NITRO, W.Va. — The newly-appointed Nitro High School Principal says he’s ready to build on the progress that he’s already been helping to implement at the school for the past several years now.

New Nitro High Principal Brian Barth told MetroNews he’s been serving as Assistant Principal there for the past six years and knows the role he’s stepping into.

He said while it was rather unexpected, he’s ready to fill the role of former Nitro High principal Jason Redman, who left to take over as the county school system’s new transportation director.

“We’ve done a lot of work here to focus on early-intervention, and student success, and when the job came open I felt like I needed to make sure that we’re continuing in the direction we’ve been going for the past six years,” said Barth.

After officially stepping into the new role on January 2, Barth said he plans to expand on the student success programs he worked closely with Redman to put into place, as well as build on the early- intervention initiatives focusing on the improvement of student issues both academically and socially.

He said while he and Mr. Redman have gotten things going in the direction they’ve both envisioned for Nitro High School over those years working together, his goal is now to simply build on that progress and ensure students continue to excel.

“We really look a lot at the whole student, and I’ll continue to do the same thing as the principal as I did as the assistant principal,” he said.

Barth said student experience and involvement are a big part of the make-up and environment of Nitro High.

He said another goal of his moving forward is to create something for every student to feel like they belong and have a place at the school.

“We try to find ways to get kids involved and create positive memories at the school,” said Barth. “We have kickball games and student events, and we’ve really focused a lot on adding more programs.”

Barth said they have a rather extensive after-school program at the school, as well, in which he plans to keep improving and expanding. Beyond basic academic tutoring, Barth said there are multiple programs and clubs students can attend after school that includes robotics, Esports, and even a ski club.

After growing up in Kanawha City and a graduate of George Washington High School, along with serving as an art teacher at Herbert Hoover High School for some time, Barth said he is familiar with the tight-knit communities which support the schools across the Kanawha Valley, and his ultimate goal is to continue to create a place in Nitro where the school and community works together for the best interest of everyone involved.

“It was a career goal to get out here because I really liked what the City of Nitro and the school were doing together,” said Barth. “I really like the idea of a community school with open doors, where parents and students can come to the school and feel like we are a source of help, not an obstacle.”

He said he was impressed with the staff and students at Nitro High School the very first time he stepped through the doors there even before applying as assistant principal.

Barth has been working in education now for 20 years.