Kanawha County grieving loss of longtime BOE member

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Longtime Kanawha County Board of Education member Bill Raglin died Monday at a Charleston area hospital.

Board of Education President Pete Thaw said Raglin had been in the hospital for a few weeks after initially going in for knee surgery.

“He had an operation. He came home and then he went back to the hospital and he’s been there ever since,” Raglin said.

Thaw said Raglin, who was first elected to the BOE in 1994, will be sorely missed.

“He was always a champion of vocational education. He was also very active with employee safety,” Thaw said. “He put a significant reduction in our workers’ comp rate. In fact, we are getting down so low that we’ve been talking privately about becoming self-insured. We can almost do that now.”

Raglin was a Union Carbide retiree and an advocate for the Kanawha County community of West Dunbar. He led a community group called the Sub-Area Group that secured funding for community improvements.

The Kanawha County Commission requested Monday that all flags in the county be lowered to half-staff in honor of Raglin.

“Bill Raglin was the epitome of a school board member,” commission president Kent Carper said. “He wanted to make sure that all students received a quality education.”

Carper added Raglin was a “great role model for all public servants.”

County Commissioner Dave Hardy said Raglin had a positive impact on Kanawha County in many ways.

“Bill Raglin was a selfless individual and he was a great ambassador for the Kanawha County School System,” Hardy said.

Thaw said the school board will choose someone to serve the remainder of Raglin’s term which expires June 20, 2014. The seat and its four-year term will be open in the May 2014 election.

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