Kanawha board members deny orchestrating superintendent hire

By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

February 3, 2020

Curious observers trying to follow what’s going on in West Virginia’s most-populous school system are asking: What happened to the superintendent search?

In the span of just over two weeks, the Kanawha County Board of Education accepted the retirement of its longtime superintendent, held a meeting to discuss a search to find his replacement, then abandoned the search and appointed the deputy superintendent to the position.

The board’s actions raise several questions, including:


How did three of the five school board members end up voting last week

  • to simply promote Deputy Superintendent Tom Williams?
  • Why was the public not given an opportunity to voice their comments or concerns?
  • How did this occur when Williams’ name was never publicly mentioned as a candidate during this time?
  • And why was there a rush to make a decision, when current Superintendent Ron Duerring’s retirement isn’t effective until June 30?