W.Va. Superintendent Gives Schools High Marks
State Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano gave high marks to Tyler and Wetzel counties’ schools when he paid a visit last week.
Martirano talked with students, staff and administrators as he toured the schools.
“I’m seeing some really good things as far as interactions with kids, the quality of instruction, our teachers and I’m really pleased with the level of engagement with the community,” Martirano said Thursday at Tyler Consolidated High School.
Martirano pledged to visit districts in the state’s 55 counties since being appointed superintendent in September 2014. In addition to Tyler and Wetzel schools, Martirano said he visited districts in northern panhandle last week.
“We have to remember that our schools are community schools,” he said.
“The most successful schools in America are ones that are embraced by the community. Places where everyone sees themselves as a partner in the educational system – and that’s what we need to happen in the state. I’m seeing evidence of that in Tyler and Wetzel counties.”
Tyler and Wetzel county educators scored high marks.
“I was able to meet with teachers and they were talking about instruction, achievement for our kids and what they are doing to help all of the kids – not just some of our kids, but all of our kids achieve,” Martirano said. “That’s what it’s about. That’s why I’m trying to shift the agenda in West Virginia to focus in on individual children – to see that graduation rate high at 90 percent so that kids can see themselves in the future being successful. I saw evidence of that in both Tyler and Wetzel counties.”
Tyler County High School is among the top-ranked high school in West Virginia according to a recent ranking by Niche, a K-12 and college review website.
The school is ranked 14th in the state based on a wide array of criteria ranging from academics to sports. The school system also earned an overall score of B, making it among the best among West Virginia’s 55 counties.
During Martirano’s tour within the halls of the Silver Knights, he was joined by Tyler Schools Superintendent Robin Daquilante and state Rep. William Romine, R-Tyler, former educator and administrator in Tyler County Schools.
“We’re excited to have Dr. Martirano here to see the great things going on in Tyler County with our students,” Daquilante said.
Romine said Martirano’s favorable impression of Tyler County’s schools.
“We’ve always felt that Tyler County has an exemplary educational program as shown by test scores, the college acceptance rate and by any measure, it’s one of the tops in the state,” he said. “That level of success can be traced back to two things.We have outstanding personnel, not only educators but service personnel,” he said. “And we have community support. We’re seeing a county that has pulled together and interest in academics that we have. It’s one of the top, if not the top county in the state – not because I was here for 27 years, but because objectively, I think we are.”
Martirano noted how the security measures ensured safety at the county’s schools.
“I’m pleased with the focus on safety, which is why I’ve been asking questions about how the safe they schools are,” he said moments after coming through the front doors at Tyler Consolidated High School.
Martirano said he was pleased with what he saw after his tour at Arthur Boreman Elementary.
“The kids were just fantastic,” he said. “They had a well-stocked classroom in terms of supplies and instructional materials, great student engagement as far as math instruction and more. While the kids were taking me around and touring with me, what I really appreciated were their communication skills. As the state superintendent, they were comfortable talking with me about their school. That’s what I’m trying to do – get the perspective of visiting the schools through the eyes of our children.”
Martirano said he was impressed with the level of engagement in Wetzel County schools. The superintendent told the story of how moments after parking his car, students would greet him as he was walking toward a school building.
“These are the kinds of things I was looking for – kids were welcoming me,” he said. “They were saying hello. They didn’t know who I was. They were being respectful. That made a really good first impression on me.”