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UPDATE: WV Board of Education votes Michael Martirano as new superintendent

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UPDATE, 2:45 p.m., July 1:

The West Virginia Board of Education confirmed July 1 that its members have hired Michael Martirano as the new state superintendent of schools.

A board of education spokesperson said the vote for Martirano, a Maryland native, was unanimous.

Original Story, June 25:

The West Virginia Board of Education is ready to announce the name of its likely selection for state superintendent.

A statement from WVBE President Gayle Manchin June 25, describes the WVBE search process and announces the “expectation” that Michael Martirano “will be nominated and elected as the state superintendent of schools.”

The announcement came a day after the department selected Charles Heinlein, deputy state superintendent, to serve as state superintendent on a temporary basis so James Phares could retire from the post June 30. Click HERE for our coverage of that story.

The national search firm Ray and Associates Inc. “engaged with 248 individuals,” according to the news release, and 64 candidates from 43 different states submitted applications for the position.

Martirano is serving in his ninth year as superintendent of St. Mary’s County Public Schools in Leonardtown, Maryland, according to the news release, and he currently is the longest-serving superintendent in Maryland. Martirano has served as a teacher, principal and district superintendent in Maryland and currently serves as president of the Public School Superintendent Association of Maryland.

“Born in the Appalachian Mountains of Western Maryland, the grandson of a coal miner, Dr. Martirano understands the need for improved student achievement in West Virginia and has demonstrated a record of success in this area,” the news release states. “He is an energetic and passionate leader, an excellent communicator and possesses a unique set of skills, talents and experience that will positively impact West Virginia’s 282,000 students.

“The WVBE looks forward to introducing Dr. Martirano to the public at the July 9 WVBE meeting in Charleston.”