Wyoming County Schools Superintendent Deirdre Cline said her education philosophy centers on the idea that all people have the capacity to learn.
“Regardless of challenges, a school system has a duty and obligation to promote and facilitate that learning, in every child, every day!”
As superintendent since July 2016, Superintendent Cline is a self-proclaimed daughter of Wyoming County who has been shaped by the school system she now serves.
“My early education was at a small community school, Matheny Grade School, which has since closed. We all received a quality education from teachers and staff who nurtured and cared for us. I saw cooks who took pride in making good meals for children, teachers who had high expectations and caring hearts, custodians who kept the building clean and warm, and a community who surrounded the school with support. In my young years, I had no terminology to articulate these positive qualities about my school, of course, but I knew that my school was a good place to be and that I was valued there. These best practices in an effective school were the foundation of my whole school experience, and to this day, serve as a living muse in my quest for effective schools throughout Wyoming County.”
Superintendent Cline said her model for what a school could and should be came from her early educational experiences.
“My teachers were ‘old school’ in many regards, but we were well-taught and well-prepared for any challenges we chose in our futures. Teachers spent tireless hours providing opportunities for students to grow as learners, problem solvers, and critical thinkers. They helped us to become powerful young adults. My high school experience provided a foundation of leadership in me and gave me confidence to set goals for myself and to work to achieve them, all of which provided another first-hand positive school experience to serve me well for my career later in my life.”
As an education major at Concord College – now Concord University – and as a former teacher in the Marion County, Florida school system and the Wyoming County Schools system, Superintendent Cline has had an array of experiences which prepared her for her role as a county leader.
“When I moved back to West Virginia, I was hired at my alma mater, Oceana High School, teaching 12th grade English. I loved this position and this grade level. I saw my charge as helping students be prepared for whatever reading and writing challenges that they may face and help them feel more confident in themselves as young people. Another charge I saw and worked toward was helping my students feel a sense of pride in and understanding of their Appalachian culture. I taught them about their dialect, and I encouraged them to go into the world with determination, character, work ethic, and their beautiful Southern-Mountain dialect.”
After earning her master’s degree in educational leadership from Marshall University, Superintendent Cline said her mindset changed with a greater focus on viewing the school environment beyond her own classroom experiences.
“I have consciously worked to keep a ‘teacher mindset’ throughout my next career chapters. All my 15 years as a classroom teacher and the subsequent years as a school administrator have made me more focused and driven as the superintendent of Wyoming County Schools. I want children to feel valued, have their needs met, and be happy at school, while receiving a top-quality education. I want employees to feel valued, to know their supported, and to have all the resources they need to create first-rate schools. In short, Wyoming County Schools works to create an efficient and effective system where employees have all needed resources and children are happy while they are learning! This is my daily goal and challenge, and I am grateful for all my varied life and career experiences which have helped me know the importance of this goal. “
While she has loved every position she has held, Superintendent Cline said each one has offered insight, opportunity for growth, new perspective, and creativity.
“The position of Superintendent is the culmination of all my experiences within education, and believe me, I have needed every single experience to do this job, effectively. I love bringing employees, students, families, community members – all stakeholders, together in service to children. I have always enjoyed a challenge and my job as Superintendent is challenging, to say the least, but also an opportunity to promote creativity, tenacity, and learning in others, and in myself.”
As the district leader for Wyoming County, perhaps the best part of her job as superintendent is getting to work in what she believes is one of most beautiful places in the state.
“Wyoming County is a beautiful place, both in our scenery and our people. We are a county of communities which come together to help one another in times of need, solve problems, and rally in support of our children. The citizens of Wyoming County have, historically, supported education and our school system, even voting in favor of a School Levy since 1927. Regardless of economic challenges or changing demographics, Wyoming Countians cherish and support children. I am so grateful to have lived and worked in this county most all of my life. I value the culture of caring in Wyoming County and I am fortunate to work in an environment where the importance of children and their education is recognized and valued.”
Superintendent Cline has been married for 29 years to her husband, Dennis. Together, they share a son, Brandon, who lives in Daytona Beach, Florida. When she isn’t busy leading the district, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their “empty nest baby dog,” a Shish Tzu named Lucy.
Getting To Know Superintendent Cline