UPDATE: New Wood County Superintendent Officially Starts

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UPDATE 7/1/2014 4:35 PM

He's been working for weeks now.

But Tuesday was the first official day for Wood County's new superintendent.

John Flint replaces retired superintendent Patrick Law.

Flint says he's been working in the administration building for six weeks now.

Among the things he's working on is a restructuring plan.

That consists of re-aligning responsibilities at the central office, resulting in more oversight.

Flint says one of his priorities is maintaining the financial integrity of the school system.

"We have to regain the trust of the community and show them that we can be good stewards of their money and responsible and regain some trust and disillusion that the public may have," he says.

Monday night two new board members will be sworn in, a new board president will be selected and board members will be assigned to committees.

UPDATE 6/25/2014 10:10 AM

Mixed emotions Tuesday night at Wood County's Board of Education meeting.

For some board members it was their last meeting ever, after years of service.

But happy moments for others.

John Flint's family stood by him as Judge Beane administered the oath, swearing Flint officially into office as superintendent.

Flint says it was an honor to have them by his side.

"It's all about kids. Our delivery system has to be effective and efficient and provide the best learning environment in the state of West Virginia," says Flint.

The board also discussed next year's meeting dates and approved of salaries for next year.

UPDATE 4/9/2014 4:35 PM

John Flint spent Wednesday morning talking with employees and administrators at the district's central office.

Lately Wood County Schools have been in the news because of a number of controversies.

Flint says, in his words, the "negative noise" has drowned out good things that are happening in the schools.

In the weeks to come, he hopes to get feedback from throughout the system - from administrators and employees - on how things are working, and can be made better.

But he isn't saying right now what, if any changes he will be making.

While he's been retired for several years, Flint is a former administrator at Hamilton Junior High School who later was athletic director at Parkersburg South High School.

UPDATE 4/8/2014 9:45 PM

With three candidates left it all came down to a 3-2 vote at Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting as the board selected John Flint to be the new superintendent.

Flint says he is honored to have been chosen and that there is a lot of work that needs to be done.

Over the next few months he plans to take a look at things like the budget so that when his contract begins on July 1st, he is ready to hit the ground running.

"Tonight's the end of one process and it's the beginning of another process. The next process is extremely important. Let's get down to work and provide our students with an excellent system", says Flint.

Flint also says while now it's time to get to work, he is grateful for all of the community support. He added that he's appreciative of the board's "yes" votes, but also respects the "no" votes.

UPDATE 4/8/2014 4:05 PM

We should know Tuesday night the name of the next superintendent of Wood County Schools.

The Wood County Board of Education is scheduled to make its choice public.

Three candidates remain in the running to succeed retiring superintendent Pat Law.

Former Wood County Schools administrator John Flint, Thomas Graves, principal of Castlewood High School in Virginia and Ronald Cantley, Jr., director of operations for Fayette County Schools were interviewed by the board last week.

They also faced the community at a recent public forum.

The board meeting begins Tuesday at 6:30.

UPDATE 4/2/2014 9:40 AM

Tuesday night the Wood County Board of Education heard the public's opinion on the position of superintendent through a discussion forum.

Teachers and community members took to the podium, some advocating for candidates and others addressing issues facing the school district.

Several resounding tones in many of the speeches involved teaching how to think, not what two think.

Other topics included reducing class size, expansion of the career technical education program and special education.

"Several pieces of curriculum in this school and the ideological persuasive curriculum is in our schools at all three levels, even in the elementary school," says former Parkersburg High School teacher Woody Wilson.

The seven speakers addressed the huge weight of the decision of picking a superintendent and that he sets the tone and directs the future vision of Wood County's school community.

UPDATE 4/1/2014 11:50 AM

And then there were three.

One of the candidates for Wood County's superintendent of schools says he's no longer interested in the position.

Kenneth Moles was one of four candidates for the post who appeared Saturday at a public forum.

He gave no reason for dropping out, except to say in an e-mail to board members he was doing so "after careful consideration" and "after speaking to his family".

Moles currently is assistant superintendent of Raleigh County Schools.

The board of education Tuesday night is to hold a public meeting, during which members of the public can make comments on the superintendent candidates.

But board president Tim Yeater says that, while people can make comments about Moles, those will not be considered in making its final decision.

The board is to announce next week its replacement for outgoing Superintendent Dr. James Patrick Law.

Updated 3/29/2014 4:05 P.M.

Two years ago, West Virginia's education system was criticized for its bureaucracy in a state audit. The assistant superintendent of Raleigh County Schools says the accomplishments of county schools have to come as a result of local supervision.

"That cannot be made from Charleston or anyone else other than local boards of education, the school principal, and the teams he or she works with throughout the division," Kenneth Moles II told a public forum attended by 30 people Saturday.

The four candidates were questioned about complaints some educators were instructing students on specific ideologies. Most said education was about the basics and not ideologies. One candidate told of an incident where a student brought what was called a "satanic bible" to school, and was defended by her mother.

"She said, 'you have to respect her religion', Ronald Cantley, Director of Operations, Fayette County Schools, recalled. "Well, I said 'I understand you have to respect other peoples' religion, but any book that advocates any of my students having sex with multiple partners at an altar devoted to Satan is not going to be accepted in my school.'"

