The West Virginia Commission for Professional Teaching Standards (Commission) consists of 21 members representing the major constituents within the educational community.

Functions of the Commission

The major functions of the Commission are to develop and recommend to the West Virginia Board of Education a systematic plan for the professional development of educators that begins with recruitment and concludes upon retirement. Major components within this continuum include initial preparation, licensure and continuing professional development. With the primary objective of improving teaching and learning in the public schools, the Commission’s functions include development recommendations and evaluation of the initial preparation, licensure, professional development, and administrative functions.

Mission and Goals

The mission of the Commission is to ensure that every student is served by competent educators who meet rigorous preparation and licensure standards by recommending to the State Board standards and practices for the development and approval of preparation programs, licensure and continuing development of educational personnel.

The goals of the Commission are:

  • To provide every student in West Virginia public schools with educators whose preparation and professional growth are based on research and best practices so students will attain high levels of achievement.
  • To establish high and rigorous standards for entrance to and retention in the teaching profession.
  • To encourage a unified system for professional development from recruitment to retirement that supports excellence in teaching and learning.

Appeals Panels

The Licensure Appeal Panel consists of seven members.  This panel may provide an opportunity for an appeal hearing following a recommendation from the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Certification for a denial for cause using procedures established in West Virginia Board of Education Policies 5050 (West Virginia Commission for Professional Teaching Standards) and 1340 (Rules of Procedure for Administrative Hearings and Appeals).

Commission Members 2019-2020

Dr. Karen Petitto Chair, Private Higher Education Representative
Belinda Baker Special Education Teacher
Tonya Blackburn Elementary School Teacher
Mary Sue Burns High School Teacher
Matthew Cox High School Teacher
Susan Deniker Layperson
Sarah Duncan Elementary School Teacher
Dr. Stephanie Burdette Public Higher Education Representative
Christy Fox Middle School Teacher
James (Pat) Gray County Board Member
Stephanie Hyre Layperson
Lee Jones Elementary Principal
Jeremy Knight Middle School Teacher
Paula Meadows Middle School Teacher
Stan Miller Layperson
Mr. David Perry President, State Board of Education
MaryJane Albin Pope County Superintendent
Jason Redman Secondary Principal
Matthew Smith Career Technical Education Teacher
Dr. Melissa Spivy Public Higher Education Representative
Molly Taylor Middle School Teacher

The Professional Practice Panel consists of seven members.  All contested cases of revocation are referred to the Professional Practice Panel by the State Superintendent of Schools for a review of the evidence and a recommendation regarding the proposed revocation. Any hearing held by the Professional Practice Panel shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures outlined in Policy 1340 (Rules of Procedure for Administrative Hearings and Appeals).

Appeals for Denial of Certification

Since its establishment, the Licensure Appeal Panel has been available to hear the appeals of applicants who were denied certification for cause.

Revoked/Suspended Certificates

Since its establishment, the Professional Practice Panel has made recommendations to the State Superintendent for the revocation and/or suspension of certificates held by educators based on the findings of investigations conducted by the West Virginia Department of Education.


The West Virginia Board of Education is committed to staffing every school and providing every student with competent educators. The State Board recognizes that teachers, administrators and higher education faculty can and must work together to improve the education profession and to enhance educational opportunities for all students in West Virginia. The State Board also recognizes that it must maintain effective communication with the education community to sustain the high quality education that the public deserves and expects.

Therefore, the State Board establishes the West Virginia Commission for Professional Teaching Standards. This Commission enables the education community to promote and demand excellence in the preparation and performance of the state’s education professionals. It creates a framework to ensure that educators who are licensed by the state possess the knowledge and skills to deliver a quality public education to our current and future citizens. The Commission’s charge is to advise the State Board on legislation, policies and regulations that ensure excellence in the educational profession and reflect research and best practices in the preparation and performance of professional educators.