GALLIPOLIS — A group of school officials, community leaders and area residents came together Saturday to celebrate a hard-earned accomplishment and one several years in the making — the reopening and dedication of the newly renovated Gallia Academy Middle School (GAMS).
Past officials like former Gallipolis City Schools Superintendent Jack Payton and GAMS Principal and Coach Brent Saunders joined the current administration, including Superintendent Roger Mace and Principal Craig Wright, in recognizing the many people involved in seeing the huge project through to fruition.
An almost tangible sense of pride could be felt in the auditorium as each speaker took the podium, and many of those who spoke did so while fighting back overwhelming emotion.
“Wow,” Saunders said as he opened his remarks. “Wow is a word that I’ve used many times, probably more so in the last year. This is all about the kids.”
“Nearly seven years ago, something happened in this county that has had and will have an impact for decades to come,” explained Saunders. “When we awaited the levy results in this very room back in ‘05, the excitement was ‘Wow’. I’ve never seen so many older people act like kids, and when we finally saw it pass … wow! See, the Red Dot campaign wasn’t just for Gallipolis City Schools, it was for all of Gallia County.”
GAMS employs 32 teachers and a total staff of 46.