The West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools announced on Wednesday plans to retire by the summer.
Dr. Steven Paine was hired by the state Board of Education to serve as Superintendent in 2017. He had previously served the same position from 2005 to 2011 and is considered one of the longest serving state superintendent of schools in the country.
In a press release from the department of education on Wednesday, Paine said he plans to retire by or before June 30, 2020, to help care for a family member.
“It has been an honor and my privilege to serve this state, the Governor, and the students of West Virginia,” Paine said. “Unfortunately, a member of my family is facing a health crisis and I want to be fully present for my family. I have grown children, one grandchild who I adore, and hopes for more grandchildren in the future. It is time for me to dedicate myself to spending time with my family.”
Before taking over as superintendent the first time around, Paine joined the Department of Education as the deputy superintendent in 2003. He worked for Morgan County schools before that.
In an interview with West Virginia Public Broadcasting in October, Paine said he lately has been focused on expanding West Virginia’s Career and Technical Education programs and high rates of teacher and student absenteeism.
In the department of education press release, State Board of Education President Dave Perry said he accepts Paine’s resignation. The Department of Education says its board will act fast to find a new superintendent.
Emily Allen is a Report for America corps member.