Release from the office of Gov. Jim Justice:
CHARLESTON, WV – Today, Governor Jim Justice announced three appointments to the state Board of Education. The Governor selected Miller Hall, Barbara Whitecotton, and Chuck Hatfield to fill openings on the board. All three are experienced educators who are committed to helping Governor Justice move his education ideas forward.
The new appointees will be sworn in at the next board meeting in February.
Gov. Jim Justice also named Frank L. “Bucky” Blackwell executive director of the West Virginia School Building Authority (SBA). Blackwell served seven years in the West Virginia House of Delegates and has been an educator for 47 years.
Hall, Whitecotton, and Hatfield issued a joint statement on their appointments: “It’s truly an honor to serve the people of West Virginia and help Governor Justice transform our public schools. Our experience from the front lines of West Virginia’s classrooms will help the Governor make our schools nationally competitive. We want to return local control to our school districts, give our teachers and schools the freedom to properly educate our kids, stop over-testing students, and eliminate the complex bureaucracy holding back our schools.”
“The politicians and bureaucrats in Charleston have failed to listen to our teachers, so I appointed three educators with significant classroom experience to the state Board of Education,” said Governor Jim Justice. “Miller Hall, Barbara Whitecotton, and Chuck Hatfield have dedicated their lives to improving public education, and on the state Board of Education, they will help me deliver results for students across West Virginia. They all share my vision for making education the centerpiece of our state.”
“Bucky Blackwell cares deeply about our public schools and will do an outstanding job on the SBA,” said Governor Jim Justice. “Local schools are the heart of any community, and too many West Virginia schools are falling apart; I know Bucky will help change that. He is very knowledgeable of the SBA and understands the value the SBA has to school systems across West Virginia, and how important this authority is to the success of West Virginia.”
“I am deeply honored to continue serving our great state, and grateful to have the opportunity to help Governor Justice fix West Virginia’s schools,” said Bucky Blackwell. “As superintendent, I worked with the School Building Authority many times to acquire funding for renovations in existing schools and the construction of new schools in Wyoming County, and I know how the SBA can truly help a school district. In these difficult budget times, it is critical that we make every dollar count when upgrading our schools.”
Miller L. Hall – Miller Hall is native of Beckley, WV who’s served the Raleigh County school system for more than 40 years. He taught social studies at Woodrow Wilson High School, served as dean of boys, assistant principal and later as principal of Woodrow Wilson for ten years. In 1999, Mr. Hall was promoted to the Central Office position of Director of Pupil Services, then became Director of Secondary Schools and lastly held the position of Assistant Superintendent of Support Services for Raleigh County.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Fairmont State University and two master’s degrees from the WV College of Graduate Studies (Marshall University) one in guidance and counseling and one in educational administration.
During his spare time, Miller has mentored young men and coached youth football and basketball at the middle and high school level. Also, he’s officiated football and boys’ and girls’ basketball. In 2014, he was selected as the Girls Basketball Official of the Year for West Virginia. In 2011, Miller was inducted into the WV All Black Schools Academic and Sports Hall of Fame and is a member of the Woodrow Wilson Football Hall of Fame.
Barbara Whitecotton – After working 41 years in West Virginia public schools, Barbara Whitecotton retired in June of 2016. She’s worked in Pendleton County and Hardy County, 23 years in administration and 18 years in the classroom.
She graduated from Shepherd College with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in the area of social studies. In addition, she has a master’s degree in special education from James Madison University and a master’s degree in school administration and supervision from Frostburg State University.
Whitecotton served as Superintendent of Hardy County Schools for eight years, and as Assistant Superintendent for three years. Before becoming an administrator, she taught students with disabilities. She was also the Assistant Principal at East Hardy Early Middle School for four years and the Principal of Moorefield Middle School for eight years.
Harold “Chuck” Hatfield – Chuck Hatfield is a retired educator with 43 years of service in West Virginia public schools. He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and social studies from Glenville State College and a master’s degree in educational administration from West Virginia College of Graduate Studies.
Mr. Hatfield began his career as a classroom teacher before becoming principal of Eastbrook Elementary School in Putnam County in 1980. From there, he served as Director of Early Childhood Education, Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Pupil Services, and Deputy Superintendent of Putnam County Schools until 2004. In 2004, he became Superintendent of Putnam County Schools, where he served until his retirement in July of 2016. During his tenure as superintendent, Putnam County Schools led the state in academic achievement and employee salaries.
In 2009, Chuck was named West Virginia Superintendent of the Year by the West Virginia Association of School Administrators.
Bucky Blackwell- Bucky Blackwell served seven years in the West Virginia House of Delegates and has been an educator for 47 years in Wyoming County. He’s been a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent of Wyoming County Schools. Blackwell served as superintendent from July 1,1982, until he retired in June of 2016. He was selected West Virginia Superintendent of the Year by his peers.
Bucky Blackwell, from Mullens, WV, grew up in the nearby small coal community of Corinne and graduated from Mullens High School. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Marshall University. He and wife Trudy are the proud parents of a daughter, Audra, and son, Mark.