Cynthia M. Calfee

Matewan PreK-8 School
Mingo County School District
Matewan, West Virginia

In nine years as Matewan PreK-8’s principal, with 20 years of principalship on her resume, Cindy Calfee has steered this school toward positive academic and behavioral growth. Located in a rural area where jobs have been in decline, Matewan faced challenges when the elementary and middle schools had to be combined. Calfee was up to the challenge, focusing on implementation of PBIS to foster appropriate behaviors and encourage a sense of community among all grade levels. Currently, the school regularly exceeds state and county proficiency measures and has been recognized as a PBIS Spotlight School by the West Virginia Behavior/Mental Health Technical Assistance Center for its grit, determination, and ultimate success in drastically reducing disruptive behavior and creating a positive atmosphere where academic success can happen. Calfee is always seeking out ways to enrich her students’ experience. In 2018, the school received a grant from the National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, supporting the development of entrepreneurship programming that culminated in students designing and creating unique products to present at multiple Entrepreneurial Fairs to the school community. The school was named America’s Entrepreneurial School in 2018. During the pandemic, Calfee and her team pivoted to providing support to both students and their families, partnering with county social workers and the PERC assistant to increase communication with families and connect them to resources. Calfee holds multiple degrees from West Virginia, Marshall, and  Salem Universities.