Chris Schulz Published

Michele Blatt Named New W.Va. Superintendent Of Schools

A headshot of Michelle Blatt on a blue background.
Deputy State Superintendent Michelle Blatt will become state superintendent of schools July 1, 2023.
courtesy of West Virginia Department of Education

The West Virginia Board of Education unanimously chose Michele Blatt to become the state superintendent of schools at a special session Friday morning. She is currently the deputy superintendent of academic achievement and support and will take on the new role July 1.

Prior to the selection, the board accepted the retirement of state superintendent David Roach effective June 30.

Roach’s departure comes after a contentious board meeting June 14 where the board questioned Roach’s handling of an investigation into financial misappropriation in Upshur County Schools. The investigation is ongoing, but during the same June 14 meeting board members approved Roach’s recommendations to place Upshur County Schools under a state of emergency and state control. 

Board member Debra Sullivan gave a brief statement regarding Roach’s retirement. 

“I am so pleased I’ve had the opportunity to work with him while a member of the School Building Authority and as a member of the state Board of Education,” she said. “I have found him to be a person who cares deeply about West Virginia, its students, its educators and service personnel.”

Sullivan continued to say that thanks to Roach and his staff, West Virginia now has a path to increase student achievement in reading, writing and math.

Board President Paul Hardesty called Blatt’s appointment, “comfortable.”

“Talking to the board members earlier this morning, the one word, the theme seems to be comfortable. Comfortable with our decision of Michele Blatt,” he said. “She’s a proven, known commodity that can take this job July 1 and move forward for the children of West Virginia because at the end of the day, we’re all here for that reason. For the children.”

Hardesty also said that Gov. Jim Justice, First Lady Cathy Justice, legislative leaders, county superintendents and West Virginia Department of Education employees were all comfortable with Blatt.  

The board will meet again in regular session July 12.