Mon Superintendent Devono to retire

MORGANTOWN — Monongalia County Schools Superintendent Frank Devono is retiring.
Devono told Board of Education (BOE) members Tuesday night that his last day will be June 30, when his current contract expires.
The superintendent who most recently helped shepherd teachers and service personnel through a nine-day, statewide work stoppage said he was grateful for the trust bestowed to him by the board 13 years ago.
“Thank you for giving a kid from North View an opportunity.”
North View is the neighborhood in Clarksburg where he grew up to become an educator in Harrison County schools.
Devono was an elementary school and middle school principal in his home county when the BOE here hired him in 2005.
He interviewed for the Monongalia County job while working as an administrative liaison for Harrison’s school board.
While Devono never worked as a county school superintendent before, it didn’t matter, Mon BOE President Barbara Parsons said Tuesday night — his experience still shone through.
He knew classrooms, she said. He knew the particulars of dealing with parents and teacher unions.
And, he knew the unique landscape of north-central West Virginia, since he was a native.
Devono, Parsons said, proved himself to be a quick study in his new job.
“We gave you an awful lot of things to do,” Parsons said, lauding the superintendent who oversaw the building of new schools and extensive renovations of others in the county.
Devono also streamlined administrative procedures in the board’s Central Office on High Street, Parsons said.
“We think we’re a great board,” said Parsons, who was part of the hiring process, “but we wouldn’t have a great board without the relationship with you.”
Longtime board member Clarence Harvey agreed.
“Public education is all about the kids,” he said. “That’s what you brought to this job.”
Part of Devono’s retirement duties, he said, will be spending time with the kids in his family. He and his wife, Kay, have grown children and grandchildren. They’ll continue to make their home in Monongalia County, he said.
“It truly has been a privilege and pleasure,” he said, “to work with a cohesive, insightful board and a talented and well-qualified staff, both professional and service.”
Now, the meter is running on the search for a replacement, Parsons said.
The board will decide in the days ahead if it will launch a regional or national search for Devono’s replacement.
“I guess in my head, I’m always thinking national search,” she said. “But we have to get moving.”
Parsons said the BOE hopes to have a successor hired by June 1.
Devono’s departure, in the meantime, comes during a looming period of transition for the board: Neither Parsons nor Harvey will seek re-election to their seats.