CHARLESTON, W. Va. —A day after naming Chuck Heinlein state school superintendent on a temporary basis, the West Virginia Board of Education has announced a permanent replacement.


Dr. Michael Martirano will be nominated to the be the next WV state school superintendent.

“It is my expectation that on July 1, 2014, Dr. Michael Martirano will be nominated and elected as the State Superintendent of schools,” Gayle Manchin, board president said in a release Wednesday evening.

For the past nine years, Martirano has served as the superintendent for Saint Mary’s Public Schools in Leonardtown, Maryland, and currently is the longest-serving superintendent in the state. He has served as a teacher, principal and district superintendent in Maryland and currently serves as president of the Public School Superintendent Association of Maryland.

He was selected the 2009 Superintendent of the Year in Maryland and a 2010 Innovator of the Year by the Maryland Daily Record.

“Born in the Appalachian Mountains of Western Maryland, the grandson of a coal miner, Dr. Martirano understands the need for improved student achievement in West Virginia and has demonstrated a record of success in this area,” Manchin said in the written statement. “He is an energetic and passionate leader, an excellent communicator, and possesses a unique set of skills, talents and experience that will positively impact West Virginia’s 282,000 students.”

The board is expected to officially introduce Martirano to the public during its July 9 meeting in Charleston.

The selection was made during Tuesday’s interview process, but Martirano requested it not be made public until he could announce his resignation in person to the St. Mary’s County Board of Education during a meeting, which was held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, roughly one hour before the release was sent out.

Current State Superintendent Jim Phares will retire on June 30. Heinlein will fill the position until Martirano can take over.

As previously reported, according to state law, it is illegal for to operate without a superintendent or to operate with an interim superintendent.

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  • Wirerowe

    Wish him well. His resume looks great. If anybody would bother to check out the web site in Maryland they will find that he closed the budget hole before he left. He generally most people liked him there and thought he did a good job. Expectations should be that he does a good job nota great job because we have a very long way to go.Lord knows we need it. Because some of the special interest groups were apparently not in the hiring approval process they will likely attempt to get revenge by undermining him. Job would be hard enough without this.

  • Kathleen

    He's a great superintendent but we always wanted a clever snow closure a rap or funny song. Can you work not into his contract? Then he would be perfect!

    • Kathleen

      We have been blessed to have him in St. Mary's County, you hired well!

  • press time

    Not sorry to see him go, but still in a pickle here in Maryland. Don't expect him to stand up for any of you WV employees. Only wish some of his top heavy cronies go with him. WV make sure you have those cameras ready. Good luck.

  • Spencer

    Nice to get an outsider who is not part of "the family". And looking forward to implementing the Common Core in my classroom this year.

  • Martin

    Maryland has an excellent education system. He will be a breath of fresh air for our state.

  • Gary

    Did the school board not check this guy out. Know wonder he wants to leave. He's leaving the ST Marys County MD schools with a budget deficit of between 6 and 12 million. We don't need this guy.

  • david

    Our Hope should be that he does not subscribe to the Common Core Crap that is infiltrating our schools. Of course, one should expect with Queen Gayle Manchin the President (laughable) of the State School Board, that he is COMMON to the CORE, since NO Show Joe brought it to us.

  • peleliu

    When was the last time he actually taught in a classroom for a year?

  • wv4evah

    I'm not sure what the location of his birth and his lineage have to do with his understanding "the need for improved student achievement."

    • The bookman

      Having a realistic perspective of the challenges here is important. Garrett County/Allegany County are a lot different than down state Maryland. He is an interesting hire, and I will give him his due consideration as he takes the helm.

  • Cindy Livingston

    Sorry to lose him in Maryland. WV is fortunate to get him. Would love to have him at the helm in MD if that position should ever be vacated.

  • Former student

    Thank goodness he's not gonna be in Maryland anymore. Have fun West Virginia and good luck.

  • sue

    Tired of all the negativity. Those who work in education understand the difficulty of being a superintendent. This is a good opportunity for him and for St. Mary's.

  • Stevo in MD

    This guy's a clown - ran $6M over the county school system's budget for 2013-14 with little more than an "oops"... Several year's step increases forgone for the educators while he was pulling ~$300K in salary/comps... Class sizes up, etc., etc., etc. Ya'll got yourselves a "real keeper" - promoted to his "highest level of incompetence". We in Southern MD are glad to be rid of him!

    • Mark

      Wow.....if this is true, so who on the State Board of Education did any real background research when considering this guy? obviously, nobody!!!!! unbelievable. does anyone in Charleston have any brains or is everything corrupt and incompetent?

  • thornton

    Anyone call Dale Lee? maybe he will be able to get some sleep.
    Not that union folks don't get enough sleep as it is.

    • The bookman

      This isn't an obvious crony pick. He is a very highly regarded Superintendent from the State of Maryland, and I will be interested to hear the various reactions from around the state. He comes with some controversy, but also a track record of success and achievement. I will be interested to hear the voices of those with a vested interest, as they will be telling.

      • Shadow

        So highly regarded that NOBODY in Maryland wanted him.

      • James

        His statistics for success are not based upon anything beign done in the classroom. Most stats were falsely stated as "good news", but they were not based on actual facts. He was a stooge to the efforts that the outgoing Governor wanted, who by the way, was building his resume to run for President. He has lost his cover. This year, the budget person mysteriously "retired" when the budget fiasco broke, the head of the Board of Ed has also "retired", the Governor is leaving, and the numbers in the county have taken a nose dive. He s a slick salesman!! Welcome him with open arms!!

      • thornton

        Never assumed a crony pick...Lee appeared to fret over the supposed secrecy, et al involved in the decision to hire and I assumed his sleep may have been at odds with his fretting.

        Good luck to the new hire....can't imagine he will not experience ups and downs in a job such as he now appears headed toward.

    • Hunter lee

      Dale lee will confirm with his comments about this that it is never really about the teachers, it is all about the power of the unions,

  • Independent View

    I'm surprised and shocked that the former Lt. Governor and now "Shadow Senator" did not appoint herself as the new superintendent.
    Please, please, lady just go away!