Six candidates vie for superintendent job

PARKERSBURG – Six candidates have applied to be Wood County Schools’ next superintendent.

The Board of Education will hold an executive session Tuesday to review and narrow down applicants for superintendent. The application window for the superintendent position closed late Wednesday. Those applications are being handled by the West Virginia School Board Association in Charleston.

Six candidates have applied for the position:

* Ronald B. Cantley II, Fayette County Schools director of operations, Fayette, W.Va.

* John B. Flint, retired Wood County Schools teacher, Parkersburg.

* Thomas H. Graves, Russell County Schools principal, Lebanon, Va.

* Kenneth E. Moles II, Raleigh County Schools assistant superintendent, Beckley, W.Va.

* Joseph Oliverio, Wood County Schools director of elementary schools, Parkersburg.

* Derrick Sutherland, Foothills Christian High School principal (2010-2012), El Cajon, Ca.

Howard O’Cull, executive director of the school board association, said information packets containing all applications and resumes for the superintendent’s position were overnight mailed to individual school board members Wednesday and were delivered Thursday morning.

“We received confirmation (Thursday) that all were delivered,” O’Cull said.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel submitted a Freedom of Information Act request Thursday to the state school board association. A summary memo which was sent to school board members was given to the newspaper, and a full packet of applications and resumes will be released to the newspaper today.

The school board is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the district’s 13th and Plum street offices. There is only one item on the agenda, an executive session to review applications for superintendent.

Board President Tim Yeater said when the board comes back to open session, members will announce those candidates chosen as finalists.

O’Cull said he will not attend Tuesday’s meeting, but has been placed on “standby” and would be available by phone if needed.

Yeater said no central office staff have been asked to attend Tuesday’s meeting.

The finalists chosen next week will be asked to attend a public forum March 29.

Yeater said some of the dates for the search process are still being discussed by the board. April 1 will be a regular board meeting for community members and groups to talk about the qualities they want in a new superintendent. April 2 is a closed-door session for interviews between the board and the candidates.

The board originally scheduled the final selection to occur April 7 during a closed-door meeting to review the finalists, with an announcement to be made April 8. But Yeater said officials may announce their decision when it is made rather than waiting for an “official” announcement.

That could mean a decision is made as early as April 2.

“If we have a clear frontrunner and we are all in agreement, there really is no reason to drag that decision out for another week,” he said.

Superintendent Pat Law plans to retire when his contract ends June 30.