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Contract discussions begin for Cabell County superintendent

Oct. 17, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Discussions officially began Tuesday evening, albeit in executive session, on Superintendent William Smith's contract.

Members of the Cabell County Board of Education didn't make any decisions, as the process to decide on a new contract is likely to take about two months. Among the items mentioned for discussion was salary, as data was provided on contracts of other superintendents in West Virginia.

According to 2011-2012 data provided by the state department of Education, Cabell County is the fourth largest in the state, and Smith's $124,500 annual salary is listed at eighth highest.

Smith, whose current contact expires June 30, 2013, said he is seeking another four-year contract before retiring. If Smith and board members can agree on the salary and years, it shouldn't be a problem, as they expressed an extreme satisfaction with the way he's led Cabell County since becoming superintendent in 2005.

"We recently completed his evaluations, and they were all very positive," said Suzanne Oxley, president of the school board. "We've been very pleased with his leadership and all that's been accomplished."

Oxley and fellow board member Bennie Thomas both said Smith has set the county on the right course, citing the amount of construction which has taken place during his tenure. They also said he's helped the county through curricular transitions and a reorganization of the middle and high schools.

"We can stack our (school) system with any in the state, and a lot can be attributed to the leadership we have in him," Thomas said, citing the improved staff development the county has in place for teachers.

Smith said he has several goals, including the opening of the new Huntington East Middle School, the construction of the new bus garage in Lesage, the opening of a proposed incubator school and a full implementation of the new Common Core standards.

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