Update: Public forum set on Wood County superintendent search

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Update: 4/13/2018 2:45 P.M.

The search for a new superintendent of schools in Wood County will involve the public.

The board of education next Wednesday will host a forum, and members of the public will be invited to provide their thoughts on what experience the new leader should have.

The board is looking for ideas on leadership qualities, and the issues facing the school system. Participants will have 3-5 minutes to present opinions, and are encouraged to provide a copy of their remarks to the board.

The forum is set for 6:30 P.M. Wednesday, April 18, at the board offices at 13th and Plum Streets in Parkersburg.

Update: 2/21/2018

For the third time this decade, Wood County Schools are now searching for a new leader.

That's because the board of education voted Tuesday night not to renew the contract of current superintendent John Flint.

Flint would not comment Wednesday on the board's action. A secretary at the board's central office told us Flint "was not taking phone calls".

Flint's current contract ends June 30.

In two previous superintendent searches, including when Flint was hired in 2014, the board of education narrowed down the number of applicants it received for the job to four. Those last four candidates met in a public forum, before the Wood County Board of Education made its final choice.

But the West Virginia School Boards Association says there is no required procedure for county school boards to choose a new superintendent. Those decisions, says Executive Director Dr. Howard O'Cull, are left up to the boards themselves.

The association usually takes applications through its website, www.wvsba.org.

O'Cull does say a new school leader has to be selected by June first, in case the outgoing superintendent decides to take early leave.


Wood County Schools Superintendent John Flint's contract will not be renewed, after a vote during Tuesday's meeting.

During a special session meeting Tuesday night, the Wood County School Board voted 5-0 to not renew the employment contract of current Superintendent John Flint.

Over fifty people were in attendance and several spoke out in anger during the public discussion.

The public discussion was written in as an addendum after the agenda was final. The vote was taken before hearing from the public.

Superintendent John Flint was able to speak once the meeting was adjourned. Flint responded to a woman questioning the order and lack of common sense from the board by saying, "so what you heard is not right. Every agenda in public comment is before an action item. You don't take an action item and then hear from the public. If you guys don't know that's wrong, you just witnessed something that's wrong."

Elizabeth Conrad, Principal at Fairplains Elementary spoke in public discussion about her anger towards this decision. Conrad says, "but probably the most important thing to me has been the fact that he has always been so positive with children. I work in a building where kids have problems that you cannot believe. You can Lawrence because you used to be at Jefferson, take that about times twenty now because that's the way of the world. This man cares." Conrad added if she chooses to continue so she can retire she will experience six different superintendents.

An evaluation of Flint will be on the agenda for next weeks board meeting on February 27th.

Flint's contract ends June 30th, 2018.

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