Markoe not certified to lead system

March 04, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Word that David W. Markoe is not certified to be Jefferson County Superintendent of Schools has sparked a debate over West Virginia's certification process.

[cont. from news page]

Local school officials said the state's certification process is more restrictive than programs in other states, which has hurt the school system's ability to lure quality instructors and superintendents to the county.

Markoe said he thought he was certified to be superintendent in Jefferson County when he took over the school system two years ago. But Markoe said the state Department of Education later told him that he would need a couple more courses to be certified.

Markoe is working with the state Department of Education on the certification process, and is expected to be certified within two months, said Board of Education President Larry Togans.


Markoe said he may have to take at least one college course to be certified.

Markoe has until December to meet the requirements, said Togans, who said he does not believe the issue will affect Markoe's ability to serve as superintendent.

Board of Education member Pete Dougherty said it is "absolutely flabbergasting" to see someone with a background like Markoe's not meet state standards.

Before coming to Jefferson County, Markoe worked for 30 years in Maryland schools. In the Frederick County school system, Markoe was principal of Frederick High School, assistant superintendent for instruction and associate superintendent, the No. 2 position in the district.

"Clearly, Mr. Markoe is highly qualified for this position," said Togans.

Dougherty said he thinks the problem stems in part from the type of continuing education West Virginia requires for superintendents.

In Maryland, administrators who work themselves up through the ranks to be a superintendent can attend conferences to reach certification requirements. In West Virginia, there is more emphasis on college courses to meet the requirements, said Dougherty, who is heading an effort to re-examine the state's certification process.

Markoe said he does not oppose a state certification process for superintendents, but is concerned when state officials "start throwing all these obstacles up."

Markoe said the state's process is more restrictive than what he is used to.

State Superintendent of Schools Henry Marokie said Tuesday it depends on who is calling the process restrictive.

Anyone who does not meet the state's standards might find them burdensome, he said.

Marokie said the bottom line is, the state has requirements for teachers and superintendents who want to work in public schools "and we expect people to meet them."

The Herald-Mail Articles