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B-UMS principal Michael Lynch

B-UMS principal Michael Lynch’s life mantra is, ‘Work hard, no matter what kind of work you’re doing’

BUCKHANNON – When country roads called Michael Lynch home, he heeded the call and returned to his roots by taking an administrative position in the Upshur County School system.

Lynch, who is the new principal of Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, returned home to be back in the area where he grew up and to be closer to his family and new grandchild.

Although Lynch hasn’t always lived in the area, he grew up and spent a lot of time in the vicinity before the mountains beckoned him back home.

“I grew up in Clarksburg and went to Notre Dame High School,” Lynch said. “I attended Potomac State College, Fairmont State College and West Virginia University.”

During his years working in education, he has taught and worked in administration in Lewis and Preston counties, where he also coached sports.

“In between some of those jobs, I worked in California in medical sales, which is really still teaching because I was selling, installing, servicing and training people who used the product I sold. Most recently, I lived in California and worked in the teacher retirement system,” he said.

Lynch also spent six years in the U.S. Army as a non-commissioned training officer. So, all in all, Lynch has been teaching others for quite a few years before accepting the helm at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School.

He said he is excited to be principal at B-UMS and is very thankful for his wonderful assistant principals, secretaries, counselors and an awesome staff.

“We are all here for the same thing – to help the kids be as safe and as successful as possible,” Lynch said. “That is my motivation.”

Lynch said his wife, Gloria, who is from California, said the couple’s ultimate goal was to return to the Mountain State.

“When this job came available, I was interested because this is the grade level I like to work with,” he explained. “At this age level, students are in between elementary school and adulthood, and it is a unique transition time for students – not only school-wise, but mentally and emotionally. The staff at B-UMS is great because they are in tune with that. I have found that generally, middle school educators are well suited to deal with the needs of their students.”

“Our educators have the entire student in mind,” he added, “so, that was another attraction for me to take this position.”

He said he feels a strong asset he brings to the table is his ability to multi-task.

“We have a ton of things going on here at B-UMS and Upshur County Schools have a ton of resources to offer our students, including a community health clinic, good counselors, great activities for the students, and meals and snacks for the students,” he said. “I just like being involved with that and moving the school forward. I think this is one of the largest middle schools in the state, and I feel we offer unique things in terms of resources.”
Lynch said one of the challenges he feels he faces is making sure students and parents are aware of the resources that are available to them.

“We are all here for their benefit,” he said. “My door is always open, and I am never too busy to talk.”

Lynch said it appears the community is supports and values education in Upshur County.

“We have the levy and parents who are volunteering in the school,” he said. “Obviously, we are looking for more volunteers. We need help with fundraisers, and we need parents to help their students with homework and to help the kids get to school on time and encourage them to do their best.”

Since joining the Upshur County School System, Lynch said he’s felt consistently welcomed.

“We had our open house and we had more than 400 parents attend,” Lynch said. “I tried to greet everyone and welcome them here, and it was a really nice response from them. I am looking forward to working with the parents as much as possible. Obviously, we need their support as well to help the school run nicely and support the students as best we can.”

Lynch wants folks to know one really important thing – what he lacks in skills he makes up for in hard work.

“That has been my life mantra – to work hard with every job I have done and generally, I have been very successful,” he said. “That’s always my goal – the hard work and the success that comes from it, and the challenges that come from it help feed my desire to work harder. I want things to be the best they can be.”

“I love walking the halls of B-UMS and seeing the students and teachers engaged in learning,” Lynch added. “From the first day on, our teachers had their students engaged in reading and learning. There is a lot of good things going on here and I love being a part of that.”

Lynch said his message to all students, parents and staff at B-UMS is simple.

“I am here for them, and I am here to make this the best school it can be,” he said.

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