W.Va.'s 28th Schools Chief Takes Oath of Office

By: West Virginia AP Email
By: West Virginia AP Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia latest state schools superintendent is on the job.

Jim Phares took his oath Wednesday at the state Capitol to become the 28th occupant of that post.

The former county schools chief pledged to develop an action plan by day's end for his first month in office.

The state Board of Education hired Phares last month to succeed Jorea Marple. The board fired Marple in November, less than two years into the job. Phares' tenure is unclear, as the board also plans to search nationally for a longer-term superintendent.

Phares vowed Wednesday to work to heal wounds at the Department of Education. Besides Marple's sudden ouster, the department has come under fire following an audit that found West Virginia's public schools bogged down by bureaucracy and inflexible education laws.

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