Newest state BOE member Rotruck doing his ‘homework’ to catch up

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Newest state BOE member Rotruck doing his ‘homework’ to catch up
By Matt Maccaro | WV MetroNews

Scott Rotruck, the newest member of the state Board of Education, says he’s working hard to get up to speed after he was sworn in last week.

Rotruck, who lives in Morgantown and grew up in Keyser, was appointed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to replace the void left by the resignation of Wade Linger.

“First and foremost I’m looking forward to learning a lot very quickly,” Rotruck said. “There’s a lot to know and understand, and I want to do that as quickly as I can so I can fully participate. The board is charged with a significant responsibility, so I’m going to do my homework.

Rotruck has a background in business, working for several companies in the energy sector including  Chesapeake Energy, Anker Energy, CONSOL, CSX Corporation and Norfolk Southern Corporation.

He completed his undergrad work at WVU and earned a master’s degree from Frostburg State in Maryland.

“Education is critical, not only to help somebody grow and be all they can be, but also for them to be college and career ready,” he said. “I understand the other side, what business is looking for in graduates. I’ve never had the opportunity to teach in public schools, but I did have an opportunity at least to teach in college. It began to give me some insight into where we’re targeting a lot of the effort.”

Rotruck said he didn’t yet form an opinion on where he stands on the current standards or Common Core, because he was still learning the ins and outs of what it is.

“Right now I have a number of books I’ve bought on Common Core. I certainly have heard about it in the papers. But right now I’m going very deep on it; I want to make sure I fully understand it,” he said. “The deeper argument beyond just Common Core…standards, assessments. How do we provide the best, thorough and efficient system of education.

Rotruck firmly believed that good education begins early in life.

“You really only get one shot at getting folks off to a good start educationally. You have to capture their imagination and their interest early,” Rotruck said. “Early childhood education is very critical, very much a focus. We’ve got to get to kids early and get them the best possible education we can.”

Rotruck is also a member of the board of directors for The Education Alliance.