In announcing his resignation, Marockie said, "The status of education in West Virginia is strong and growing, and it is time for me to explore other opportunities."
When Marockie took over as school chief 10 years ago, he inherited an unenviable system. A clear emphasis on student achievement was missing, school buildings were in desperate need of repair and renovation, and technology was virtually nonexistent.
Over the decade, a model school system has emerged with increased test scores, new and updated facilities, and a model learning technology program that is heralded nationwide for its effectiveness in increasing basic skills for students.
"The past 10 years have been a marvelous journey in helping the young people of West Virginia receive a better education," Marockie noted in a letter to friends and colleagues. “We have constantly pushed for better results, higher achievement, and for increased recognition. Because of that push, test scores, attendance rates and graduation rates are all the best they have ever been."
Through his leadership, many accomplishments have been realized in West Virginia including:
•three consecutive #1 national rankings in Education Week’s Quality Counts report
•a computer effort that has placed computers in all elementary classrooms
•a technology initiative that provides hardware, software and staff development for grades 7-12
•a partnership with Bell Atlantic to establish the WORLD SCHOOL program to bring Internet to all schools
•academic standards and assessment programs at every grade level
•innovative professional development opportunities for teachers and principals
•a statewide accountability system leading to landmark state interventions in two systems
•multi-million dollar grants from the National Science Foundation, Centers for Disease Control, and IBM for innovative statewide programs
•nationally-recognized institutional education programs
•a safe schools initiative that launched a Responsible Students Program in more than 400 schools and became a national model
•a healthy schools program that made West Virginia a national demonstration site for training in comprehensive school health programs
•an $800 million school construction program
“Hank Marockie had the leadership, ability and vision to stimulate and maintain a momentum of change in West Virginia,” said State Board President Jim MacCallum of Madison. “He is a courageous advocate for children and leaves a tremendous legacy in West Virginia education. This has been the greatest decade of education reform our state has witnessed,” MacCallum noted. “Hank Marockie leaves big shoes to fill.”
Prior to assuming the state superintendency, Marockie led the Ohio County school system. He serves as vice chair of two significant national boards dealing with technology rate discounts for schools and libraries: the Universal Service administrative Company (USAC) and the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD). Most recently, he was elected national chairman of the Compact for Learning and Citizenship in conjunction with the Education Commission of the States.
He is past president of the Council of Chief State School Officers, a nationwide organization comprised of public officials who head the departments of education in the 50 states.
His many honors include a national award of excellence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for his work in advancing comprehensive school health programs, Ashland Incorporated Outstanding Leadership Award, and, this weekend, he is slated to receive the Ignatian Medal, Wheeling Jesuit University’s highest honor.
Marockie is married to Dr. Mary Marockie, director of programs for RESA 6 in Wheeling. They have a daughter, Felicia, regional vice president, marketing, Loews Corporation, NY, NY.