The West Virginia Department of Education will soon have a new leader in Dr. Michael Martirano.
State Board President Gayle Manchin made the announcement of his likely nomination and approval Wednesday evening through a press release.
Martirano is the superintendent of St. Mary’s County Public Schools in southern Maryland, a position he's held for nine years, and is currently the longest serving superintendent in that state.
His resume touts a number of achievements, including being named a 2012 Top 50 Innovator in America in the Converge Yearbook and Maryland’s Superintendent of the Year in 2009 by the Public School Superintendents Association of Maryland.
In a written statement, Manchin said Martirano understands the need for improved student achievement in West Virginia and has demonstrated a record of success in that area.
“He is an energetic and passionate leader, an excellent communicator, and possesses a unique set of skills, talents and experience that will positively impact West Virginia’s students,” Manchin said.
The proposed hiring comes after a nationwide search conducted on behalf of the board by search firm Ray & Associates, Inc. Sixty-four individuals applied for the position which the board narrowed down over the course of a few weeks.
The final three candidates were interviewed in Charleston Tuesday, but details about those finalists were kept confidential because Manchin said the board did not want to jeopardize their current jobs.
The state Board of Education will meet Tuesday, July 1, in Charleston to officially nominate and approve Martirano. Manchin said they plan to introduce him to the public at their July 9 meeting.
Martirano will replace Charles Heinlein who was named as "temporary" superintendent Tuesday, although according to board attorneys an interim title is not permitted by state code. Heinlein currently serves as deputy superintendent to Dr. James Phares, who will retire on June 30.