Along with state board appointments, Blackwell named new SBA director

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Along with state board appointments, Blackwell named new SBA director
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

A day after announcing his appointment of West Virginia Board of Education member Bill White to a new role, Gov. Jim Justice announced Tuesday that he’d be filling White’s seat and two other state school board seats with former longtime county school system administrators.

The new state school board members are former Putnam County superintendent Chuck Hatfield, former Hardy County superintendent Barbara Whitecotton and former Raleigh County assistant superintendent of support services Miller Hall. They’ll be sworn in at next month’s board meeting, according to a news release.

Hall said he retired Tuesday — state law requires that state board members not work for the state or its political subdivisions. He said he planned to retire at the end of this school year anyway and run for the Raleigh school board, but now has a chance to serve the whole state.

The appointments for three of the nine seats with voting power on the board come after Justice — during his inauguration speech last week following a successful campaign that was short on specifics — held up a blue booklet.

“Today, I have an education plan right here,” the Democrat said, “that I’m going to submit immediately for people to review. It’s going to be the elimination of a bunch of unnecessary agencies, it’s going to be a look at education in a different way that has never been looked at for a long, long, long time.”

The governor still hasn’t released details about the plan.

Also Tuesday, Justice appointed former Wyoming County schools superintendent Bucky Blackwell as executive director of the state School Building Authority. The authority uses state general revenue, bond proceeds and lottery money to fund school construction and renovation projects around the state.

Blackwell will replace David Sneed, who retired last month.

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