Emily Allen Published

W.Va. Board of Education Appoints Associate Superintendent Burch To Fill In For State Superintendent

W. Clayton Burch, Interim Secretary, West Virginia Department of Commerce.

The West Virginia State Board of Education has selected someone to take over as state superintendent of schools. 

The board announced on Friday that associate superintendent Clayton Burch will be stepping up immediately. 

Before he was associate superintendent, Burch briefly served two governor-appointed positions in 2018. 

He was appointed to fill in for Secretary of the Arts after Gov. Jim Justice fired then-secretary Gayle Manchin in March 2018. That same month, Justice signed House Bill 4006, eliminating the position and dividing up what was then the Department of Education and Arts among various other state agencies. 

That June, Justice appointed Burch as interim Secretary of Commerce, the governor requested the resignation of former secretary Woody Thrasher. Thrasher is challenging Justice for the Republican gubernatorial nomination this year.  

As MetroNews reported Friday afternoon, Board members said in an emergency meeting Burch’s salary has been set at $233,000.

The Board will continue its national search for a superintendent while Burch fills in, according to a press release shared on Friday. 

Board members learned they would have to hire a new superintendent after Steven Paine, who has filled the position since 2017, announced his resignation in late January

Paine, who also served from 2005 to 2011, said he was stepping away from the position to take care of a family member and spend more time with his grandchildren.

Emily Allen is a Report for America corps member.