CHARLESTON A new state schools superintendent named in West Virginia .
Michele Blatt was named the new West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Friday, June 23. following the retirement of David Roach.
Board President Paul Hardesty said Blatt is the right move.
“By looking back in that hallway right now I feel in my heart that I and this board made the right decision,” Hardesty said.
The hallways at the state department were humming with employees prior to the vote. Blatt has been with the West Virginia Department of Education for more than 15 years and previously served as Deputy State Superintendent before her elevation to Superintendent. She is highly recommended and respected on all levels of education. She was a teacher and a principal before coming to work at the state department of education. Blatt’s career spans a total 25 years.
“I have a lot of relationships here at the department and I know what hard workers that each of them have been and it was very rewarding seeing them out there in the hallway ready to congratulate me,” Blatt said.
The previous superintendent, David Roach, stepped down from the position mid-stream of a scandal of alleged misspending federal and state funds in Upshur County Schools.
An investigation into the school raised allegations that appeared criminal, according to Hardesty.
“I am a firm believer that there will be people who will have to answer to federal and state authorities for criminal activity from what I see,” Hardesty said.
The immediated seizure of Upshur County Schools was prompted by non-compliances on how the school spent pandemic relief money.
Upshur received $16 million in pandemic funds over a three year period.
According to documents reviewed, thousands of dollars spent on food, drinks and retreats at the resorts, restaurants and a bed and breakfast located around six miles form the local board’s office.
Investigation is ongoing