State Superintendent

Michael Martirano
Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  West Virginia's new schools superintendent will report for work on Sept. 15.

The state Board of Education hired Michael Martirano this summer to replace the retiring Jim Phares.

Martirano was superintendent of St. Mary's County Public Schools in Maryland. The Charleston Daily Mail reports he was contractually obligated there until September.

Martirano will earn an annual salary of $230,000. The state board had lobbied the Legislature to remove the $175,000 salary cap for the position.

Michael Martirano
Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia got a glimpse of its newly appointed superintendent of schools Tuesday when Dr. Michael Martirano was introduced to a crowd of state employees and members of the media.

The appointment comes more than year into Governor Tomblin’s mission to strengthen public education in the state.

West Virginia Department of Education

State Board of Education members are now under even more pressure to complete their nationwide search for a new state superintendent of schools after Dr. James Phares announced Tuesday he would retire from that position in June.

In a short letter to state Board President Gayle Manchin, Phares cited pressing family issues and a desire to spend some time out of the public eye as reasons for retiring from his current position, as well as his 40 years of service in public education.

Ashton Marra

The state Board of Education learned more Wednesday about the search process for a new state Superintendent of Schools. At their October meeting, the board heard from an outside attorney hired to oversee the process.

Victor Flannigan of the Charleston law firm Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe is heading up that process and told Board members they are now looking to hire a consulting firm to compile candidates nationwide for the job.