By April 2, 2014 Read More →

Phares to retire as W.Va. schools superintendent

 Charleston Gazette file photo by Lawrence Pierce Jim Phares after being sworn in as interim state superintendent of schools in January. Phares announced Tuesday that he would retire on June 30.


Charleston Gazette file photo by Lawrence Pierce
Jim Phares after being sworn in as interim state superintendent of schools in January 2013. Phares announced Tuesday that he would retire on June 30.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares announced his plans to retire on Tuesday — the same day a contract between the state Board of Education and a national search firm went into effect, with plans to find a new, more permanent superintendent.

Phares sent his letter of intent to state Board of Education President Gayle Manchin on Tuesday morning, but the department and Phares will not comment further on the issue until next week’s state school board meeting, said Christine Galusha, a spokeswoman for the department.

Manchin said Phares hopes to retire June 30 but offered to serve in the position until the board hires his replacement.

Phares was sworn in as superintendent January 2013 after the board’s abrupt firing of Superintendent Jorea Marple just two months prior. Marple is suing the school board for wrongful termination. Phares signed on with the understanding that he would hold the position only in the interim while the board conducted a nationwide search to find someone to serve as superintendent for the long term.

The Board of Education has hired Ray and Associates Inc., a search firm based in Iowa that specializes in education personnel, at a cost of about $43,000, according to Manchin…

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