Jimmy Frashier returns home to Ripley High to lead the way

Mark Martin
Jimmy Frashier

As Jimmy Frashier settles into his new office as Ripley High School’s principal, he does so in a room once occupied by his father – Jim.

“It’s pretty cool. It’s starting to hit home,” said Frashier of returning to his alma mater and where his dad once led the way. “It is kind of special to be honest.”

Jim Frashier served Ripley High School as a teacher/coach, assistant principal and principal during his career.

Frashier is thrilled to follow in the footsteps of his father and guide his alma mater.

The home of his parents (mother Jennie) is right behind Ripley High School on Third Avenue.

This marks Jimmy Frashier’s fourth stint at Ripley High School, where he graduated in 1986.

After earning a degree in education from Glenville State College, Frashier spent several years teaching and coaching at Wirt County High School.

He then had the opportunity to come to Ripley for a second time as a special education teacher and assistant football coach for two school years (1998-99 and 1999-00).

He left Ripley and headed back to Wirt County High to serve as a teacher and head football coach of the Tigers in the school years of 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2002-03.

After three years at the Elizabeth-based school, Frashier came back to Ripley once again in the summer of 2003 to continue his teaching career in special education and become the school’s head football coach.

Frashier guided Viking football for 10 seasons.

At the conclusion of his final campaign with the Vikings in 2012, which culminated with a win over arch-rival Ravenswood, Frashier became an assistant principal at Ravenswood High School.

For the past three years, he has served as the head principal for the Ohio River town’s high school.

Leaving Ravenswood for one’s alma mater might seem like a simple choice, but Frashier said it was a tough decision to depart the home of the red and black.

“It wasn’t that easy. Those people over there were great,” Frashier said of his Ravenswood staff. “It was a great situation. It really, really was.”

He begins his tenure as Ripley's principal facing the same obstacles as schools across the country are with the COVID-19 pandemic still very much in our midst.

“You plan and talk with people and get insight. You just try to work through things,” he said. “You’re just trying to find answers and help people.

“It can get frustrating finding the answers. We’re working through plans and taking on the hand we’re dealt. Everybody else is going through it too. You just have to find a way.

“It will make us stronger and better. Like in sports, you work as a team. We’ve always found ways to work together and get things accomplished. The goals, first and foremost, are to make people safe.”

He feels the future is bright for Jackson County schools and in particular Ripley High School.

“These folks have done well forever here at Ripley High School,” he said. “Our goal is always to be positive. It starts with attitude.”

While he’s the new leader, Frashier is quite familiar with his surroundings.

“It’s kind of like I haven’t left,” he said. “I first stepped on this campus when I was six years old as a manager for the football team (when his dad was an assistant coach). This place has been home for many, many years.”