Charleston, W.Va. - Cynthia Kolsun has been named superintendent of Hampshire County Schools. The announcement was made today by State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine.
“Ms. Kolsun brings years of education experience and strong leadership skills to this position,” said Paine. “I am confident she will take Hampshire County Schools in the right direction. Ms. Kolsun believes an entire community needs to work together to provide its students with a rigorous and relevant education which includes 21st Century learning skills.
The West Virginia Board of Education appointed Kolsun to serve as interim superintendent in January. During its January Board meeting the Board intervened in Hampshire County Schools following a recommendation by the Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA). The OEPA told the Board that financial and personnel problems still existed more than six months after the Board first declared a state of emergency in the Hampshire County School System. Kolsun will begin as Hampshire County superintendent when her interim contract expires on February 21, 2006.
Kolsun has a myriad of educational experience. She began her teaching career in Hendry County, Florida where she began a Drama and Theatre Department and her students produced an award-winning yearbook.
She served as a counselor in West Virginia for a number of years. During that time her counseling program at the Randolph County Vocational Technical Center was named as an Exemplary Program of the Year. She is a former president of the West Virginia Vocational Guidance Association, former president of the West Virginia Career Development Association and a former member of the Executive Board of the West Virginia Personnel and Guidance Association. Kolsun taught in the psychology department for twelve years as an adjunct instructor for Fairmont State College.
Kolsun’s leadership experiences include serving as assistant superintendent of schools/director of administration for Randolph County Schools and superintendent of Tucker County Schools. During her tenure, Tucker County had the highest graduation rate and the lowest dropout rate in the state.
She is a former member of the West Virginia Association of School Administrators (WVASA). During 2001, she was one of two West Virginia superintendents selected by WVASA to represent West Virginia at the National Superintendent’s Leadership Academy.
For the past year, Kolsun has worked as a Coordinator for Technical and Secondary Program Improvement for the West Virginia Department of Education. Much of her work with the Department focused on researching high-performing high schools and providing technical assistance. She also served as one of four facilitators for the Task Force for West Virginia High Schools.
Mrs. Kolsun published a research guide on the American High School and has written and received various grants.
Civic minded and active in a number of community events, she was the 2001-2002 State President of the West Virginia Business and Professional Women’s Club and served on the National Board. She has received the community service award presented by the Elkins office of the West Virginia Vocational Rehabilitation Services among other recognitions.
“During the time I’ve been in Hampshire County, I am encouraged by the dedication of the board, central office staff, the principals and teachers as well as the community, as they all want to work together to strengthen the school system to provide the best education they can for their students,” said Kolson. “We certainly have areas we need to work on, and I will ensure that students are provided with a rigorous education.”
Kolson holds a Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in Secondary Education with a Language Arts emphasis and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psych from University of South Florida in Tampa. She received her certification in Administration from Marshall University. Presently, she is completing requirements for a doctorate in Technology Education from West Virginia University.
Kolsun is married to Bruce Kolsun, former state president of the West Virginia Elementary School Principals’ Association and a principal in Kanawha County. She has two children, Stacey Harper and Phillips Kolsun, and two grand-children, Jackson and Evie.