CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Jim Brown, an assistant director for the West Virginia Department of Education, has been named superintendent of McDowell County Schools, state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine announced Wednesday during the June state Board of Education meeting.
Brown, who currently helps lead the Office of Special Programs, Extended and Early Learning, will assume his new role July 1. He replaces Suzette Cook, who recently was named Title I School Improvement Coordinator for the state Department of Education.
“I am excited about this opportunity in McDowell County,” Brown said. “A lot of good things are going on in the district. They have great facilities and improvements have been made in student learning. I look forward to helping them move forward.”
Brown, who holds degrees from West Liberty State College and Marshall University, brings experience as a teacher, principal and central office administrator in Tyler County. He has held positions overseeing special education, attendance, homeless students, technology and other educational areas. During his times as principal of Arthur I. Boreman Elementary School in Tyler County , the school was recognized as a West Virginia School of Excellence and a Blue Ribbon School.
“My focus has always been on students and helping them succeed,” Brown said. “I hope to do the same in McDowell County.”
The West Virginia Board of Education intervened in McDowell County in 2001 after a review by the Office of Education Performance Audits found low test scores, shoddy school buildings and large numbers of uncertified teachers. The board declared a state of emergency and immediately restricted the authority of the local board in the expenditure of funds, the employment and dismissal of personnel, the establishment and operation of the school calendar, the establishment of instructional practices and rules.
Under state guidance, McDowell County has made major changes in curriculum, finances and personnel, including offering intensive professional development to further enhance student performance. The county also has built or renovated many of its facilities. The latest, Riverview High School, is scheduled to open this fall. The school consolidates Iaeger and Big Creek high schools.
“Helping these schools make a smooth transition will be a priority,” Brown said.
For more information contact the WVDE Communications Office at (304) 558-2699.
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