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Ohio County official to lead activities commission

Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register photo Bernie Dolan
Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register photo
Bernie Dolan

WHEELING, W.Va. — Ohio County Schools will be looking for a new assistant superintendent after learning that Bernie Dolan on Tuesday morning was selected as the next executive director of the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission.

Dolan, who celebrated his 54th birthday last week, currently serves as assistant superintendent for the school district, a position he has held since 2012. He said the opportunity to move on has come at a good time.

“I am excited for this new opportunity. I’ve been involved with the SSAC as well as athletics all of the 30 years I’ve been in education,” Dolan said. “I’m young enough to still go on with this new job for a period of time. I feel I have a lot of good working years ahead of me.”

He will succeed outgoing Executive Director Gary Ray, who is retiring after eight years. The SSAC board unanimously selected him Tuesday during a meeting at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, W.Va.

Ray on Tuesday said he believes the board made the right decision in hiring Dolan and that he will complement the other administrators in the organization.

“Mr. Dolan has done an outstanding job and he is a great choice,” Ray said. “His whole career he made career path choices that really impact what he can do at this office. We had a lot of good candidates … Mr. Dolan, at this point in time, rose to the top. He is a key component with Ohio County athletics and academics. Our board was pleased to snatch him.”

Dolan’s posting begins in January.

Ohio County School Superintendent Dianna Vargo said Dolan is a great person to work with and has been an asset to the county school system.

“We extend out sincere congratulations to Mr. Dolan. He will be a tremendous asset for the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, and sorely missed by Ohio County Schools,” Vargo said. “Dedicated to his work and our students, he is truly a good person.”

Vargo said once Dolan submits his resignation, the search will move forward for his replacement.

A 1979 graduate of Wheeling Park High School, Dolan earned his bachelor’s degree in education from West Virginia University in 1984 and a master’s in safety and environmental engineering in 1985. He also earned an administrative certificate from Salem International University in 2001.

He taught math and drivers education at Wheeling Park before being named principal in 2008. Dolan also served as technology coordinator for two years, and became assistant principal/athletic director in 2002. He served as principal until being appointed assistant superintendent of Ohio County Schools in 2012.

In the athletic department, Dolan was head boys and girls track coach from 1990-2002 and assistant football coach at Wheeling Park.

He also held the director’s position for the state golf tournament in Wheeling.

Dolan has served as a director of the Super Six High School Football Championships held in Wheeling since 1994.

“I’m looking forward to a new chapter,” Dolan added.

Dolan said while he will leave his post with Ohio County Schools, his new position with the SSAC will give him the opportunity to interact with schools from across the state.

“While you lose connection with a single county, it’s a great opportunity to move forward with the state to advance athletics and education,” Dolan said. “Wheeling Park and Ohio County have been incredibly important to me.”

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