Dianna Vargo laced up her running shoes early Saturday morning for her daily two-mile run. A few hours later, she began another journey when she was unanimously approved as the new superintendent of Ohio County Schools.
The Ohio County Board of Education gathered at 8 a.m. Saturday at the board offices in Elm Grove where they met during a closed door interview session with Vargo. Two other candidates who had been called for interviews pulled their applications shortly before the session.
Vargo has held the deputy superintendent's position since 2009.
Dianna Vargo, the newly named superintendent of Ohio County Schools, is congratulated Saturday by Erik Schramm, Ohio County Board of
Education president. She will fill the post of current superintendent George Krelis who will retire in June.
Photo by Heather Ziegler
The board ended the executive session around 9:55 a.m. and publicly voted 5-0 in favor of naming Vargo to the superintendent's position.
Current Superintendent George Krelis will retire in June ending his 38-year career with the school system. A contract between Vargo and the board was being developed Saturday. The board expects to formally approve that contract at a future meeting at which time Vargo will be introduced as the new superintendent.
Voting on the appointment were board president Erik Schramm, members Sam Andy, Christine Carder, James Jorden, and Shane Mallett. Also present was Kathy Finsley who plans to retire at the end of the school year after 34 years.
Dressed in her trademark black suit and crisp white blouse, Vargo was beaming as she accepted congratulations from the board and media.
"I'm honored and thrilled for the confidence the board has shown in me," Vargo commented. "I hope to continue the long traditions of Ohio County Schools ... we have great teachers, faculty, administrators, students and parents and it is an honor to be able to continue in this position."
Vargo is no stranger to the school system. She began her career as a math teacher at Wheeling Park High School in 1983 where she also coached track and cross country. She was named principal at Park in 2001 after serving as assistant principal.
Vargo was selected as assistant superintendent of Ohio County Schools in 2005, serving in hat position until 2009 when she was named deputy superintendent.
Schramm said the board's unanimous decision speaks for itself. "Most of us have known her or worked with her at some time. There was no doubt, no dissension about this decision."
Vargo will take over as superintendent of a school system that boasts of 800 employees, 15 facilities and nearly 5,000 students.
Andy said "it was an easy decision that will be good for Ohio County kids and schools."
Jorden said the vote was a "slam dunk."
"She is most qualified person of all the applicants," Jorden commented. "We look forward to a smooth transition ... she is an innovative leader."
Vargo, a resident of Wheeling, earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Ohio University in 1981, a Master of Arts degree in science/mathematics education from Wheeling Jesuit College in 1987, a Master of Arts in Education Administration degree from West Virginia University in 1993 and a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from WVU in 2009.