By SARAH HARMON
WHEELING - After more than 30 years of educating children in the Ohio Valley and across the world, Andy Garber, principal of Warwood School, has announced his retirement for the end of the 2012-2013 school year.
Photo by Sarah Harmon
Ohio County Board of Education president James Jorden, right, presents a plaque to Warwood School principal Andy Garber in honor of Garber’s retirement at a recent board meeting.
Garber was honored for his career at Ohio County Schools at the board of education's meeting recently.
"I've spent the majority of my life dedicating myself to working for kids," Garber said. "That part of my job was never really a job to me. So I'm really going to miss working with kids and teachers, but it's time for me to make a new change in my life and go in a different direction."
Garber first began teaching in Honduras in Central America before teaching fourth, fifth, and sixth grade social studies at Tennerton Elementary School in Buckhannon, W.Va. In 1977, Garber joined Ohio County Schools to teach fourth grade at Woodsdale Elementary School.
He then taught sixth grade for 10 years at Warwood School in 1988 before being promoted to special education director in 1995. He was principal of Wheeling Middle School before becoming principal at Warwood School in 2005.
Garber said one of the biggest changes in education since he started teaching has been the increase of technology in schools. He said he remembers when working on computer screens with green type was the "latest thing." He also said the responsibilities expected of an educator has also changed dramatically from when he first started.
"We really need to take care of the whole child now," Garber said. "The schools are really more directly responsible for the whole child, the holistic approach, not just education, but taking care of their well-being, watching over abused children, helping kids that are hungry, helping kids that need extra help in the classroom. All those things, we never really had to do before."
After retirement, Garber said he plans to work at West Liberty University to work with student teachers, as well as possibly working at Oglebay Resort and Conference Center.