UPDATE: Board OKs Hiring of W.Va. Schools Superintendent

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 7/1/2014 3:30 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia Board of Education approved hiring Michael Martirano to serve as the state's next schools superintendent.

The board announced last week Martirano was its top candidate. Board members voted unanimously on Tuesday to hire him.

Martirano's appointment was effective Tuesday. He replaces Jim Phares, who retired on Monday.

Martirano formerly served as superintendent of St. Mary's County Public Schools in Maryland. He also served as a teacher, principal and district superintendent in Maryland.

Educational executive leadership search company Ray and Associates Inc. engaged with 248 individuals regarding the position. Ultimately 64 candidates representing 43 different states submitted completed applications.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE 6/27/2014 2:15 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The State Board of Education's choice to oversee West Virginia's public schools is offering a glimpse at his educational priorities.

The board will vote next week on the appointment of Michael Martirano. If approved, he is expected to begin work in the fall.

Martirano says he'll strive to graduate more students and to improve the academic performance of poor and minority students.

More than half of all students in the state live at or below the poverty line.

Martirano has been superintendent for nearly a decade at Maryland's St. Mary's County. There, he said, school officials have been successful in closing the achievement gap.

He says he wants to replicate that success here.

Martirano would succeed Jim Phares, who is retiring.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE 6/25/2014 12:15 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Charles Heinlein will serve as West Virginia's schools superintendent until the position is permanently filled.

Heinlein will take over the job on July 1. He will replace Jim Phares, who will retire June 30.

Media outlets report that the state Board of Education named Heinlein as superintendent on Tuesday. He will return to his current position as deputy superintendent after the board completes its search and hires a new schools chief.

State law doesn't allow the appointment of an interim superintendent.

Heinlein also served as a short-term superintendent after the board fired former Superintendent Jorea Marple in 2012.

The board interviewed three finalists for the position on Tuesday. Their names weren't released.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE 4/25/2014 4:00 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Some educators don't have a problem with the West Virginia Board of Education conducting a national search for a new schools superintendent. They just suggest viable candidates can be found within the state's borders.

Doddridge County Schools Superintendent Rick Coffman says a wish list for any candidate must include a strong educational background, an extensive resume and a high level of integrity.

Incoming Harrison County schools chief Mark Manchin says if a search firm determines that no viable candidate is available in West Virginia, then he has no problem with a search being conducted outside the state.

But Manchin and Coffman say a West Virginian would be a logical choice to run the state's school system.

Current superintendent James Phares is retiring June 30.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia schools Superintendent James B. Phares plans to retire on June 30.

Department of Education communications office secretary Christine Galusha says Phares announced his retirement Tuesday in a letter to state Board of Education President Gayle Manchin.

Phares was appointed to the position after the ouster of Jorea Marple in November 2012.

Phares oversaw a Department of Education budgeted for $2.6 billion annually that directs school systems in the state's 55 counties.

He arrived in his job shortly after the board embraced the bulk of a sweeping review that found the state education system heavy with state-level staffers and policies made inflexible by laws, but light on student achievement.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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