History of H.M.S.
Hedgesville Middle School has not always been “Hedgesville Middle School.” For many years, due to a smaller population, it was simply “Hedgesville School.” The first school, a two-story brick building with a residential-looking front porch, was constructed in the 1880’s to serve all students in the Hedgesville area, from grade one to grade twelve. The needs of families to provide for themselves, and the limited opportunities available to all but the most exceptional students, meant that many who began their academic careers at the school did not attend until completion.
Those who are used to seeing hundreds of students in today’s building would not recognize the meager class sizes of the early 1900’s. In 1900, Hedgesville graduated one student. In 1902, five. In 1906, none. In 1910, three.
By the mid 1920’s, the original building has outlived its usefulness. It was decided that the original building should be demolished a new school built to replace it. At that time, there was no West Virginia School Building Authority to apply for funding. Furthermore, Berkeley County was not responsible for school construction throughout the county. That task, and the cost for it, was left to the individual areas within the county. Thus, the Hedgesville area was forced to fund its own school. Already granted the authority to tax farms and land, Hedgesville made the innovative decision to tax the B & O Railroad that ran though its boundaries. With a funding source secured, the old building was razed in 1925, and a new building was erected on the same site in 1926.
Sitting prominently as a three-story structure on a hill within the town, the school building dominated the landscape. The prominence of the building, and the fact that so many citizens had familial connections to both the past as present incarnations of the school, made it a natural hub for community involvement.
Like its predecessor, the new structure accommodated all Hedgesville students in grades on to twelve from 1926 until 1951, when it was converted to serve only grades seven to twelve. Not until 1976, when a new high school was built along WV Route 9, did the current structure officially become what is known today as Hedgesville Middle School.
The first principal of Hedgesville Middle School was Gary W. Greenfield, who arrived in 1976 and stayed in that position until 2003. Donna Miller served as the school’s first Vice Principal, arriving with Mr. Greenfield in 1976 and staying until 1989. When Mrs. Miller left to assume a role with the Berkeley County Board of Education office, Tana Petrucci was appointed as vice principal and remained in that role until 1999. Mrs. Leilani Genty was appointed as a Head Teacher in 1996 and remained in that position until 2002. Brent Sherrard also served as Assistant Principal from 1999 through 2002. In 2003, Hal VanMetre and Elizabeth Anne Greenfield both became Assistant Principal’s at HMS. Mr. VanMetre served for one year before moving on to Hedgesville High School.
Upon Mr. Greenfield’s retirement, Charles Scott was appointed principal and served in that capacity for five years from 2003 to 2008. Elizabeth Anne Greenfield was Assistant Principal from 2003 to 2008. Rebekah Eyler became a second Assistant Principal for the 2003/2004 school year before moving to the new Spring Mills Middle School. The third and current principal of Hedgesville Middle School is Elizabeth Greenfield Adams, daughter of Gary W. Greenfield.
Due to the burgeoning population of Berkeley County, enrollment at Hedgesville Middle School has been constantly rising. The student enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year was 700 students.
There have been several construction projects at the school since it was originally built, to expand it to accommodate increased enrollment and to expand educational offering and improve the student experience. A 1962 project added a cafeteria, two science rooms, and a gymnasium. In 1970, a band room was added. In 1989, computer labs, an art and lab complex, and six classrooms were added. An in 1996, the school was expanded by 14 classrooms.