Two more administrators depart the Department of Education

A personnel wheel keeps spinning at the state Department of Education, where two longtime administrators are leaving.

Jan Barth, the assistant superintendent, and Heather Hutchens, the general counsel, are leaving effective Sept. 9, the education department announced today.

“The WVDE is grateful for the years of service and commitment of time and talent Dr. Barth and Ms. Hutchens have contributed to the Department and public education in West Virginia,” the department commented in a statement distributed by Christy Day, spokeswoman.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail first reported their departures in a story posted Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier this month, Superintendent Clayton Burch sought a transfer to become superintendent for the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind. The state Board of Education swiftly named his replacement as David Roach, previously executive director of the state School Building Authority.

Last month, the state board named Paul Hardesty as its new president, replacing Miller Hall, who remains on the board.

Just a couple of days before that, then-vice chairman Tom Campbell resigned the board after 10 years of service.

The announcement distributed by the Department of Education today specified that Barth is a 21-year employee of the Department who will be retiring. Hutchens, a 22-year employee with the department, is pursuing other professional endeavors, the announcement stated.

“Any additional personnel or organizational changes or transitions will be published with the September 2022 West Virginia Board of Education meeting agenda and discussed as part of that meeting on September 14, 2022,” Day wrote in the agency’s statement.

Separately, the Department of Education today announced that Sara Lewis-Stankus has been hired as a deputy superintendent, starting August 31. She has been superintendent of Upshur County Schools for five years. Previously, she has worked in multiple counties as a teacher, special education teacher, counselor and principal.

“She is an esteemed educator with a heart for teaching, learning and children. She will be a great asset as we continue to focus on issues of student achievement and as we advance public education in our state,” stated Roach, the new state superintendent.

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