Martirano admits he's conflicted about whether to leave post

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Martirano admits he's 'conflicted' about whether to leave post
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano admitted during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline” Thursday he was having second thoughts about leaving the position in June and returning to Maryland to be closer to his family.

“I’m an honest person as the day is driven, I’m struggling with this decision so much. I’m so conflicted,” Martirano told “Talkline” Host Hoppy Kercheval.

Martirano announced last September that he planned to resign June 3, 2017. His wife, Silvana Martirano, died last year. She was 54. When he made his resignation announcement, Martirano said he wanted to be closer to his adult children.

“My oldest daughter has now announced that she’s expecting, and my son’s getting married,” he told MetdroNews at the time. “These are great life markers. I didn’t just have children to be an absentee father. I want to be engaged in (their lives).”

But Thursday Martirano clearly indicated he was struggling with leaving West Virginia after more than two years as its superintendent.

“I love working in West Virginia and I love our students and every day I think about this decision and it weighs on my heart tremendously,” he said.

The state’s high school graduation rate has improved under Martirano’s leadership along with other accomplishments. He said Thursday he believes there needs to be a thorough, thoughtful review of the state Department of Education to see if its too top heavy, like new Gov. Jim Justice suggested in his inaugural address.

The state Board of Education hasn’t announced any significant progress toward searching for Martirano’s replacement.