Robin Hall has been an educator for nearly four decades.
For the past four years, she has served as the assistant superintendent of secondary schools in Wyoming County.
She grew up in Wyoming County and, as a child, witnessed first-hand the construction of the R.D. Bailey Lake project.
She is a 1980 graduate of Baileysville High School. In 1984, she earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Marshall University. Hall has also earned two master’s degrees – one from West Virginia University in communication studies, the second from Marshall University in educational leadership.
Q. Where did you grow up? Tell me about it; what was it like when you were growing up?
A. I grew up in Shannon Yards, which was a community about a mile west of Baileysville on Rt. 97.
Construction on the R.D. Bailey Dam was in full force during my childhood. I saw a highway, a railroad, and numerous cemeteries moved. I witnessed the exodus of community members who were being displaced and relocated to accommodate the dam project.
My family was the last to move. We moved to Brenton just prior to the beginning of my freshman year of high school.
My father was a coal miner and my mother took care of the home and children. I was the youngest of their six children. I had four brothers and a sister.
My siblings were my childhood heroes. They taught me to play sports, fish, drive, and throw a mean snowball. They never got too big to let their little sister tag along. Throughout the years, they have continued to be my favorite people.
When I was growing up, life seemed so simple and safe. Kids could go outside, play from daylight to dark, explore, ride bikes, dream, etc., without a lot of worry.
Q. How many years have you been in the education system? Where did you start as a teacher? Then on to principal of Westside?
A. The 2019-2020 school term is the beginning of my 36th year with Wyoming County Schools. My teaching certifications are secretarial studies and driver education.
Over the years, I taught typing, social studies, driver education, reading, computer applications, Prep, and written and oral communication.
I also facilitated the JTPA program at both Herndon High and Mullens High.
I started teaching at Herndon High School in August 1984. I was at Herndon until 1992, when Herndon High consolidated with Mullens High School.
I was transferred to Pineville High School in 1998 due to a reduction in force.
I taught at Wyoming East during the first year of the school. I was again set for a transfer to Baileysville High School. I applied for the assistant principal position and served in that capacity for three years until the consolidation of Baileysville High and Oceana High. I was named one of the assistant principals at Westside High School at its beginning in 2002. I served in that position until 2013. I served as principal of Westside High School from 2013 to 2015.
For the past four years, I have been assistant superintendent of secondary schools.
Q. How has the education system changed over the years you’ve been working?
A. The education system has evolved numerous times over the past 35 years. Change is necessary to meet the academic and career readiness needs of students.
The development and implementation of technology has been the greatest evolution. Over the years, the focus has shifted more to meeting the needs of the total student. I was among the first to teach a computer class. In the beginning, we had Apple IIe computers. Basic programming was about all we could do with the Apple computers.
It took a few years to get computers that would run Windows applications such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
Teaching computer applications was my favorite assignment.
Q. Do you ever miss being in the classroom?
A. I miss the daily interaction with students. Being around kids keeps your mind young. When I would observe a class as an administrator, I would sit there thinking how much I would love to present the lesson. As a teacher, it was always great to see a student the very moment they internalized a concept and “got it.” Both pride and happiness.
Q. What do you enjoy most about education and working as an assistant superintendent?
A. The main thing I enjoy most about working in education is the opportunity to help students in preparation for their futures. Being assistant superintendent affords me the opportunity to help students, administration, faculty, and staff at both high schools and the Career Center.
The secondary level is complex and multi-layered. The entire secondary team collaborates to facilitate the best possible services to students. The secondary team of Wyoming County Schools is hardworking, dedicated, and caring. I’m proud to work with them. I also get to work on projects that benefit the system as a whole.
Q. Who has been the biggest influence in your life? Why?
A. other has been the biggest influence in my life. My mom was raised during the Depression on a farm as a member of a large family. She started at a young age helping care for the home and her younger siblings.
She left home during World War II to work in a war plant in Manassas, Va. She was trained and worked as a machinist. She was very proud of her service and being a “Rosie, the Riveter.”
My mom was a woman ahead of her time. She could be prissy one minute and work harder than a lot of men at a manual labor task the next minute.
She was kind and helpful to everybody. She never met a stranger. She instilled in me the need to read, to have a strong work ethic, be honest, and to treat people as I wanted to be treated.
She also instilled in me a desire to strive for achievement. Her expectations were high, but not greater than the love she provided.
She also made the absolute best gravy and biscuits.
Q. How do you hope to make a difference in Wyoming County?
A. I have always worked to do my part to help grow the educational system in Wyoming County. A good education is fundamental to the future of all students. Anything we can do to help a student have a better future will only help all of us have a better future.
I will always seek out opportunities to volunteer in community service projects.