NEW CUMBERLAND — Parents, teachers and administrators got their first chance to meet and speak with incoming Hancock County schools superintendent Timothy Woodward, who was formally introduced by the county board of education during Monday's meeting at the John D. Rockefeller IV Career Center.

Woodward, who was hired by the board as its next superintendent at the May 8 meeting, will officially take over for Kathy Kidder-Wilkerson, who has served as Hancock County Schools' superintendent for the past couple years and will retire June 30.

In addition to her two years with Hancock County, Kidder-Wilkerson also served for 28 years at Brooke County schools, including five years there as its superintendent.

Woodward, who currently serves as superintendent for Calhoun County schools, said he was interested in coming to Hancock County and noted the school's desire to support education.

"I had been in Calhoun for four years and was ready to make a change," Woodward said. "I wanted to go to a community that I felt was supportive of education and put a lot of emphasis on education. When you see our facilities and the way our students in Hancock achieve, I just felt like it would be a great fit.

"I really like the area, it's a great place to live. You're close to lots of cities and airports, but yet, you still have the West Virginia flavor."

Woodward said that based on what he has seen, he has been impressed with the facilities Hancock County school has to offer and looks forward to working with the school board.

He also said he will continue to evaluate what the county will need to do as it currently goes through its fiscal watch, but added, as far as making any changes, he needed some time to assess matters.

"Obviously, one of my first goals is a fiscal goal," Woodward said. "I want to make sure that our fiscal goal is in order and that we can get off this watch list, and make sure that we're doing everything that we can, which I think that we're doing everything we can to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and do those sorts of things, while at the same time, continuing to see student achievement go up. Hancock County usually is the 12th best county each year in student achievement, so they already achieve well."

A native of Harrisonburg, Va., Woodward is a 1990 graduate of Bridgewater College, and later earned his Master's degree from James Madison University.

Woodward served the first 13 years of his career with the Rockingham County, Va. schools, first as a teacher for nine years, then as assistant principal for two-and-a-half years and middle school principal for one year before serving as Pendleton County Middle/High School principal for four years. He also served as the director of special education in Hardy County in 2013.

When joining Calhoun County Schools in 2014, he accepted the position with a two-year, $80,000-per-year contract, and was approved for a three-year extension last year, which would have included a pay increase of $5,000 for the first year, and $2,000 for the next two years of that contract.

The Hancock County school board approved Woodward to a two-year contract with an annual salary of $110,000 during the May 8 regular meeting. Woodward will officially begin his new duties July 1.

story and photo courtesy of The Review

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