CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It is official. West Virginia has a new state Superintendent of Schools. The state Board of Education met — some in person, others by phone — on Tuesday to cast their votes for Dr. Michael Martirano. Board President Gayle Manchin called for the question.
“All those in favor please say ‘aye,'” asked Manchin.
“All those opposed? Then the motion passes unanimously,” said the board president.
This brought to an end a year and a half national search for the perfect person to lead the West Virginia Department of Education into the future. Lloyd Jackson, one of the board members, said Dr. Martirano was the perfect fit for the position.
“First of all, he really understands the issues about education. The second thing is, he is really committed to raising student performance in West Virginia and he has a proven track record of doing that,” stressed Jackson.
He said Dr. Martirano has a strong voice when it comes to education and success and that will be one of his key jobs.
“I think he will very rapidly become the face and voice of public education in West Virginia. He’s very articulate. He’s the type of person who can communicate a message that needs to be communicated in West Virginia,” explained Jackson. “The importance of education to everyone in West Virginia.”
The board also voted on a salary for the new superintendent. He will be paid $230,000 a year. That’s a sizable increase from what former Superintendent Dr. Jim Phares was earning. Jackson made it clear, if West Virginia wanted a quality candidate, the board had to raise the salary for the position. Martirano is currently making $216,000 at his job as a superintendent in Maryland.
Martirano will be on hand for next week’s regularly scheduled board meeting which is set for Wednesday.
Jackson stressed once people get a chance to talk with him, they’ll understand why Martirano was the top choice for the job.