A former Wood County school administrator was the only one to directly address the PHS Stadium Field funding issue. John Flint said it's ultimately the responsibility of the system's central office, but that the groups involved have to resolve the problem of money still owed on the project.

"Those overrides and sign-offs should never have been done," Flint said in response to a question about athletic facilities. "But they are done, and we have to live in a world that's looking us in the eye, and we have to handle that."

The only candidate from outside West Virginia said his school has been a success due to discipline, finding common ground and emphasizing leadership.

"People say a lot of times politics doesn't get into being a superintendent of schools," said Thomas Graves, Principal of Castlewood High School in Virginia. "They're wrong; politics is very important in being a superintendent. But you need to lead by example, and always remember that you're going to do what's best for students."

On Tuesday, April 1, interested groups are invited to address the Wood County Board of Education about qualities they want in a superintendent.

The board is expected to announce the new superintendent April 8.


UPDATE 3/28/2014 4:10 PM

Wood County Schools own "final four" are to appear before the public Saturday.

They're the four finalists for the superintendent's job in the school system.

The four candidates selected by the board of education are: Ronald Cantley, current director of operations for Fayette County schools; retired Wood County Schools administrator John Flint; Thomas Graves, a principal with Russell County Schools in Virginia; and Kenneth Moles, assistant superintendent of Raleigh County Schools.

The forum begins Saturday morning at 10:00 at Parkersburg South High School.

UPDATE 3/26/2014 9:30 AM

The Wood County Board of Education takes the first step towards choosing a new superintendent.

After meeting in executive session the board considered six candidates.

It's now down to four.

Ronald Cantley, John Flint, Thomas Graves and Kenneth Moles are all contenders.

Those finalists will face the public at a forum to begin Saturday morning at 10:00 at Parkersburg South High School.

The board is expected to name a successor to retiring superintendent Pat Law in early April.

UPDATE 3/21/2014 4:10 PM

Six men all want to be the next leader of Wood County Schools.

Their names have been released by the board of education.

But no more than four of them will appear at a public forum to be held a week from Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. at Parkersburg South High School.

The "final three or four" will be determined next Tuesday by the board.

"The board will be meeting on the 25th, in executive session, to screen the applicants at that time, to pick out the three or four candidates who will be in the running for the forum," says assistant superintendent Mike Fling.

Four of the candidates are from West Virginia and two have worked in Wood County Schools.

They include Fayette County Schools director of operations Ronald Cantley; retired Wood County employee John Flint; Thomas Graves, principal of Russell County Schools in Virginia; Kenneth Moles, assistant superintendent of Raleigh County Schools; Wood County director of elementary schools Joseph Oliverio; and Doctor Derrick Sutherland, former vice-principal of Foothills Christian School in California.

Update: 3/17/2014 5:15 P.M.

The board of education meet Tuesday, March 25th, in executive session, to screen applicants.

As many as four finalists will be invited to attend a public forum Saturday, March 29th, beginning at 10 a-m, at Parkersburg South High School.

It's a process very similar to the one used in selecting Dr. Law four years ago.

"The candidates will not be in the room together, and they will each have an hour. The board has indicated they will screen down to three or four applicants, and that puts us to a 1 P.M. They're asking that questions be brought to the meeting prior to 10 A.M."

Those questions can also be e-mailed in advance to info@wvsba.org.

The candidates will be screened again at a special board of education meeting April first.


UPDATE 3/13/2014 11:10 AM

The search for a new superintendent for Wood County Schools hits high gear.

Current Superintendent Dr. Pat Law announced late last year he is retiring at the end of the current school year.

The board of education has set the process for naming a new superintendent of schools.

Notices have been sent out, and the application deadline is March 19.

"Wednesday, the 19th, is the deadline for applications for the position," says Dr. Howard O'Cull, Executive Director of the West Virginia School Board Association. "We, of course, would forward them once they are received. We will forward them to the board on the 20th, which is Thursday."

After interviews are conducted, as many as four finalists will be invited to appear at a public forum, set for March 29th.

After meeting with the finalists, the board's choice will be announced April 8.

UPDATE 12/18/2013 4:30 PM

Four years after a new man took the post, the Wood County Board of Education once again is searching for a new superintendent.

James Patrick Law announced Tuesday night he is retiring.

His last official day is June 30th, after schools close for the summer.

Dr. Law is in his fourth year as Wood County superintendent after seven years heading up the school system in Pocahontas County.

But Superintendent Law has worked in the public school system for four decades and he says he's been considering retiring for the past two years.

He says he's pleased to be finishing up his career in public education in the school system he attended as a student.

Law's announcement comes as Wood County is being considered for recognition for classroom excellence by a national accreditation organization.

Word on its decision is expected early next year.

A big announcement at Tuesday's Wood County Board of Education meeting.

The superintendent announces he is leaving.

After going into executive session Tuesday night, superintendent Dr. Patrick Law announced his retirement.

That will take effect at the end of the school year on June 30.

Dr. Law says he has been thinking for a few years about retiring.

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