Gilmer freed from state takeover if it agrees to stipulations

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Gilmer freed from state takeover if it agrees to stipulations
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Gilmer County’s public school system can be freed from a half-decade of state takeover if its locally elected school board members agree to keep their state-appointed superintendent — who opposed returning local control and with whom local board members have fought — through June 30.

The West Virginia Board of Education decided Wednesday to offer the deal, three years after voting to return partial control to Gilmer’s board.

If the Gilmer board approves the memorandum of understanding requiring it to keep the state-appointed superintendent, Gabe Devono, they’ll be freed from state control Jan. 6. Devono could leave before June 30 if he and the board mutually agree to part ways. He said his contract, which pays him $126,000 annually, expires June 30 anyway, and he didn’t know whether he’d request a contract extension or apply to another superintendent position.

State Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano referenced other requirements in the MOU during Wednesday’s board meeting, but he didn’t specify them. State Department of Education spokeswoman Kristin Anderson said the actual MOU hasn’t been drafted, and said the department would just be adding to the superintendent provisions “procedural language” outlined in policies and state law.

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