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Jefferson school chief search to begin

March 21, 2001

Jefferson school chief search to begin



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


Jefferson County Board of Education members will try to find a replacement for Superintendent of Schools David W. Markoe by July 1, board member Peter Morgens said Wednesday.

"So the search will get going pretty quickly," Morgens said.

Board member Pete Dougherty said he would like the board to use the same selection process it used when it hired Markoe four years ago. That process involved the formation of committees made up of people from different cross sections of the community to review superintendent candidates, Dougherty said.

One committee could be made up of teachers, a second committee could be composed of service personnel and a third committee of local business leaders, parent teacher associations and others that make up the "larger education family," Dougherty said.

Although the decision of who to hire rests with the Board of Education, the committees could offer input, board members said.

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Board of Education President Larry Togans said it is too early to say how a selection process will be set up.

Markoe announced his resignation at the end of a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.

Although Markoe had faced some challenges on the job, he did not indicate any problems that may have led to his resignation, which is effective April 30.

The only comments Markoe made about his resignation was when he read aloud a two-page letter outlining the progress that has been made in the school system since he came here.

The Board of Education has conducted evaluations of Markoe, but board members declined to talk about how they viewed his performance. Board member Doris Cline said there had been a difference of opinion among board members about Markoe's job performance.

Although Markoe's contract was scheduled to expire June 30, some board members said they were surprised by the timing of Markoe's resignation.

Across the community Wednesday, some people said Markoe is a likable person who worked hard to make a difference in the school system.

"I think I was as shocked as everyone else," said Teresa McCabe, who was a member of the Millennium Committee, which developed a 10-year educational facilities plan for the school system.

Markoe was always open to doing what he could to help the Millennium Committee follow through on its mission, such as granting a time extension, McCabe said.

"I thought he was working well in the community. He seemed to be a personable person and aimed in the right direction," said Connie Hammann, who was a member of Citizens for Better Schools, a group that promoted the failed $39 million bond issue last September.

Lori Stilley, who ran unsuccessfully for a Board of Education seat last year and who often attends board meetings, said she worked with Markoe often on school needs issues. Stilley said even though she disagreed with Markoe on some issues, "I think he always had his heart in the right place."

Stilley said she was not sure Markoe was getting good direction from the Board of Education.

Although it is the responsibility of the superintendent to lead the school system, Stilley said she also believes the board should provide direction.

Dougherty said other issues likely to be considered by the board is naming an interim superintendent and raising the superintendent's salary, which is currently $77,000.

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