Liz McCormick Published

W.Va.’s Charter School Board Names First Executive Director

Empty classroom, school, classroom, desks

The West Virginia Professional Charter School Board on Tuesday named James Paul as its first, full-time executive director.

Paul is expected to start his role on June 1 and said he plans to reside in the Eastern Panhandle.

“We are excited to have James lead our charter school network forward as it grows and matures here in West Virginia,” said Adam Kissel, chairman of the West Virginia Professional Charter School Board. “James brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to the role and has access to a vast national network of expertise to bring the top best practices to the Mountain State.”

A news release from the board did not specify where Paul will be moving from, but he’s expected to have completed a Ph.D. in education policy at the University of Arkansas before he begins his new role in West Virginia next month.

Paul has worked with various education reform and policy organizations, including the Education Freedom Institute, the Foundation for Excellence in Education and the Commonwealth Foundation.

“I am delighted to help West Virginia serve its students,” Paul said. “Each child is unique and deserves the education that best serves that child.”

West Virginia is expected to have five public charter schools in operation this fall. Three brick-and-mortar schools in Morgantown, Nitro, and Kearneysville, and two statewide virtual schools.

According to the board, more than 500 students have already enrolled in the state’s charter schools with an estimated total enrollment of 1,500 students.