Mason HS principal retiring after 35 years

 Mason HS principal retiring after 35 years 

By Ken Childers

ONL Editor

He has been a fixture at Mason High School for more than three decades, and on June 11, he is going to leave the only school system he has ever been a part of professionally.

“It will be tough to walk out that door,” said Principal Eddie Weaver. “I’ll have to turn my keys in, which have been my safety belt around my neck for years.”

Starting at Mason in 1985 as an industrial arts teacher, Weaver, as he puts it, worked his way “down” to principal in 1990. “It was a step up in pay, but a step down with the rest of the stuff,” he laughed.

Weaver attended school in the small northeastern Oklahoma communities of Cleora and Afton and deliberately chose to remain in the small school environment as an educator. “When I got into education, I told myself if I couldn’t do a small school, I’m not going to do any. I’ve been lucky enough to be here. This is a very unique place,” he said. 

School administration seems to run in the Weaver family. His wife, Joyce, serves as Child Nutritionist and Treasurer at Mason and his daughter, Brandy, is the high school’s administrative assistant. “Being able to work here with my wife and my daughter has been very special. I’ve also been able to watch my kids and grandkids come up through this school,” Weaver said.

While Weaver eschews tradition by wearing polo shirts in lieu of a necktie, there is one traditional value he clings to. “I don’t ever ask anybody to do anything I’m not willing to do myself. I’ve been out in a ditch with maintenance guys. I grew up on a farm where you just do whatever is needed to get things done. If it means you’ve got to get dirty, then you get dirty. If there’s something broken here that I can fix, I fix it. That’s just how I was brought up,” he added.

Weaver said he has made plenty of memories over the past 35 years, and 99 percent of them are good ones. “There are a few bad memories. I’ve lost a few kids. It’s been an up-down, up-down roller coaster ride, but I wouldn’t be anywhere else,” he said.

Although Weaver likes to “kid around” with students by giving them nicknames, being accessible to them is serious business. “I’ve always told kids to not be afraid to come to my office to talk to me. If they need to stand upside down with their head on the floor and their feet in the air to talk to me, so be it. I want them to be able to talk to me,” Weaver stated.

While the COVID-19 crisis has left school buildings closed for the rest of the academic year and graduation ceremonies in limbo, Weaver said plans are in the works to honor the class of 2020. 

“We’re going to have a graduation, possibly in mid-summer. If it all goes to plan, it will be the first outdoor graduation we’ve ever had,” Weaver said. “This group of seniors is going to be the most unique group we’ve ever had. They’ve had the whole fourth nine weeks doing work from home, and that’s just absolutely unheard of.”

(Note: After our interview, the district announced that graduation ceremonies for 8th graders and seniors would be held on Friday, June 12 beginning at 7 p.m. on the softball field).

Weaver, who has two children, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren, said his post-retirement plans include “piddling” around his home and continuing to give driving tests in Okemah on Saturdays.

When asked if he had a message for the students he is leaving behind, Weaver replied, “Do your best, behave and listen to whoever takes over. Don’t ever tell them ‘that’s not how Mr. Weaver does it,’ because I’m not here anymore.”

By Ken Childers

ONL Editor

He has been a fixture at Mason High School for more than three decades, and on June 11, he is going to leave the only school system he has ever been a part of professionally.

“It will be tough to walk out that door,” said Principal Eddie Weaver. “I’ll have to turn my keys in, which have been my safety belt around my neck for years.”

Starting at Mason in 1985 as an industrial arts teacher, Weaver, as he puts it, worked his way “down” to principal in 1990. “It was a step up in pay, but a step down with the rest of the stuff,” he laughed.

Weaver attended school in the small northeastern Oklahoma communities of Cleora and Afton and deliberately chose to remain in the small school environment as an educator. “When I got into education, I told myself if I couldn’t do a small school, I’m not going to do any. I’ve been lucky enough to be here. This is a very unique place,” he said. 

School administration seems to run in the Weaver family. His wife, Joyce, serves as Child Nutritionist and Treasurer at Mason and his daughter, Brandy, is the high school’s administrative assistant. “Being able to work here with my wife and my daughter has been very special. I’ve also been able to watch my kids and grandkids come up through this school,” Weaver said.

While Weaver eschews tradition by wearing polo shirts in lieu of a necktie, there is one traditional value he clings to. “I don’t ever ask anybody to do anything I’m not willing to do myself. I’ve been out in a ditch with maintenance guys. I grew up on a farm where you just do whatever is needed to get things done. If it means you’ve got to get dirty, then you get dirty. If there’s something broken here that I can fix, I fix it. That’s just how I was brought up,” he added.

Weaver said he has made plenty of memories over the past 35 years, and 99 percent of them are good ones. “There are a few bad memories. I’ve lost a few kids. It’s been an up-down, up-down roller coaster ride, but I wouldn’t be anywhere else,” he said.

Although Weaver likes to “kid around” with students by giving them nicknames, being accessible to them is serious business. “I’ve always told kids to not be afraid to come to my office to talk to me. If they need to stand upside down with their head on the floor and their feet in the air to talk to me, so be it. I want them to be able to talk to me,” Weaver stated.

While the COVID-19 crisis has left school buildings closed for the rest of the academic year and graduation ceremonies in limbo, Weaver said plans are in the works to honor the class of 2020. 

“We’re going to have a graduation, possibly in mid-summer. If it all goes to plan, it will be the first outdoor graduation we’ve ever had,” Weaver said. “This group of seniors is going to be the most unique group we’ve ever had. They’ve had the whole fourth nine weeks doing work from home, and that’s just absolutely unheard of.”

(Note: After our interview, the district announced that graduation ceremonies for 8th graders and seniors would be held on Friday, June 12 beginning at 7 p.m. on the softball field).

Weaver, who has two children, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren, said his post-retirement plans include “piddling” around his home and continuing to give driving tests in Okemah on Saturdays.

When asked if he had a message for the students he is leaving behind, Weaver replied, “Do your best, behave and listen to whoever takes over. Don’t ever tell them ‘that’s not how Mr. Weaver does it,’ because I’m not here anymore.”

Leave a Comment