February 22, 2019 - Volume 39 Issue 7


Delegates to the West Virginia School Board Association (WVSBA) FY20 Annual Business Meeting elected Ryan White, president of the Kanawha County Board of Education, as incoming association president for 2019-2020.

The Annual Business Meeting was held Feb. 16 in conjunction with WVSBA’s Winter Conference held in Charleston last Friday and Saturday.

Other officers elected at the ABM included Pat Murphy, a member of the Berkeley County Board of Education, who will serve as WVSBA President-Elect.

Christine “Chris” Carder, a member of the Ohio County Board of Education, was elected as Vice President and Gus Penix, Ed.D., president of the Nicholas County Board of Education, was elected as incoming WVSBA financial officer.

In addition to the executive officers Jill Cooper, President of the Braxton County Board of Education, was elected WVSBA Region 4 Co-regional Director due to the vacancy created by Penix’s election as WVSBA Financial Officer.

She joins Jeanie Wyatt (Greenbrier) who serves as the other association regional officer from that area.

Additionally, Jack Keim, president of the Preston County Board of Education, was elected as a WVSBA Director-At-Large along with Stacy Hooper, a member of the Brooke County Board of Education.

Co-regional Directors serve as members of WVSBA’s Executive Board. Two directors are elected regionally.

Directors-At-Large also serve as members of the association’s executive Board.

The WVSBA Executive Board is responsible for determining WVSBA programs and services. The Executive Board also determines the association’s stance on issues such as legislative matters, general public education issues, research reports or similar matters.

Members of the Executive Board include:

WVSBA Executive Board FY19

  • Lori Kestner, President
  • Ryan White, President-Elect
  • Patrick Murphy, Vice President
  • Christine Carder, Financial Officer
  • Charlotte Hutchens, Region 1
  • Michael Prichard, Region 1
  • Jared Billings, Region 2
  • Pat White, Region 2
  • David Pierson, Region 3
  • Becky Jordon, Region 3
  • Gus Penix, Region 4
  • Jeanie Wyatt, Region 4
  • Greg Boggs, Region 5
  • Torie Jackson, Region 5
  • Warren Grace, Region 6
  • Michelle Chappell, Region 6
  • Paul Derico, Region 7
  • Mary Jo Thomas, Region 7
  • Pete Gordon, Region 8
  • Bill Queen, Region 8
  • Past Presidents:
  • Steve Chancey – ’93
  • Rick Olcott – ’10
  • Mike Mitchem – ’11
  • Gary Kable – ’14
  • Jim Crawford – ’15
  • Greg Prudich – ’16
  • Sam Sentelle – ’17
  • Directors at Large:
  • Adam Starks – Barbour
  • J. D. Wilkins – Pendleton
  • Stacy Hooper – Brooke
  • Jack Keim – Preston

Programming for the West Virginia School Board Association’s (WVSBA) Winter Conference, held last weekend, was well received, particularly programming regarding roles and responsibilities of county boards and county boards of education members.

State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine provided the keynote address, urging county board members to work effectively with county superintendents and tom use their positions and capacity to be public school leaders locally and statewide.

Paine said West Virginia often fares better in terms of reported aggregate student achievement and performance but that news may be skewed by those who prefer using information suited to specific organizational goals or objectives, especially at the legislative level.

He urged county board members to study their systems and, as a corporate unit, to pinpoint areas or concern which local administrations can address or for which capacity and expertise can be secured from state, regional or national sources.

Through this approach, the state superintendent said county board members would be in touch with more reliable statistics about public education student performance measures.

“Stay In Your Lane”

In terms of presentations, the “Stay In Your Lane” program segment was presented in an interactive format. Presenters included association counsel Howard E. Seufer Jr., Esq., and Rebecca Tinder, Esq., both partners at Bowles Rice LLP (Charleston).


The Friday, Feb. 15 afternoon program also featured a session regarding initiatives to address mathematics curricular issues and student proficiency.

The Opioid Epidemic

Saturday’s sessions focused on the state’s opioid epidemic from the perspective of Huntington Mayor Steve Williams who discussed the importance of collaboration in addressing opioid addiction and the importance of communities’ “ownership” of the problem, including school officials and classroom teachers.

Through “ownership” community collectives can work toward assisting families, students, and those who suffer from the effects of illicit drug addiction.

Effect on teachers

Sara Anderson, Ed.D., a member of the Monongalia County Board of Education, discussed recent research regarding how the opioid epidemic affects educators.

Her work is continuing.

As part of the conference participants discussed how to heighten county board advocacy efficacy,

MetroNews Talkline host Kercheval addressed conference participants Friday evening.

The West Virginia School Board Association will hold a series of regional training sessions during the remainder of the fiscal year.

Training topics relate a review of legislation adopted in the West Virginia Legislature’s Regular Session as well as discussions of legal matters affecting county boards of education, effective county board/county superintendent relations and matters of regional interest.

Listed below is the schedule of regional meetings:

WVSBA Regional Meetings ‘19

March 20, 2019
Chief Logan Conference Center, Logan
Boone, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Wayne

March 26, 2019
Holiday Inn Express, Teays Valley
Cabell, Kanawha, Putnam

April 2, 2019
WVUP, Parkersburg
Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt, Wood

April 25, 2019
Canaan Valley Conference Center, Davis
Barbour, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur

May 2, 2019
South Branch Inn, Romney
Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, Pendleton

May 9, 2019
Summersville Convention Center, Summersville
Braxton, Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Summers, Webster, Wyoming

May 21, 2019
Oglebay Resort Conference Center, Wheeling
Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, Wetzel

June 6, 2019
Cacapon Resort Conference Center, Berkeley Springs
Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan


As required by legislation adopted several years ago, county boards are required to conduct a performance appraisal.

Performance appraisal responses are anonymous. Results are tabulated by an external organization.

When corporate results are shared with a county board, the board may use results for goal-setting, planning and for other evaluative purposes, according to West Virginia School Board Association Executive Director Howard M. O’Cull, Ed.D.

For more information contact O’Cull – hocull@wvsba.org