When students return to Waynesboro High School in August, they will notice a few changes.
Outside students will see a new parking lot in front of the school, a new main entrance into the school and a newly renovated space across the street for Waynesboro Public Schools’ Career & Technical Education annex.
But inside the school, a new principal will be in the main office.
William “Tim” Teachey, who has been principal of the high school since 2008, begins his new position as the school division’s Director of Instruction on July 1.
“I’ve watched the community change,” said Teachey of Waynesboro growing from a community driven by industry and white-collar jobs to a less industrial community.
A 1980 graduate of Waynesboro High, Teachey grew up in the city. His parents still leave in Waynesboro.
He and his wife, Beth, raised a daughter and a son who both live in the city. Teachey and his wife has one grandson and a granddaughter on the way. Beth has been a teacher at Kate Collins Middle School for 15 years, but will soon transfer to teaching English at the Valley Learning Academy.
Teachey has also seen changes in education, from an emphasis on college after high school to encouraging students to pursue careers in trades.
Through Profile of a Virginia Graduate, the emphasis is now on students obtaining job skills before they graduate high school.
Teachey will miss serving as principal of the high school, but the time had come for him to make a change in his life so that he can also focus on being a grandfather and enjoy more time with his family.
He said he will miss the high school students — whom he calls “my kids.”
“I understand that that’s a strength of mine,” Teachey said of his ability to build relationships with high school students and provide them with one-on-one support as a principal.
Some of the high school’s students he was principal of were children of students he taught as a teacher at the high school.
Teachey obtained a bachelor’s in science in Biology from Roanoke College in 1984. Like many college graduates, he learned what he wanted out of a career by first doing what he did not want to do. He accepted a position with Roche Biomedical in Elon College, North Carolina. Roche is now known as LabCorp.
After having met his wife in Elon College, working three years with the company, and getting transferred to Richmond for a sales position with Elon, Teachey said he realized spending time away from home in sales, just as he and his wife were expecting their first child, was not his career ambition.
So he obtained his teaching certification from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Education was not a far off idea for Teachey, who was always interested in finding a way to coach youth sports, which, he said, the best way to do was through the public school system. He played basketball at Roanoke College.
“And I enjoyed working with young people,” he said. “So that’s what prompted me to go back to school to get my certification and to get into teaching.”
He would go on to coach basketball, baseball and golf at Waynesboro Public Schools.
Teachey’s career in education began in 1989 in Waynesboro, where he would alternate teaching Biology and other sciences at the high school and Kate Collins Middle School until 2001. For the 2001-2002 academic year, he taught 7th and 8th grade Physical Science at Kate Collins Middle, then became assistant principal at William Perry Elementary until 2005.
From 2005 to 2008, Teachey was Waynesboro High’s assistant principal under Sue Wright, who was principal.
When she left to become the school division’s Director of Instruction, she told Teachey he should become the high school’s principal.
Her and the school staff’s support and encouragement gave him the confidence to become principal in 2008.
Teachey said as a teacher at Waynesboro High, he experienced renovations in 1999-2000. He leaves the high school now amidst another round of renovations, which included the school division purchasing the former The News Virginian building at 1300 W. Main Street and creating its Career & Technical Education annex, as well as renovating the high school so the original front entrance will again be the school’s main entrance.
“It’s going to be nice that that’s going to become the front of the building again,” Teachey said, who was a student at the high school when the original entrance was the main entrance.
Teachey said he admits he initially hoped the school division could build a new high school, but he understands “the financial burden that would bring.”
“I want our kids to be able to have an experience in high school similar to the kids that they’re competing with for jobs and for positions in college,” Teachey said of the need for the renovations to the high school that was built in 1937.
Since getting into administration, Teachey has had the opportunity to visit other school divisions and see options available to other students in Virginia.
“I want my kids to have those same opportunities,” Teachey said of Waynesboro’s high school students.
As Director of Instruction, Teachey will assist with the school division’s improvement plan, help each school meet strategic goals and ensure the school division receives the grant resources necessary to provide for students. He will also monitor the Talented & Gifted Program.
His goals include getting all of Waynesboro’s schools up to state accreditation standards.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity. This school division has looked after me, they’ve nurtured me, and coached me through.”