LEORNARDTOWN, MD, — The soon-to-be new West Virginia superintendent of schools said he considers the newly forged relationship a “natural fit.” 


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

Dr. Michael Martirano spoke with MetroNews affiliate WDYK Radio in Cumberland, Maryland Thursday about his selection by the West Virginia Board of Education as the top candidate for the superintendent’s job. The official school board vote is set for July 1.

Martirano, who is leaving the St. Mary’s County Public School District in Maryland to take the West Virginia job, said the natural fit comes in part because he grew up in the Appalachian Mountains in Frostburg, Md. not far from the West Virginia border.

“My grandfather was a coal miner and I spent many a day in West Virginia,” he said. “I’m very familiar with the schools in West Virginia. I love the region and I love the mountains.”

Martirano said he’s “chomping at the bit” to start the work in West Virginia to make the state “the best educational system in America.”

Martirano’s nine-year stint at St. Mary’s in Leonardtown, Md. has been lauded by many. He’s been recognized as the top school superintendent in the state and as a top education innovator. The St. Mary’s school system’s graduation rate has gone from 81 percent to 92 percent in recent years.

“I’m intending to bring many of the same visionary kind of reform efforts that we’ve done in the state of Maryland to get to impact change for young people to West Virginia,” Martirano said. “So I’m extremely energized by the whole process and possibilities that exist.”

Martirano said he was impressed through the interview process with the desire for education reform from the state School Board and the administration of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

“We want all of the young people to achieve at a high level of proficiency,” Martirano said.

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  • Gary Karstens

    I will see how he cooperates with the WVEA and AFT before I comment further.

  • George Butt

    If anyone can turn the WV school system around it's Dr. Martirano I lived in Leonardtown MD for about 10 years where he is coming from and the Schools are the best you could ever ask for.

    • Mason County Contrarian

      Gazette Sunday edition says he left the St. Mary's school system in a mell of a hess.

  • Former

    Talk is cheap. WV education system is a joke. Thank God I retired. Those Manchins are power freaks.

  • OnlyPost

    @Gary. A website with story would be better.


  • jschmoe

    Good luck buddy! Have fun dealing with the micro managing Manchins

  • Mason County Contrarian

    What?! No West Virginians who could multi-syllabically BS the interviewers with the latest education catchphrases? I'm shocked! Bet the halls at the WVDE are echoing with the sobs of inept-teachers-turned-even-more-inept-administrators.

    Hate to burst your bubble, Doc. Spending "many a day" in our state doesn't make you a West Virginian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

    Can't wait to see how you plan the latest reinvention of the education wheel, Doc.

    Thank God for retirement.

  • Buck

    I have a relative that lives in Leondardtown with 2 kids in the school system that reports Martirano was a great superintendent.

    • Elphaba

      His resume is available online at the St. Mary's Co. Schools website - very impressive credentials and experiences across all levels of public education. He certainly seems to be well-thought of in educational organizations.

      He apparently is not related to anyone here (!!)

      The motto of his school system in Maryland is simple, yet encompasses a lot - "Work Hard and Be Nice ". I say let's give the man a chance !

      • I'm honest at least

        Just like my last supervisor was told. Just because you have a degree that says you
        Can be a supervisor does not mean you are a good one.

  • Gary

    Was this guy even checked out. He's leaving St Marys County school system in a mess. They have a 6 million to 12 million deficit and the people there aren.t any too happy.Their happy to see him gone. He's not the right person for the job. I think the WV school board has not done their job again. If this is the best they can do we're in big trouble.