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Dr. Debra Harrison, Interim Superintendent of Upshur County Schools, said letters of interest for the board vacancy will be accepted through the end of business on Sept. 30, 2022. Folks must reside in District 2 or 3 to be considered for the position. / Photo by Beth Christian Broschart

Upshur Board of Education now accepting letters of interest to fill vacancy left by unexpected resignation of Pat Long

ROCK CAVE – Upshur County Board of Education and Upshur Schools administrators have decided how they intend to fill the vacancy on the Board of Education, following the unexpected resignation of Patrick Long on Sept. 1, 2022.

Long read his letter of resignation during the Sept. 1 special board meeting, stating he was resigning immediately due to family obligations that required his attention.

During this Tuesday’s Sept. 13 meeting, Upshur County BOE President Dr. Tammy Samples said she had checked with Dr. Howard O’Cull, executive director of the West Virginia School Board Association regarding the vacancy, and O’Cull told her there are two things that are required with replacing Long. First, the replacement has to be named within 45 days and second, it has to be a resident from either District 2 or 3 because that is where the openings are.

“There are a variety of ways to do a search. I think it might be a good idea to take letters of interest and then we can meet and appoint someone from those letters,” Samples said.

Dr. Tammy Samples, Upshur County BOE President, and Jan Craig, Upshur County BOE Vice-President discussed the vacancy during the Sept. 13 BOE meeting. / Photo by Beth Christian Broschart

BOE member Roy Wager asked if the information could be put into the local newspapers and shared on social media.

“And how much time do we want to give for these letters?” Wager asked.

Samples said 45 days would make the deadline for replacement Oct. 15, 2022, since Long tendered his resignation on Sept. 1, 2022.

“I would say we accept letters of interest through the end of September – September 30, 2022, to be exact,” Samples said. “We will make our appointment on Oct. 11, 2022, during our BOE meeting. That will be within our 45-day time limit.”

Following the BOE meeting, Samples said letters of interest from residents interested in filling the BOE vacancy should be sent to the Upshur County Board of Education, 102 Smithfield St., Buckhannon, WV  26201.

Upshur County Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Harrison said letters of interest for the BOE vacancy will be accepted through the end of business on Sept. 30, 2022.

“No letters of interest will be accepted after the close of business on Sept. 30,” Harrison cautioned.

Long most recently joined the Upshur County Board of Education July 1, 2020, after being elected in June 2020 and he represented District 2. He has lived in Upshur County for more than 60 years with his wife, Susan, who retired from teaching fifth grade at Union Elementary School.

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