Posts Tagged ‘The Inter-Mountain’


Saturday, November 17th, 2012

(Disclosure:  My wife is one of the WV State Board of Education who resigned earlier this week.  The views below are mine alone.  I would never attempt to speak for her.)

This week a despicable and senseless action was taken at the WV State School Board meeting.  A Gang of Five fired the State Superintendent [Dr. Jorea Marple] without cause or notice.  Two board members resigned including my wife.

Despite Marple being a “will and pleasure” appointee she and the education community of West Virginia deserves to know why this unexpected action was taken.  This had to hatched up in private without including the two [Priscilla Haden and Jenny Phillips] who resigned in protest.  Such behind the scenes plotting is a violation of the Open Meetings Law.  This Gang should be held accountable.

Dr. Marple was told to turn in her keys, credentials and be out of the building by the end of the day.  She is held in such high regard that department of education staff while crying packed up her personal items and carried boxes down the street to her home across from the state capitol building.

Within hours it became apparent there was another party in the conspiracy plotted by the Gang of Five when Board President Wade Linger on a special board call said Dr. James Phares [Superintendent of Randolph County Schools] would be named and would accept the position as State Superintendent.

In an interview with The Inter-Mountain [click & read] on Friday Phares said state board officials [Linger] reached out to him this week.  That is interesting because on October 28th Phares made an unexpected visit to our home.  He came on the pretense to update my wife [Jenny Phillips] regarding the stabbing and death of a Mill Creek student and the action taken by Secondary School Activities Commission related to the Elkins High School football team.  During that visit Phares said he had spoken with Linger and proceeded to probe about the relationship of Superintendent Marple and the state board.

Phares returned Tuesday when Sandy dumped her snow [2 feet] in Elkins to “check on us”.  He offered to shovel us out even go for coffee – we had no power.  Phares is not a neighbor nor have we had a personal relationship with him.  My antenna went up.  He may be a Good Samaritan but a scheming one.

To support the claim that this was planned well in advance of Thursday, Phares said in The Inter-Mountain interview “The (Randolph) board was anticipating this.  They did have a heads-up this might occur.”  Phares is so certain he will be named on next Wednesday that he is resigning the Randolph County position on Monday.  He plans to be present at the State Board meeting when a permanent replace for Marple is to be discussed.    Talk about arrogance.

Customarily organizations of this consequence will conduct a search before making a decision.  Not in this case as Linger the leader of this Gang of Five must have “cut a deal” with Phares.   What gives Linger the authority to name the State Superintendent?





Sharing Insight 4.25.11

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Obama’s Likability Gap 

It is easy to see the difference.  But whatever happened to the hope & change guy from 2008?  Daniel Henninger wrote about “Obama’s Likability Gap” in a recent Wall Street Journal column.  Read his view here.

W. Va. Governor’s Race:  Republicans agree on health care, abortion, coal

Sunday Gazette-Mail offers a summary of what to expect from the Republicans seeking the nomination in the May 14 special primary election.  We are going to share for our readers who have not seen.  Read the full story here.

2011 Voters Guide to the Governor’s Race

Accompanying the summary story was the complete answers offered by the Republican candidates for Governor.  As promised last week the Republican responses are published here.  Read the full guide here.

Manchin Has It

An Inter-Mountain Editorial

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has put his finger on flaws in President Barack Obama’s approach to deficit spending.  Read the full editorial here.

Candidates Must Be More Specific

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

A point well made by The Inter-Mountain (Elkins) in an editorial.

This is a most important and strange political season in the Mountain State.  Campaigns normally expand over a period of year – and more often than not much longer. 

Thus, there is adequate time for citizens to get a feel how candidates are likely to vote in Congress or the Legislature.  In 28 days the special primary will be over and then in 65 days we will have a new United States Senator.

West Virginians are keenly aware that incumbent Members of Congress are returned.  The victor on November 2nd is to serve two years – the likely hood is they will stay in the Senate for as long as desired.

People are not buying slogans this time around.  If I were counseling a candidate it would be state your exact position.  Time is too limited to do otherwise.  That along with the short campaign is the reason “Candidates Must Be More Specific.”