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UPDATE: Christie Willis chosen as new Wood County Schools Superintendent

WTAP News @ 10
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 10:37 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) -

Almost three and a half hours after the Wood County Board of Education’s started its board meeting on Tuesday night, Christie Willis is announced as Wood County Schools’ new superintendent.

WTAP News @ 10

She is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching, Learning, and Accountability for Wood County Schools.

The vote followed a public forum Monday where the four finalists introduced themselves to community members and answered questions from the public. She was chosen over Richard Duncan, Walter Saunders and Michael Fling.

She succeeds Wood County Schools Superintendent Will Hosaflook who will begin as superintendent of Jackson County Schools in July.

UPDATE:

The Wood County Board of Education held its Superintendent Public Forum at the Wood County Technical Center.

The final four candidates gave 15-minute speeches to the public about why they believed they would be the best candidate for the job.

The candidates are Richard Duncan, Roane County Schools Superintendent; Michael Fling, Assistant Superintendent of Support Services for Wood County Schools; Walter Saunders, Director of Federal Programs and Assessment for Ohio County Schools; and Christie Willis, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching, Learning, and Accountability for Wood County Schools.

All four candidates spoke about how to address more community involvement and how important it is to make connections with others.

“We have to be student and community-centric in our approach to schools,” Duncan said. “Our schools have to be safe, secure, and healthy environments for our students to learn. Everyone needs to be able to learn in those schools, and we need to be intentional about our involvement in the community.”

Duncan said there are three challenges facing school communities in West Virginia. The first was addressing the mental health needs of students. The second was the retention and recruiting of teachers. Finally, the third was the declining population of resources.

“Moving forward, how are we going to balance the budget to ensure that we are giving the best possible opportunities to our students and our community because we are the civic center for Wood County. Our school is utilized in that way,” Fling said.

Being able to make personal connections is what Saunders strives for if he becomes superintendent.

“All {Saunder’s presentation} can be tied in together by four simple words... make a personal connection..whether you are out there coaching, teaching across the street here at the armory in the service...all of that stuff,” Saunders said.

During Willis’ speech, she created the acronym H.E.A.R.T., Home, Everyone, Academics, Relationships, and Trust. All those, combined is what she said, make her the right choice for the position.

“All of these relationships make Wood County so special and unique,” Willis said. “It’s the collaborative network that makes our school system strong. Wood County is special with caring people who want what is best for our county, our organizations, and our students.”

The Wood County Schools Board of Education will vote and announce the new superintendent during its March 29 regular board meeting. It will be at 6:00 p.m. at Jefferson Elementary Center.

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