Seasoned Education Leader Nancy White Selected as President of WV Board of Education

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Monday marked Paul Hardesty’s final meeting as president of the West Virginia (WV) Board of Education. Board members elected Vice President Nancy White to take over the role, while Hardesty transitions to a new position as the board’s legislative liaison.

During the state Board of Education’s monthly meeting in Charleston, the board unanimously selected White to serve as president for a two-year term.

“I am honored and humbled,” White said after the vote. “I look forward to tackling the problems before us. We just need to keep chugging along, doing our best.”

White, a Grafton native and Bridgeport resident, was first appointed to the state Board of Education by Gov. Jim Justice in 2018. She initially filled an unexpired term ending in November 2022 and was reappointed for a full nine-year term starting January 2, 2023. A retired county school finance professional, White has 36 years of experience in Taylor, Lewis, Jefferson, and Morgan counties. She also served as President of the West Virginia Association of School Business Officials and the Southeastern Association of School Business Officials.

The position of state Board of Education president traditionally rotates every two years among the nine-member board, with the vice president typically succeeding the president. Hardesty was elected president in July 2022, succeeding Miller Hall, who resigned to move closer to family. Justice appointed Hardesty to the state Board of Education in 2021 to fill an unexpired term ending in 2029.

“I appreciate this board,” Hardesty said. “I’ve got wonderful colleagues to work with here. There’s no ‘I’ for nine members all pulling the rope in the same direction for the children of West Virginia…I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I really appreciate it.”

State Superintendent of Schools Michele Blatt expressed gratitude for Hardesty’s leadership. “I would just like to recognize and thank President Hardesty for his past two years of leadership … and what we’ve been able to accomplish under his leadership,” Blatt said. “I would just like to say thank you for your guidance and support.”

Board members voted Hardesty into the new position of legislative liaison. “Public education is under attack. We know that, and we try to make the best of it,” Hardesty said. “The good Lord directs our steps every day. And I believe he has a purpose for each one of us. I firmly believe that.”

Bridgeport resident Victor Gabriel, a retired teacher and school administrator in Harrison County Schools, was elected as the next board vice president. Morgantown resident and Orion Strategies Senior Accounts Manager Scott Rotruck will now serve as secretary, having previously served as the board’s financial officer.

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