New superintendents discuss school year amid pandemic

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)–The 2020 school year looked a lot different from past years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fayette and Summers Counties also have new faces in office. Dave Warvel is the new superintendent for Summers County, and Gary Hough is the new superintendent for Fayette County.

Both have experience in school districts, but Warvel said nothing could prepare them for the unknown future.

“I feel like it’s like that, trying to predict the weather forecast and try to make the best plans that you possibly can,” Warvel said. “There have been multiple times where we’ve had a few different plans we were going to go with and then we get a curve ball thrown at us and then we go back to the drawing board to try and help out.”

Fayette County added some new tools for students who may be struggling with virtual learning.

“We’re probably putting in another half a million dollars into tutoring. So, if a student has difficulty we have people who will reach out to help them to do that,” Hough said.

There is also help available for students who don’t have internet access in Summers County.

“We’ll bus them to school and we’re calling them internet halls,” Warvel said. “And those internet halls will help spread the kids out further from one another but they will be live with their teacher, each kid has a chrome book, each kid will have a headset with a microphone.”

Both Warvel and Hough agreed their main concern is the safety of both their staff and students.

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