Flint named superintendent

PARKERSBURG – The Wood County Board of Education has selected John Flint as Wood County Schools’ next superintendent.

Flint was appointed Tuesday evening by a 3-2 vote. Board President Tim Yeater and member Tad Wilson voted against.

Flint was one of three candidates vying for the position and the only one who attended Tuesday’s meeting. Flint said he was honored to be hired.

“My goal is to restore the Wood County Schools system to a point where the entire community can be proud to be from Wood County,” he said. “Now’s the time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

Flint praised community members and employees who had shown support for him during the search process. Flint also praised all of the board members, saying he was undeterred by the split vote.

“You don’t look at the margin of victory, you look at the victory and move on,” he said. “I’m honored and I appreciate the ‘yes’ votes and I respect the ‘no’ votes.”

Prior to the vote, all five board members made statements, praising one another for the process and thanking administrative and community members for their help. All of the board members stressed the need for leadership within the district and said all were working toward a common goal, though sometimes opinions differed on how to reach those goals.

Board member Jim Fox made the motion to appoint Flint, with board member John Marlow seconding the motion. Fox spoke highly of Flint, saying he was a fixture in the community and had the integrity and leadership the school system needed.

“I believe he is the man for the job,” Fox said. “I have felt that for a long time. I feel very confident making this motion tonight that he can lead the school system in the right direction.”

Fox also said he did not feel the other front-running candidate, Thomas Graves, a principal from Virginia, would be appropriate for the position. Fox said he believed Graves’ application omitted some parts of his experience and glossed over issues he’d had with another school system.

In 2011, Graves resigned from a superintendent position in Chester County Schools in South Carolina after receiving pressure from the school board and community members.

Fox and Marlow said Graves did not include that information in his resume and did not correctly fill out the application for the Wood County Schools superintendent position. Those issues and things said during the interview process, they said, raised concerns about hiring Graves.

Neither Wilson nor Yeater commented during the superintendent vote, but earlier in the day said they had been made aware of Graves’ issues with Chester County Schools and did not feel those issues were significant. Both also said they felt Graves had been forthcoming with information when asked.

Outgoing Superintendent Pat Law, who will retire at the end of June, was absent from Tuesday’s meeting, with Assistant Superintendent Bob Harris filling in for him.

Yeater said Tuesday’s vote included no discussion on salary or contract length, and Flint will still need to complete several background checks and other steps required by the state Department of Education.

In other business, the school board met for about 20 minutes behind closed doors with Mike Fling, assistant superintendent of school services, to discuss information gathered on the possible purchase of the Fenton Art Glass property. The site is being considered as the location for a new Williamstown Elementary School.

No discussion was held or vote taken when the board returned to open session.