are hard workers and very well-behaved, too.”
“I am looking forward to learning more about my students as the school year progresses, and I plan to attend all after school functions as a way of getting to know them better,” said Mathis. “I think it’s important they know I truly take an interest in them and support the school.”
“I plan to have an open-door policy as principal,” he added. “Parents are always welcome to come to me and I will make myself available to listen to any concerns.”
“The best part of my job is seeing students grow and improve. It’s rewarding to be a part of making a positive impact on a child’s learning environment,” Mathis said. “They need me to do my job to the best of my ability, so their lives can be bettered through their learning experiences.”
“With the economy and employment the way it is these days, education is key,” Mathis remarked.
“My enthusiasm for this job and my communication and leadership skills will be used to help students to get the most out of their education while here,” said Mathis. “This is a good, strong community where everybody cares about their kids. I’m happy to begin building a solid relationship with Tyler County students, parents, and school staff in the coming months.”
Mathis is the father of three children, Jonah, 10, Mica, 13, and Isaiah, 15, who still reside in Wayne County. Mathis is currently house-hunting for a residence in the area and commutes home on weekends to spend time with his children.