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David Banks is the new Morgan County superintendent

May 15, 2007|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - David Banks is most likely one of the youngest superintendents in the West Virginia school system.

At 40, Banks was chosen by the Morgan County Board of Education to step into the role beginning July 1. He has a three-year contract.

"I'm a little nervous," he said. "There's a lot to the job."

Banks grew up in Berkeley Springs and graduated from Berkeley Springs High School. He received a bachelor's degree in secondary education from West Virginia University and earned his master's degree in Education Administration.

His wife, Paula Banks, is a high school teacher, and they have a 5-year-old daughter, Alex, who is in kindergarten.

Banks has an athletic background and likes to coach kids. "I realize the importance of a team," he said.

He taught at Shepherdstown Middle School, and took teaching positions around the country from Tennessee to Michigan, where he was a teacher/coach and a part-time administrator in a private school. He was a high school athletic director and middle school principal in the public schools.

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He was the Warm Springs Middle School principal from 1999 to 2004, and in 2005, he served as director of child nutrition and attendance. He became the assistant superintendent for Morgan County Schools in 2006.

"I can best serve the kids as an administrator," Banks said.

He wants to help all students have the best productive days at school.

"I am about the whole child from the first moment when they get on the bus," he said.

He said he wants someone to greet the students when they arrive at school and wants a warm breakfast provided for those who need it.

He wants every child to have an adult they can talk to, and it does not matter if that person is in administration or a janitor or a teacher.

Banks said the one-on-one relationships between adult and student was very successful at Warm Springs Middle School.

All students face a number of obstacles and having a person to talk things over with is very important, he said.

Banks believes that school safety is a primary issue and bullying is a problem.

He said he will brainstorm with area superintendents to learn what works best for their schools.

He is eager to get started. "Mr. Temple had a plan and a big part of my job is to continue what he has begun from the instructors to the facilities in Morgan County," Banks said.

Laura Smith, president of the Morgan County Board of Education, said Banks was chosen because "we felt he was the most qualified, he had central office experience and worked with Mr. Temple on some projects so there would be continuity.

"We felt it was beneficial that he is from the community and that would be positive to help us pass the 2008 excess levy," she said.

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