Hoover to retire as school district superintendent

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

Greencastle-Antrim School District superintendent Dr. C. Gregory Hoover announced his resignation to the school board Thursday night, effective June 30. It will cap a nearly four decade public education career at G-ASD.

Choosing to leave at this time was based on his realization that "Things are good."

His life was at a good point, the district was fine, the future looked promising and "39 years is a long time."

The board accepted the resignation, but president Jim Winslow said, "I'm sad. He has been instrumental in the district's success. He's been so involved with the kids and in the community."

Hoover, 60, became superintendent in 2007. Prior to that, the Greencastle native and 1973 G-AHS graduate started as a substitute teacher in 1977, and quickly became a permanent fixture. His first full-time position was as an adaptive physical education teacher. He moved to the high school for P.E., health and driver's ed. He also coached cross country, basketball, and track and field.

Hoover took a semester off to intern at Waynesboro Area Senior High School as an assistant principal. He turned down a job offer there to return to the G-A Middle School as an intern, and he was named assistant principal in 1986.

Moving to the private sector briefly, Hoover came back to become middle school principal, then elementary/primary principal, and finally Director of Elementary Education.

He summarized his term as superintendent, "Our culture of putting kids first is difficult to do. People say it a lot, but I really believe we do that."

There were challenges, of course. The biggest was financial.

“I was the lucky person to get to deal with the state’s problems and downturn in the economy,” said Hoover. “There was no money coming in and we kept growing. We had to make difficult decisions, such as outsourcing.”

He looked forward to a schedule adjustment in retirement, one of which was working at the new WRGG, a soon-to-become live local radio station.

Diane Haugh was one person who observed Hoover at work his entire career, as she has been employed by the district for 40 years. She is school board recording secretary and secretary for the business manager. Her desk is by Hoover’s office door.

“It’s the end of an era,” she said. “It was an absolute pleasure to work with him. We got work done, and also had a pretty good time.”

The two went through the school system together as students.

“I always called him Mr. Greencastle. It will be very different not having him here,” Haugh said.

Winslow said the next step for the school board was to find a candidate ready to report in August.

"We will turn all the stones we can."

He said there were several resources available to find applicants, including through the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. G-ASD also had people qualified for the position.