CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice has announced the appointments of Debra Sullivan of Charleston and Joseph Wallace of Elkins to serve on the state Board of Education.

The board positions opened after recently-appointed Chuck Hatfield, a former Putnam County superintendent, stepped down to spend more time helping his ill mother, and after another recent appointee, Barbara Whitecotton, had her confirmation withdrawn.

In a news release, Justice said he has full confidence in Sullivan and Wallace.

“Deborah Sullivan and Joe Wallace will make great additions to the Board of Education,” Justice stated in a release.

“Both of them bring a passion to improve West Virginia’s public schools for all students. Debra has the frontline experience and professional credentials to transform West Virginia schools. Joe’s private sector background and community involvement are essential to providing a fresh set of eyes for our education system.”

Sullivan has been a classroom teacher, instructional coordinator at both the county and state levels, and school principal, most recently retiring as principal of Charleston Catholic High School.

She has worked with public and private schools in rural, suburban, and urban settings in Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia (Fayette and Putnam counties and Charleston). Active in her community, Sullivan is a member of the Greater Kanawha Foundation Board of Trustees, the State Library Commission, and the Kanawha County Public Library Board.

Wallace is an attorney and a native of Elkins. Wallace has been practicing law in West Virginia since 1969. In addition, Wallace served for nine years in the U.S. Army and has been involved in his local community since returning to civilian life. In 1986, Wallace was named a Distinguished West Virginian, the state’s highest award. Also, in 1992, Wallace was named West Virginia’s Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year.

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