New Principal To Lead Alexander Elementary

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Melissa Guffey is slated to take over the position of principal at Alexander Elementary for the 2014-15 school year as Nedra Zirkle retires from her job leading the school.

Guffey was hired into the position of assistant principal two years ago in part to “learn the administrative ropes,” which allowed her to get a good feel for working as a principal.

“It was exactly the type of experience I felt I needed before ever becoming the administrator of a building,” Guffey said in an email to The Messenger. “I cannot say enough about the opportunity I was given.”

Guffey had been working as an educator in Trimble Local Schools for over 15 years. Before taking her position as assistant principal at Alexander Elementary, Guffey worked as a literacy coach for six years at Trimble Middle School. Her experience also includes classroom teaching and working as a Teacher on Loan for the Ohio Department of Education.

“I can think of no more capable administrator than Melissa Guffey to whom to pass the reins of this school,” Zirkle said in an email to The Messenger. “Melissa is a delightful woman who is extremely talented and competent, as well as my friend, to whom I will entrust the keys to Alexander Elementary.”

The Alexander School Board accepted Zirkle’s retirement on April 16, 2014.

Supt. Jeff Cullum, who is also retiring this summer, is confident in Guffey’s ability to continue to lead the school forward.

“I had the pleasure of hiring Melissa as assistant elementary principal two years ago,” he said in an email. “During that span, I have watched Melissa grow professionally as she worked with Mrs. Zirkle.”
“The district is fortunate to have Mrs. Guffey,” Cullum said.

Guffey received her bachelor’s in education from Ohio University. While working in Trimble, she went on to earn a master’s degree from Marygrove College and an administrative degree from Salem International University in Salem, West Virginia.

John Schwartz is an Ohio University student interning with the Messenger.