CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Newly appointed state Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano officially became West Virginia's 30th state superintendent on Monday during an oath of office ceremony at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston.
The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) hired Martirano following a nationwide search. As part of the search process, Ray and Associates, Inc., a national search firm, engaged with 248 individuals regarding the position. From that pool, 64 candidates spanning 43 states submitted applications. The WVBE narrowed the candidates to ten, then five and finally interviewed three finalists. Martirano replaces James Phares, who retired on June 30, 2014.
Martirano will assume all the duties, responsibilities and authority granted to the state's top education leader and serve as the state board's policy advisor and executive officer. West Virginia's public school system serves about 282,000 students in preschool through grade 12.
"We have been eagerly awaiting Dr. Martirano's arrival," said Board President Gayle Manchin. "Board members are confident that Dr. Martirano is the right choice. He has a proven record in improving student achievement. He is ready to ask the right questions, take risks and present bold ideas for the benefit of students."
Martirano has been an educator for 30 years and has amassed a wide range of educational and administrative experience through his work as a science teacher, principal and visiting professor at John Hopkins University. He most recently served as superintendent of St. Mary's County Public Schools in Leonardtown, Maryland.
As a risk-taker and innovator, Martirano consistently focuses his energy on improving academic success and building positive relationships. He was selected as the 2009 Superintendent of the Year in Maryland and a 2010 Innovator of the Year by the Maryland Daily Record.
"I have had a couple of months to do my homework about the unique challenges and opportunities which are part of West Virginia's educational landscape," said Martirano. "I am excited to finally get started. Please know that I will work each day for the citizens of this great state but more importantly for the students."
Martirano holds a Doctorate of Education degree in school management and instructional leadership from Nova Southeastern University, two Masters of Education degrees and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.