BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — David Price had already served as a teacher, assistant principal and a high school sports coach when he came to Raleigh County Schools from Boone County, stepping up to lead Raleigh County Schools as superintendent in 2014.

He came at a time when Raleigh parents and a number of educators were upset about a plan to replace textbooks with iPads.

Raleigh County Board of Education member Marie Hamrick led the Raleigh County Education Association when Price first came onboard.

“Probably one of the greatest challenges was some morale in the county and, maybe, trust to the central office,” Hamrick said. “I think that he bridged that gap quite nicely.”

Hamrick said Price’s policies and personality helped smooth relations among parents, teachers and the central office.

The next few years, however, would bring unprecedented challenges.

“Those things have never been faced before, in the history of our state,” Price said as he recalled the events during his tenure as superintendent. “I think that in Raleigh County we’ve been not only able to navigate those, but to continue to move forward at the same time when a lot of people put the brakes on.”

Price’s era as superintendent was defined by two teacher’s strikes which made national headlines. He faced winters which led him to unapologetically call for school closures, often saying student safety was most important. He pushed for and got millions of dollars in new school construction money, including for the long-awaited Stratton Elementary School in Ward Five.

When a global pandemic struck in March 2020, Price supported policies which made virtual education accessible.

In rural West Virginia, he took a stand to make classroom environments healthier for students and staff.

After a 40-year career in education, Price said he plans to fish, golf and to spend time with family, including his 90-year-old father, wife and grandchildren.

“Being a former coach, I left baseball when we won a state championship. I left football when were 10 and 0,” Price said. “So I feel like we’re 10 and 0 right now, and it’s a good time to pass the torch to the next person.”