“A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn.” After a lifetime in education as a teacher, a local superintendent and almost eleven years of service as the West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools, the time has come for me to make that turn and step aside as West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools. It is my hope that this decision will end the relentless acrimony directed at the state education establishment and the focus will once more be upon providing a high quality education to the students in the public schools of West Virginia.
I have devoted my life to public service. It has been my personal privilege to serve the State of West Virginia, its citizens and students. I am confident that the state of education in West Virginia is better than when I began 11 years ago. For this, we should all be extremely proud.
Finally, I have been blessed throughout my professional life by having enormously bright and capable people surround me -- my family, especially my wife, Dr. Mary Marockie, my staff, members of the board of education which have employed me in Wood and Ohio counties and in state government, outstanding leadership at the Gubernatorial and legislative levels and a great education community.
Therefore, I have asked the State board of Education to approve my request to step aside as State Superintendent of Schools and be placed in a position of assisting the State board in the preparation of and testimony in the ongoing hearing in Tomblin v. Gainer, the school finance case which will continue on April 3, 2000 in Kanawha County Circuit Court before Special Judge Arthur Recht.
I am looking forward to working with the State Board, the interim State Superintendent and members of the Department of Education.