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Lee says superintendent search should start at home

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By WV MetroNews 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As the state Board of Education looks nationwide for the next state school superintendent, the president of the West Virginia Education Association isn’t convinced the search needs to go that far afield.

“I still think you have to have some ties to West Virginia,” said Dale Lee. “You have to have some knowledge of our school system to be able to successfully lead us in a direction we want to go right now.

“We need someone who will listen to the teachers, who are the true experts of public education. (Someone) that has the knowledge of what it’s been like to be in the classroom.”

Outgoing Superintendent Dr. Jim Phares, who plans to retire at the end of June, started out as a teacher before moving into administration as superintendent in Pocahontas, Marion and Randolph counties.

Lee criticized the board of education for spending funds on a nationwide search—money he said should be used to improve the education system.

“We’re concerned about the money it would cost for a (teacher) planning period but we’re going to hire a firm to do a national search for a superintendent? That’s double-speak to me,” Lee said.

He referred to the bill Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed earlier this month that would have given teachers more control over their planning periods.