- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Four months after West Virginia schools Superintendent Michael Martirano announced he will step down at the end of the school year, the state school board has yet to begin looking for a successor. And Martirano is having second thoughts about his decision.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail (https://bit.ly/2jpk1P5 ) reports school board members indicated last week the search process hasn’t started. Since Martirano’s announcement in September, the board hasn’t discussed the issue in public at its monthly meetings.

Board member Tom Campbell suggested getting feedback first from new Gov. Jim Justice.

Board president Mike Green said the board plans to have a new superintendent by July 1.

Martirano, whose wife died after a prolonged illness, had said he wanted to be closer to his adult children in Maryland. He didn’t immediately return a message left Monday with a Department of Education spokeswoman.

On a statewide radio show last week, Martirano said he was struggling with his decision to step down.

“I am so conflicted,” Martirano said on MetroNews’ “Talkline.” ”I love working in West Virginia. I love our students and, every day, I think about this decision and it weighs on my heart tremendously.”

Martirano was a finalist for a superintendent’s position in Worchester County, Maryland. The job was given to someone else in late September.

West Virginia Association of School Administrators executive director A.J. Rogers said his organization, which includes most countywide public school administrators, believes no national search would be needed for a replacement for Martirano because there are local superintendents who are qualified for his job.

However, “it wouldn’t bother me a bit to see him decide to stay,” Rogers said.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.

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