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.

Jennifer Smith/MetroNews

Members of the state Board of Education met Tuesday to officially hire Dr. Michael Martirano as the new state Superintendent

“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.

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  • Thank goodness

    Thank goodness we hired someone from out-of-State with no political ties to anyone in WV. Perhaps he can show us a few things about how to properly educate our kids instead of letting them get fat and stupid as the rest of the country prospers. This may be well worth the $230k investment in our future.

  • Gary

    He must not be very good in math because he left a $6-$12 million deficit in St Marys county Md but no one is covering that. Opps.

  • wvu999

    He must be really good.
    The previous superintendents made in the $150,000 to $165,000 range. He is about $65,000 to $80,000 better than anything we have ever had.

    Im looking for big things.

    Of course the teachers and service personnel in the state are next to last in pay so why would our superintendent's salary be reflective of that? Oh, Gayle said to attract the best you have to pay around the best....... I guess we dont care if we attract the best people to put in front of students every day. Just the best at the Capitol complex.

    Top down approach..... it ALWAYS works....

    Big things...... Im ready to see them.

    • BR

      Utterly and completely...."Spot-on" my friend!

      Maybe Gale should just get rid of every teacher in the state and have herself and Mikey teach all 250,000 kids by satellite feed!

      Apparently they are both THAT good!!

  • mikeyd

    we still have a manchin who is double dipping and who was given a job by two faced joe please get rid of all the manchins because they are crooks and for family and friends only and their bank accounts I cant wait till election day to send two faced joe back where he belongs