Randolph County Superintendent Dr. James Phares did not resign as expected at Monday's county board meeting, saying instead that the board should "wait on direction" from the state board of education.
Phares told The Inter-Mountain last week that he would resign Monday, in light of the state board's president saying he wanted Phares to replace Jorea Marple, who was fired in a surprise move Nov. 15.
At Monday's meeting, Phares instead read from a prepared statement.
"The state board wants to focus on the audit response at the Nov. 21 (Wednesday) meeting," Phares said.
"As such, they have posted a special meeting to take place next week to revisit the hiring of a new state superintendent of schools.
"I believe it would be more appropriate for our Randolph County Board of Education to wait on direction from the state board before taking next steps," he said.
"I remain humbled that I am even being considered for the position of state superintendent of schools."
Marple's firing on Nov. 15 led to two state board members, Jenny Phillips and Priscilla Haden, resigning their positions.
A second state board meeting was conducted the same day that led to Deputy Superintendent Charles Heinlein being appointed temporarily as the state school superintendent. State Board President Wade Linger then announced that he wanted Phares for the job.
Phares told The Inter-Mountain late that evening that if he was offered the job he would take it.
Phares was hired by the Randolph County BOE in 2009, after the resignation of former Superintendent Sue Hinzman. He took over the school system whole it was under scrutiny from the WVDE and the Office of Education Performance Audit.
An OEPA audit outlined several deficiencies in the local school system that led to the state board of education to declare a state of emergency in Randolph County Schools that could have led to a take over of the local school system by the state. Phares helped lead the school system through the turmoil and full accreditation was given after the school system addressed the items outlined in the audit.
Contact Anthony Gaynor by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.