Wood County Board of Education members have an important task ahead of them, as they begin the work of replacing Superintendent Pat Law, who intends to retire when his contract ends June 30. They have received applications from six candidates – ranging from right here in Wood County, to as far away as California.

Those applications will be reviewed during an executive session Tuesday, when board members will no doubt be well aware of the degree to which their decision could affect the children of Wood County.

School superintendents are in an unusual position. They must work well with the board of education, school administrators, teachers and students – always with the best interests of the students at heart. They must be intelligent, well-educated leaders who understand a broad range of issues, from curriculum to personnel to building maintenance. And, superintendents must be the face of the school district in the community. They must understand the world in which their students and teachers live.

Above all, a new superintendent for Wood County Schools will need a clear vision of the challenges faced by and the goals for the district. For example, one thing that should be fresh in the minds of board members is finding a candidate who can help them tackle the questions of policies on clubs in schools and employee use of social media, before the next school year.

Wood County is changing. The potential for economic development, an evolving student body, and rapidly developing technology that is eliminating any sense of isolation from the rest of the world, all make a superintendent’s job harder, and very different from what it was even 10 years ago. When standardized testing and other academic issues are factored in, the job might well seem overwhelming.

Best of luck to board of education members as they try to find the right person for the post. This is a decision that will reverberate across more than just the Wood County Schools system for many years.