New Superintendent Of Schools Sworn In

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UPDATE 11:54 A.M.  West Virginia latest state schools superintendent is on the job.

Jim Phares took his oath Wednesday at the state Capitol to become the 28th occupant of that post.
The former county schools chief pledged to develop an action plan by day's end for his first month in office.
The state Board of Education hired Phares last month to succeed Jorea Marple. The board fired Marple in November, less than two years into the job. Phares' tenure is unclear, as the board also plans to search nationally for a longer-term superintendent.
Phares vowed Wednesday to work to heal wounds at the Department of Education. Besides Marple's sudden ouster, the department has come under fire following an audit that found West Virginia's public schools bogged down by bureaucracy and inflexible education laws.


West Virginia is poised to officially welcome its 28th superintendent of schools.

James Phares is scheduled to be sworn in Wednesday in Charleston. He most recently served as superintendent of Randolph County Schools.

The veteran educator will earn $165,000 annually to oversee the state's 55 county school districts. They serve about 282,000 students in preschool through grade 12.

The state's last permanent school chief, Jorea Marple, was abruptly fired in November, prompting the resignation of two West Virginia Board of Education members in protest. They dissented when the board voted to dismiss Marple. She was selected to oversee the state's school system in February 2011.

The board cited a desire to go in a new direction with new leadership.