Board Conference Room

Capitol Building 6, Room 353

1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East

Charleston, West Virginia

May 31, 2005


Call to Order

President Barbara N. Fish (via telephone) called the meeting of the West Virginia Board of Education to order at 3:30 p.m. on May 31, 2005, in the Board Conference Room, Capitol Building 6, Room 353, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, West Virginia.

The following members were present: President Fish (via telephone), Vice President Lowell E. Johnson, Secretary Priscilla M. Haden, Sandra M. Chapman (via telephone), Delores W. Cook, Sheila M. Hamilton (via telephone), Burma Hatfield (via telephone), Jenny N. Phillips (via telephone), Ronald B. Spencer (via telephone), and ex officios David Stewart, State Superintendent of Schools and J. Michael Mullen, Chancellor, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. Member absent was: ex officio James L. Skidmore, Chancellor, the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education.


Approval of Agenda

Upon motion by Dr. Johnson, seconded by Mrs. Cook, the Board unanimously approved the agenda.


Search Process for State Superintendent of Schools

President Fish turned the meeting over to Ms. Chapman who provided brief remarks regarding procedural matters including a report from Ms. Heather Deskins, staff attorney to the Board and the Department, schedule for the month of June (interviews and locations) and indicated an executive session would be necessary in order to discuss personnel matters in accordance with W.Va. Code 6-9A-4(b)(2)(A) and 6-9A-4(b)(2)(8). Discussion ensued regarding applications that were submitted without transcripts and the deadline for receipt of applications. It was the consensus of the Board that the review process would continue and, should the candidate be offered an interview, the missing transcripts would be provided prior to the interview.

Ms. Chapman moved, and Ms. Haden seconded, that applications postmarked or e-mailed on or before May 31 be accepted. The motion was unanimously carried.

Discussion ensued regarding interview ranking forms. It was the consensus of the Board that the forms be returned to the Board's executive secretary by June 6. Further discussion will take place at the June 8 meeting as to the ranking and selection of candidates for interview.

Ms. Deskins addressed the Board regarding: 1) setting a completion date for all interviews, 2) determining the candidates to be interviewed, and 3) meeting dates for interviews.

Ms. Chapman requested the discretion to work with the Board's executive secretary to set up interviews with June 27 set as the target date for final interviews in Charleston. Other locations and dates suggested were Parkersburg (June 13), Morgantown (June 18), and Stonewall Resort (June 21). Participation of members by telephone was discussed.

Upon motion by Ms. Chapman, seconded by Mr. Spencer, in compliance with W.Va. Code 6-9A-4(b)(2)(A), and 6-9A-4(b)(2)(8), the Board moved into executive session to discuss personnel issues dealing with the Superintendent Search. The motion was unanimously carried and the Board entered into executive session at 4:15 p.m.


Return from Executive Session

The Board returned from Executive Session at 4:25 p.m. at which time President Fish announced no action was taken and no decisions were made.

Discussion ensued regarding the website comments and the distribution of same, press matters, interview dates and previous interview locations.

Mrs. Cook moved, and Dr. Johnson seconded, that a thorough background check be conducted of all candidates to be interviewed. The motion was carried unanimously. Ms. Haden and Ms. Chapman departed the meeting following the vote.

President Fish brought forth two personnel items for the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind requiring action.

Grievant Susanne Cosner, appearing in person, was asked if she wished her personnel hearing to be conducted in open or closed session. Ms. Cosner indicated she wished the hearing to be conducted in closed session whereupon Dr. Johnson moved, and Mrs. Cook seconded, that the Board enter into executive session, in accordance with W.Va. Code 6-9A-4(b)(2)(A), to conduct a personnel hearing. The Board moved into executive session at 4:27 p.m.

The Board returned from executive session at 5:30 p.m. whereupon Ms. Hatfield moved, and Mrs. Hamilton seconded, that the personnel item for West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind employee, Susanne Cosner, be approved. Discussion ensued regarding the personnel action and upon the call for the question the motion carried with a vote of four to two.

Discussion ensued regarding the second personnel item requiring action and upon motion by Mr. Spencer, seconded by Ms. Hatfield, the Board unanimously approved the personnel item for West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind employee J. Pierre Sevigny.


Future Meetings

The next regular meeting of the Board will be held June 8-9, 2005 at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Jackson County, West Virginia.



President Fish adjourned the meeting at 5:42 p.m.

Minutes approved by the Board on July 14, 2005.


Barbara N. Fish, President


Priscilla M. Haden, Secretary

Minutes were recorded by

Virginia M. Harris

Executive Secretary to

the Board.