HAMLIN, W.Va. (AP) -- The state Board of Education has voted to hire James Phares as West Virginia's new schools superintendent.
The board chose the Randolph County school chief on Wednesday over Kathy D'Antoni, a state assistant superintendent.
However, the length of Phares' tenure is unclear. The board also agreed Wednesday to conduct a national search for a long-term superintendent. That plan calls on the Legislature to revisit the job's qualifications and duties.
Phares fielded questions ahead of the vote on topics such as spending, leadership and the much-discussed audit of West Virginia's education system.
The board also interviewed D'Antoni Wednesday, but behind closed doors.
The board abruptly fired Jorea Marple as superintendent last month. A pending Supreme Court petition challenges her dismissal.
Phares will take over from Charles Heinlein, a deputy superintendent.