MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — During a nearly five hour meeting in Martinsburg High School’s auditorium, the Berkeley County Board of Education accepted now former-superintendent Manny Arvon’s retirement and appointed an interim superintendent.
Arvon’s request to require, submitted on Wednesday, was approved by the board unanimously. This comes after calls from the community for him to resign following abuse allegations at Berkeley Heights Elementary School. Parents and the community became outraged when the school personnel allegedly involved were not terminated.
Arvon leaves the school system after 45 years of service. He was appointed Superintendent in 1997 and has served since. During his tenure, Arvon managed one of the fastest growing school districts in West Virginia. Since 1997, Berkeley County Schools’ student enrollment went from 12,000 to 20,000.
Arvon guided 52 construction and renovation projects, was involved with the design and opening of 11 new schools and a $28 million energy savings investment program.
Immediately following Friday’s approval of Arvon’s retirement, the Berkeley County Board of Education returned to executive session to decide on an interim superintendent.
“We have to put a person in place as soon as we possibly can,” said Board President Dr. William Queen. “We went through a number of names that we thought would do the job that we felt necessary for Berkeley County at this point in our time.”
The board returned into regular session to approve former Putnam County Schools Superintendent Chuck Hatfield.
“We felt like Chuck Hatfield has a lot of experience. Starting out as a teacher all the way through to a Superintendent for 12 years in Putnam County. He has similar credentials to our parting superintendent with experience with the SBA (School Building Authority) with building and construction. Things that we’ve gone through in this county.”
A statement from Berkeley County Schools details Hatfield’s experience:
“Chuck began his career as a classroom teacher before becoming principal of Eastbrook Elementary School in Putnam County in 1980. From there, he served as Director of Early Childhood Education, Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Pupil Services, and Deputy Superintendent for Putnam County Schools until 2004. In 2004, he became Superintendent of Putnam County Schools, where he served until his retirement in July of 2016.
During his tenure as superintendent, Putnam County Schools led the state in academic achievement and employee salaries. A major facilities improvement project was also
implemented and completed through the passage of a 57 million dollar bond and an award of 25 million dollars from the School Building Authority.
In 2009, Chuck was named West Virginia Superintendent of the Year by the West Virginia
Association of School Administrators. He has been active in several educational organizations
and has held leadership positions on numerous committees including: Chairman of RESA 3
Advisory Council, State Superintendent’s Task Force on Assessment and Accountability, State
Superintendent’s Commission on Assessment, State Superintendent’s Advisory Board, the
Education Alliance, North Central Association of Accreditation of Schools, and chair of the
Legislative, Instructional Leadership, and Facilities committees of the West Virginia Association.
-Berkeley County Schools
Queen added that a nationwide search for a permanent superintendent will begin this summer. Hatfield’s monthly salary will be $19,500.