Longtime school finance officer now on state school board

Republican Gov. Jim Justice appointed Friday a former 36-year public school financial officer to the West Virginia Board of Education, according to a news release. The appointment restores the state school board to its full capacity of nine voting members for the first time since a resignation in early May.

The addition of Nancy Jo White, of Berkeley Springs, will mean there will be a second woman on the board and a representative from the Eastern Panhandle, from which the board previously had no members.

Full terms on the board last nine years, but state Department of Education Communications Director Kristin Anderson said White is taking the place of Jeff Flanagan, the Kanawha County resident who resigned May 3 and had himself been serving in the unexpired term of Kanawha resident Beverly Kingery, who resigned in February 2017, the month after Justice took office.

This term expires Nov. 4, 2022. If Justice runs for re-election and wins, he’ll have the choice to reappoint her to a full term on Nov. 4, 2022, or pick someone new. If a new governor takes his place, that will be that successor’s privilege.

Friday’s release said White, a Taylor County native, worked in the Jefferson, Lewis and Taylor county school systems before retiring as the Morgan County school system’s treasurer in 2014. From that year to this one, the release said, she was executive director of the Southeastern Association of School Business Officials.

While state school board Financial Officer Tom Campbell, who until last month was board president, has for several years criticized the state-law-set state school aid funding formula as an inadequate mechanism for funding education, the board only recently re-established a finance committee. The new version, led by Campbell, met for the first time this week, and may eventually present recommendations to the state Legislature.

The current finance committee members are: state board members Campbell, Scott Rotruck and Jim Wilson; West Virginia Association of School Administrators Executive Director Susan Collins; American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia union President Christine Campbell; West Virginia Education Association union President Dale Lee; West Virginia School Service Personnel Association union President Joe White; Herbert Hoover High Principal Mike Kelley; Moorefield Elementary Principal Wade Armentrout; two education department financial officials and a yet-unannounced member of the West Virginia School Board Association.

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