PARKERSBURG - A former director of elementary schools in Wood County has been appointed as the interim director of RESA 5, officials said.
The West Virginia Board of Education on Wednesday selected Karen Brunicardi to temporarily fill the position while the local RESA 5 council searches for a permanent replacement. Brunicardi, who began as interim director Thursday, served Wood County Schools for 37 years and retired as director of elementary schools in June.
Former Executive Director Ralph Board died about two weeks ago, leaving local and state officials scrambling to fill the position. RESA 5 provides support services and training for school systems in Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt and Wood counties.
Karen Brunicardi, seen here making a presentation to the Wood County Board of Education in late 2012, was this week named interim executive director of RESA 5.
Wood County Schools Superintendent Pat Law, who also is chairman of the RESA 5 Regional Council, said the state board also approved waivers which allow the search for a permanent director to take place at the local level.
"We will still need approval at the state level, but it will allow us to make the choice here at the local level," Law said. "For the past 10 years or so the state superintendent and the state board have been the ones to conduct the search and interviews. The state superintendent encouraged us to ask for that waiver to give us more local control over the process and selection."
As interim director, Brunicardi said Thursday her only goal is to keep RESA 5 operating smoothly during this transitional phase.
"The goal is just to keep things moving that were already moving, that were already in motion," she said. "It's not really about introducing anything new."
Brunicardi said she had worked multiple times over the years with Board and serving in his absence is both an honor and a difficult moment.
"You're saddened to take on a position like this because of his death. (Board) was highly respected and well-liked," she said. "I just hope that I can continue some of the things he had moving forward here at RESA 5."