Marion County BOE approves superintendent contract for Hage

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – By a vote of 3-2 the Marion County Board of Education approved a one year $120,000 contract for Dr. Donna Hage to serve as superintendent. The contract runs from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

President of the board Mary Jo Thomas told board members she thought striking a deal with Dr. Hage was the right decision for families and students in Marion County.

“I think that we are arriving at the absolute best decision we can in moving Marion County forward,” Thomas said.

Board members Richard Pellegrin and James Saunders voted against the selection of Hage. According to Pellegrin, there was not a sufficient internal search and Hage lacks important upper level administrative experience.

“I feel that we’re overlooking a local candidate that has checked all the boxes,” Pellegrin said,” Most importantly, head principle of schools k through 12.”

Pellegrin committed to working with Hage in good faith, but did highlight what he believes is an important lack of experience.

“I truly believe that being a head principal in a school is imperative in being a successful superintendent,” Pellegrin said,” One of the most important things a superintendent does is select and evaluate principals.”

Hage has been the assistant superintendent of schools in Harrison County since July 2006. Prior to that, she taught English in Taylor County for 10 years and has also served as an adjunct professor at Fairmont State University. Hage holds a bachelor of science in English Language Arts Teacher Education from West Virginia University. In 1998, she earned a master’s degree in special education from WVU and a doctor of education in curriculum and instruction in 2016 from Marshall University.

Board member Thomas Dragich told board members he had looked into Hage’s background and talked to people in the community and believes her skills would impact Marion County students in a positive way.

“She is very well versed in curriculum and I think this is what we need right now in our school systems to with the teachers,” Dragich said,” And she is very hands on in the classroom.”

Board member Donna Costello was unwavering in her support Hage.

“I’m telling you, and I’m telling the voters, and I’m telling the public,” Costello said,” That I am making a decision based on what I feel in my heart is in the best interests of Marion County students.

Hage was chosen from a list of five candidates selected by the board.