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State BOE Names Temporary Superintendent

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West Virginia Department of Education
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West Virginia Board of Education members unanimously approved a new schools chief who will take the post starting next week. On June 30, current Superintendent Dr. James Phares will retire, but the man filling his shoes is a familiar face to the department.

Board members voted to put current Deputy Superintendent Charles Heinlein in the position, with the understanding that when a new, ling-term chief is hired, he will return to his current job and current salary.

Until then, Heinlein will make the $165,000 year salary attached and wait out the replacement which Board President Gayle Manchin said Tuesday will happen in a “reasonable” amount of time.

Members spent more than eight hours Tuesday interviewing the three finalists for the position. Those finalists were chosen from a field 64 applicants in their nationwide search.

The state board has been criticized for not releasing any details about those finalists, but Manchin said they are all currently employed and the board promised them confidentiality so as to not jeopardize their positions.

“This is not uncommon under the search firm that we’re using,” she said. “I think in West Virginia it has been an oddity because it was never done that way before.”

The state board has scheduled their next meeting for July 1.

Heinlein will take his position that same day, but it’s not the first time he has stepped in as a short-term schools chief. Heinlein also served as superintendent for eight weeks in 2012 after Dr. Jorea Marple was fired in a surprise vote by the board. Phares was hired in November of that same year.

Editor's Note: In the original audio of this story, we reported Heinlein served as superintendent in 2008. He in fact held the position in 2012, as we reported in the text, and the audio has now been updated to reflect that.


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