MetroNews staff photo

The state of West Virginia will officially have its 28th state superintendent of schools Wednesday morning.

The swearing-in ceremony for James Phares will be held at 10 a.m. in the West Virginia Board of Education Room at Building 6 at the Capitol Complex in Charleston.

Phares will replace Chuck Heinlein, a deputy superintendent who was asked to fill in after the board fired Jorea Marple in November. Heinlein will resume his duties as deputy superintendent.

Phares, who recently served as superintendent of Randolph County Schools, brings nearly 40 years of educational experience to the position and has a reputation for turning around troubled schools.

He will oversee West Virginia’s 55 county school districts, which serve about 282,000 students in preschool through 12th grade with an operating budget in excess of $2.5 billion.

In his new position, Phares will earn $165,000.

bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • Dave Jackson

    The disconnect between teacher/child/parent and WVDE has been successfully maintained. To quote The Who: "Meet the New Boss, same as the Old Boss".

    Once again, there are three essentials to educational success: a teacher willing to teach, a child willing to learn, and a parent willing to support the process. I don't think the WVDE is willing to accept that notion, simple and old-fashioned as it is--there are too few technological bells and whistles, too few "coordinators" and "facilitators", and less paperwork.

    Years of experience do not equate with success. I've seen many who stuck around too long and became professionally inept. Some were gifted and reached ineptness quicker, with many landing at the WVDE.

    The WVDE loves to cloud education with numbers but they seem to disdain teachers, children, and parents. They demand more and more every year, but they take nothing away to make room for the newest demand.

    Once again, the Legislature is about to meet. Time to sharpen our educational catch-phrases and sound-bites, rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic, and sweep the audit under the deepest shag carpet at the WVDE.

    This latest dust-up between politicians and our educational system would be laughable if it weren't so pathetic. With politicians overseeing the train wreck that is public "edumacation" in our state, what will become of the next generation of children? I am willing to bet that nothing will change.

    Thank the Lord for retirement. I only wish my students could have retired with me.