:: Charleston Daily Mail | School leader set to retire ::

School leader set to retire

Friday April 06, 2007
by Jessica M. Karmasek
Daily Mail staff

Jane McBride, a longtime employee of the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, has announced she’s stepping down as superintendent of the 70-acre Romney campus.
McBride is set to retire in July.

As superintendent of the school for the deaf and blind, McBride is currently responsible for about 180 full-time, on-campus students.

The school, which is fully accredited, provides on-site services for students ages 3-21 who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, and those are both deaf and blind. All students must be West Virginia residents.

Since starting work at the school in 1975, McBride said she has witnessed significant growth.

The sprawling campus, established in 1870 in rural Hampshire County, now includes 17 different buildings and a full-time staff of 215.

The campus is divided into three educational departments, including an elementary school for the deaf, a secondary school for the deaf, and a school for the blind that offers both academic and technical education classes.

Each department provides its own principal and has its own residential life program, dormitory and director.

In addition to its on-campus services, the school also provides an early outreach program, which serves students ages birth to 5 across the state.

The outreach program provides individual advisers to families. They visit the students at home and provide training and instruction for parents once a week. The number of students in the outreach program has grown to 280 students.

A resource center on campus provides large-print Braille textbooks to students in West Virginia public schools. About 550 students are served through the resource center.

Before accepting her current position as superintendent in 1997, McBride served as a child care worker, teacher, coordinator and principal at the school.

A lifelong resident of Romney, McBride said she’s looking forward to having time off.

“I plan on taking some time off and exploring my options,” she said Monday.

McBride currently earns $89,121. The next superintendent will earn a salary of $88,737.

She says of her successor, “The top quality that needs to be present is a love of children and a dedication to seeing that the children placed in your care receive top-quality educational services in a loving and nurturing environment.”

A knowledge of American Sign Language and Braille also is necessary, McBride said.

According to the state’s vacancy notice, the next superintendent must be fluent in sign language or be familiar with the language and willing to improve.

The deadline to apply for the position is April 20, said state board spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro.

Those who are interested should send applications to West Virginia Board of Education, Attention Lowell Johnson, president, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. East, Building 6, Room 351, Capitol Complex, Charleston, WV 25304-0330.

An application may be obtained from the board’s human resources office at (304) 558-2702 or online at wvde.state.wv.us/wvde-vacancies/wvde-vacancy-application.pdf.

For more information on the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, visit wvsdb2.state.k12.wv.us.

Contact writer Jessica Karmasek at 348-1796.

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