June 12, 2019

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steven Paine

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) has given Dr. Steven Paine an exemplary evaluation for his job performance during its annual review of the State Superintendent of Schools. Currently in his second year since returning to the position in March 2017, Paine has given direct focus to increasing math achievement, leadership capacity within the school system and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and to the social/emotional support for West Virginia students. He first served as the state superintendent of schools from 2005 to 2011.

During the past year under Paine’s leadership, the WVDE has implemented an aggressive and comprehensive math initiative called math4life. This five-year program provides support to counties to increase teacher preparation and student achievement in math. He has provided more effective pathways to various math certifications and advocated for increased compensation for math teachers.

Under Paine’s leadership WVDE has also developed better avenues to build leadership capacity within the school system as well as within the Department. This is reflected in professional learning efforts to increase the pipeline of future county superintendents, school principals and teacher leaders. Within WVDE the Elevated Leadership Development Program assists participants to gain greater awareness of leadership strengths, weaknesses, and supervisory and management skills.

A third critical component that Paine has addressed is student and school safety. WVDE has launched ReClaimWV to leverage its resources and those of partners to assist West Virginia students affected by the opioid epidemic. This is done through increased professional learning for teachers and educators, collaboration with programs such as Communities in Schools and by supporting ongoing research-based approaches to those on the frontlines of this crisis.

“Dr. Paine is uniquely suited to fulfill the requirements of State Superintendent of Schools,” said WVBE member Debra Sullivan, who led the evaluation process. “He leads with purpose, vision, conviction and determination. Dr. Paine is methodical, politically-astute and pragmatic while at the same time optimistic about the potential of our schools to change students’ lives and the trajectory of our state.”

Paine has established goals for the upcoming school year including continued implementation of an aggressive five-year plan to improve mathematics achievement, strengthening collaborative work with institutions of higher education to ensure teacher preparation programs produce candidates fully prepared to become effective teachers, strengthening policy and developing strong procedures to monitor the merger of innovation with accountability to advance the state’s education system to create new systems of support allowing systems to act on what they value and fostering leadership capacity within the WVDE and in the ranks of principals and superintendents to strengthen the system.

The WVBE held its monthly meeting on June 12, 2019, and its next meeting is scheduled for July 10, 2019, also in Charleston.