PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Incoming Wood County Schools Superintendent Christie Willis says she wants to provide “continuity” when she begins leading her hometown school district.
“I am excited to represent Wood County Schools because I am a product of the system,” Willis told MetroNews.
Willis started out as a student, went on to serve in various teaching roles and will now become the district’s next superintendent. She currently serves as the assistant superintendent of learning and assessment.
As a native of Wood County, Willis said she brings a unique perspective to the job. She graduated from Parkersburg South High School in 1994 and then served in various teaching roles since then.
“I need all aspects of my background to do this job,” Willis said. “I’ve been a substitute teacher, a specialist, a special ed teacher, a regular ed teacher, a building administrator and a central office administrator. I have a lot of experience to reflect upon.”
Willis’ love for education came from her parents who also attended Parkersburg South.
“It was very important for them that I got a Wood County Schools education, so even as a child, they instilled in me the importance of education and how stellar this school system was,” she said.
Willis was named to the job last week. She will replace Will Hosaflook who is leaving to become the superintendent of Jackson County Schools in July.
There are very few changes Willis will bring to the table, given her close working relationship with Hosaflook. She said she plans to instill the same values and continue making Wood County a great place to go to school.
“We have well established goals. We have a well established direction. I just want to continue where he laid the foundation to move the county forward,” Willis said.
The transition comes during a time when COVID-19 cases are on the decline, vaccinations are up and virtual learning is becoming a thing of the past.
Willis said one of her main goals is to keep students and teachers in the classroom this fall.
“I’m hoping that we can continue in-person learning,” she said. “I feel that we have a very solid plan in place. I know that if something were to happen and we need to go back to a different structure, I would know what to do.”
Willis was one of four finalists who met with the public during a special board meeting last week at the Wood County Technical Center. The other candidates were Richard Duncan, superintendent of Roane County Schools; Michael Fling, assistant superintendent of support services for Wood County Schools; and Walter Saunders, assessment and federal programs director for Ohio County Schools.
The Wood County Board of Education plans to approve Wills’ contract at its April 12 meeting.
Willis’ first day on the job is July 1.