W. Clayton Burch was appointed by the West Virginia Board of Education as the 32nd State Superintendent of Schools in February 2020.
Superintendent Burch has served in both teaching and educational leadership positions for more than 25 years, and his experience spans early childhood education to post-secondary administration. He most recently served as the WVDE Associate Superintendent.
He assumed the role of State Superintendent of Schools as the COVID-19 pandemic hit West Virginia and has worked closely with the State Board of Education, county superintendents, the Governor’s Office and state agency partners to build mechanisms and processes to best serve children during the unprecedented times.
An advocate for the well-being, engagement and lifelong achievement of all West Virginia children, Superintendent Burch understands the importance of supporting children’s social and emotional well-being through practical and systemic approaches. He has prioritized three key areas essential for learning, development and progress: addressing student support and well-being; eliminating barriers to equity and expanding access to technology; and closing academic achievement gaps.
To support the success of all children, Superintendent Burch’s commitment to expanding leadership capacity in the state’s public school system is reflected in his efforts to build an infrastructure that leads to professional growth and positive classroom results for all educators. With a focus on the critical need to establish effective coalitions and collaborations, he has developed key relationships across a spectrum of local, state and national partners to support the education community.
Superintendent Burch, while serving as the WVDE Associate Superintendent, was appointed by Governor Jim Justice as acting cabinet secretaries to both the Department of Education and the Arts and the Department of Commerce to assist these agencies during times of transition. He fulfilled these roles while maintaining his responsibilities at the Department of Education.
He has served as an advisor to national organizations, the U.S. Department of Education, multiple governors and a past presidential committee on early childhood education.