CHARLESTON — Miller Hall, the former chairman of the West Virginia Board of Education, has resigned as a board member, making him the fourth senior education official to resign or transfer this month.
“Throughout my 47-year career in education, I have always focused on the children and what was best for them, and from that I have never wavered,” Hall wrote in a resignation letter dated Monday. “However, I have made the decision to resign as a member of the State Board of Education.”
Gov. Jim Justice announced Hall’s resignation Monday during a virtual briefing with Charleston reporters. In his resignation letter, Hall said he and his wife Joyce were moving to Pennsylvania to be closer to their grandchildren.
“(Hall) did an amazing job, that’s all there is to it,” Justice said. “We wish him the best, the best. Miller Hall will always be a great West Virginian and all. At his age now, he wants to be closer to his grandchildren. I don’t know how it gets any better than that.
The justice appointed Hall to the state Board of Education in 2017 to serve an unexpired term. He was nominated for a full term in 2019. Hall’s term expired on November 4, 2028. Hall was elected Chairman of the State Council on July 8, 2020 and served until Council Member Paul Hardesty be elected president on July 13.
Hall is the latest in a line of senior Board of Education and Department for Education officials to step down since the start of August.
The state board voted Aug. 10 to transfer Clayton Burch, the former superintendent of state schools, to West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind in Hampshire County as the new superintendent. Burch was replaced the same day as state superintendent by former School Building Authority executive director David Roach. Burch had served as state superintendent since June 2020.
Hall and Burch were both named defendants in a lawsuit filed in January by Putnam County parent Travis Beaver, Upshur County parent Karen Kalar and Raleigh County teacher Wendy Peters, as well as State Treasurer Riley Moore, Senate Speaker Craig Blair, House Speaker Roger Hanshaw and Justice. . In June, Hall and Burch filed a response to the lawsuit supporting the parents, breaking with the governor, legislature, and state treasurer.
Deputy Superintendent of Schools Jan Barth and Heather Hutchins are also leaving the Department of Education. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported last week that Hutchins had been replaced as the council’s general counsel by Stephanie Abraham, a former Logan County School Board attorney and wife of Justice Chief of Staff Brian Abraham.
Hall is a Beckley native and former teacher and principal of Woodrow Wilson High School. He served as assistant superintendent of the Raleigh County School System. He also coached basketball and football for Raleigh County Middle and High School Sports.
“I love Miller Hall and this family” Justice said. “They have absolutely been the best with me that you can imagine. When my son Jay was going out for basketball tryouts and had just destroyed his ankle… Jay had been in a wheelchair for a long time and Miller was the school principal. Day after day we would drive to school and Miller would meet him there and help him get into the school.
“A person who really loves children and loves children, I would say beyond common sense,” Justice continued. “He dedicated his life to education. What a job he did. We will miss him.