February 5, 2016 - Volume 36 Issue 4



Editor’s Note: West Virginia School Board Association President Gregory S. Prudich, a long-time member and president of the Mercer County Board of Education, has filed as a candidate for circuit judge in the ninth Judicial Circuit which includes Mercer County.

During his tenure, Prudich served as a member of the WVSBA Executive Board. He also was WVSBA’s representative to the state Secondary Schools Activities Commission (WVSSAC) Board of Directors.

Prudich has forwarded the following communication to association members:

To the membership of the WVSBA:

I have come to know that public education is the solution to so many of the ills we find in our society – poverty, crime, family crises.  It can make life better and give our children the opportunity to achieve the American dream; to work in jobs they love, to raise a family and to give back to their community.   Public education is the great equalizer – all are given an opportunity to succeed and excel if they choose to afford themselves of the opportunity.  Public education is an amazing effort by society because we teach every child – we give all the opportunity regardless of their lot in life.  To me, public education is the most important effort we engage in as a society.

It has been a privilege for me to be given the opportunity to serve as an officer and current President of the WVSBA.  It has been a very rewarding and an honor to serve.  As local board members, we have the opportunity to be such a positive influence on our students, our faculty and staff and our community.  As an organization, we can impact even more at the state level.  What we do matters in so many ways. 

One of the ways we impact is advocating for our local schools and boards, and seeking more autonomy and authority at the local level.  We all know that we can do so much more if freed from the constraints of the policies and statutes that come to us from Charleston.  We do that by advocating with our government and petitioning them for change.  We have been doing that and they are listening.  We need to continue on that path and do all we can to be heard.  If we work hard and demand to be heard, ultimately, we can be successful. 

I would be remiss if I did not make clear my admiration for the men and women who serve on local school boards all around our state.  I understand what you go through, your frustrations, your joys, your successes and failures.  I know you do it because you care about children, and want the best for them.  You are impressive, thoughtful people who want nothing but the best for our children and work hard every day to achieve it.  It has been my privilege to serve with you and it has been my pleasure to get to know each of you.  I want to specifically mention Howard and Shirley, who work so hard all the time in order that we may succeed at our mission.  Without them, we could not be as effective as we are, and we could not succeed as we have.  Thanks to them for all their work.

As for me, the time has come for new opportunities and new adventures.  The opportunity to seek the office of Circuit Judge has presented itself.  It represents a new challenge for me personally; one that I have come to understand I must seek out.  Even so, it is hard to leave public education, which has given me the opportunity to work with so many fine, dedicated and hard-working people whose lives are singularly devoted to children and their success.  I have been blessed to work with those who have one goal in mind – to give our children the best opportunity to achieve and succeed. 

With that, I tender my resignation as a member and president of the WVBSA.  Thank you for all you do every day.  Keep up the good work.  


Based on information provided by the West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, 256 candidates, including 75 incumbents, have filed for election to county boards of education.

According to West Virginia School Board Association records,113 positions are to be filled in the 2016 Primary Election.

One individual has filed for the two available county board positions in Preston County.

In eight counties – Gilmer, Harrison, Jackson, Mercer, Pendleton, Tucker, Webster, Wyoming - only two persons have filed for the county board position. In four of those counties – Harrison, Mercer, Pendleton, Webster - only veteran members are seeking reelection.

Logan county has 13 persons who have filed or election followed by Wood County with 10 persons.

County board members are elected in an election held as part of the state’s Primary Election which will be held Tuesday, May 10, 2016.


The West Virginia School Board Association Winter Conference, slated for February 19 and 20 in Charleston (Town Center Marriott Hotel), will focus on how various notions of leadership, including vision, strategic leadership, leadership for results as measured by goals/objectives and leadership design for incorporating change.

Confirmed presenters for this session include West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee, Ph.D., Major General James A. Hoyer, The Adjutant General, and State Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Martirano, Ed.D.

Building on the leadership program segments, other conference training sessions deal with developing the “infrastructure” or county frameworks to implement county board-developed goals, including ways to measure effectiveness and to ensure accountability.

County board members also will receive the latest information about how the recent federal legislation, The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), known as Every Student Succeeds Act, will impact county boards, especially its policy implications.

That program segment will be presented by Deborah A. Rigsby, director of federal legislation for the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

Other programming includes “Building a Firm Foundation,” a segment relating to the “infrastructure” county boards need (and may be required to have) in order to effectively govern.

The conference also will  include a variety of workshops and a review of the work of the County Board Member Training Standards Review Committee’s efforts in regard to restructuring county board member training in West Virginia.