As the leader of the third-largest school district in West Virginia, Superintendent Ryan Saxe said his education philosophy has always been, “it takes a village.”
“Everyone in the school community plays an important role in a student success story. Our teachers, who work most closely with our students, instill confidence, deliver instruction, and facilitate learning to ensure all students progress toward graduation. Our school service personnel contribute to the growth and success of our children in many different ways, ranging from the bus drivers who transport children safely to school each day to those who prepare and serve them breakfast and lunch. From those who keep our schools safe, clean, secure, and in good repair, to those who work to support teachers, serve parents, and guide students in classrooms and on the playground. Principals, employees at the district office, and administrators work to provide leadership and support to the schools and the staff working inside them. Parents and guardians provide their children with a foundation of love, support, encouragement, and values. Family, friends and neighbors help shape a child’s talents, interests, and life experiences.”
He acknowledges the efforts of everyone working together and contributing to the health and success of their students leading up to graduation, and in the years that follow as they make a place for themselves in the world.
“Excellent school districts — comprised of great employees, engaged parents, and supportive community members — make a difference for kids. My personal motto since becoming superintendent has been: From the board room to the classroom, our district is in complete alignment with a focus on student learning.”
With more than 2,000 employees and approximately 12,000 students attending 26 schools over 150 square miles, Saxe said the Cabell County Schools district is regionally diverse as they serve both a large city, several small towns and some very rural communities. As a Cabell County native and 2000 graduate of Cabell Midland High School, Saxe said he couldn’t be prouder to serve the county that gave him so much.
“The roots and foundation of my education are right here in Cabell County Schools. I know firsthand our school district has a long-standing tradition of excellence. I know the dedication and commitment of our teachers, administrators, and support staff to make a positive impact in the lives of our students. Every single employee in our district plays a crucial role in the ability of Cabell County students to learn and be successful. The opportunity to help shape children’s futures, and the responsibility that goes with it, makes working here unique, rewarding, and meaningful.”
Prior to his position as superintendent, Saxe earned an Associate of Science Degree from The Ohio State University, a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Environmental Education from West Virginia University, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Marshall University, an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. His dissertation has recently been approved for final defense, and he will earn his doctorate in May 2021. Before becoming the district’s superintendent, he served in leadership roles with Lincoln County Schools, the West Virginia Department of Education, and the School District of Manatee County, Florida in Southwest Florida. He said all of these experiences have prepared him to lead Cabell County Schools in the right direction. Saxe is married to his wife, Erin, and they are blessed with a wonderful son, Paul Timothy, and their “second child,” a boxer named Sailor.
Getting To Know Superintendent Saxe
Favorite Book: “My favorite book is When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant. I would often read this book to classrooms of children when I lived and worked in Florida because it reminded me so much of grandparents when growing up in West Virginia.”
Favorite Movie: “I love science fiction and rebooted Star Trek movies.”
Favorite Song: “Life is a Highway” by Chris LeDoux
Favorite Hobbies: “My associate of science is in Equine Reproduction. From an early age, I was very passionate and active in the world of Quarter Horses. Throughout my high school and college career I showed American Quarter Horses all across the country. That passion led to a horse breeding business that I started and managed for several years. Ultimately, I could not devote the time needed to continue and that chapter of my life came to a close. However, now that I have a little boy of my own, I hope to one day introduce my son to this very rewarding hobby.”
- Appointee, West Virginia Council for Educational Opportunity (Appointed by Governor Jim Justice), 2020 – present
- Executive Committee Member, West Virginia School Superintendents’ Association (WVASA). 2020 – present
- Member, Marshall University College of Education Program Expansion Task Force, 2020 – present
- Board Member, Huntington Museum of Art. 2017 – present
- Board Member, TEAM for WV Children. 2018 – present
- Board Member, Huntington Area Development Council (HADCO), 2017 – present
- Member, Huntington Rotary Club, 2017 – present
- Kappa Delta PI – International Honor Society in Education, 2020