Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) named Michele Blatt as the 34th State Superintendent of Schools today during a special meeting in Charleston, effective July 1, 2023. Blatt, who currently serves as the Deputy State Superintendent, is a 17-year employee of the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and has managed many of the organization’s executive functions and critical relationships during that time.
Blatt has served as Deputy for the past two administrations, and she succeeds current Superintendent David L. Roach, who recently announced his retirement. Her leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic as part of the state’s Joint Interagency Taskforce guided West Virginia through the shutdown and transition to re-open schools and other major operations.
In addition to her service at the WVDE, she is a veteran educator with more than 25 years experience having served as a teacher and principal as well as various positions within the WVDE. This includes extensive work with West Virginia Legislature and county school superintendents.
Well-respected among the ranks of WVDE employees and the broader education community, Blatt’s appointment will ensure a smooth transition allowing continued focus on important initiatives.
“You would be hard-pressed to find a person with her experience, expertise, leadership and commitment to public education and the children of West Virginia,” said WVBE President L. Paul Hardesty. “Ms. Blatt’s record is impeccable, and she works tirelessly to support the vast and growing needs of our educators and families. Additionally, she understands how to build coalitions and relationships to benefit the mission and vision of public education, and for that I am grateful.”
“I am an educator at heart and have dedicated my professional life to supporting the education community,” said Blatt. “There are no words to express what it means to serve in this capacity, other than to say that I am deeply honored and am looking forward to continuing to serve the educators, students and West Virginia as a whole. We have a lot of work to do, and I am ready to get to it.”
Blatt holds a Bachelor of Education and two master’s degrees from Marshall University.
The WVBE also accepted the retirement of Superintendent Roach during the meeting.
“I want to personally thank Mr. Roach for his public service and contributions to public education that span decades,” said President Hardesty. “He has been instrumental to our focus on important programs and should be commended for his commitment to the educators, students and families of West Virginia.”
“In accepting the retirement of Superintendent Roach, I want to say that I am pleased to have had the opportunity to work with him,” said WVBE Member Debra K. Sullivan. “I have found him to be a person who cares deeply about West Virginia, and thanks to him we now have a well-defined path to increase student achievement in reading, writing and math.”
Superintendent Roach’s retirement is effective June 30, 2023.