Superintendent Search at WVSDB Never Happened But Position is Filled
It has been announced that the new superintendent at WVSDB (West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind) is Mark Grandolfi. He had been standing in for Dr. Keller.
Did the school search for another suitable replacement? Apparently there was no formal search and nobody seems to know why this was done. People are outraged about the decision and want something done about it. Mark is hearing and is making more money than Dr. Keller did as Superintendent. Another concern is that Mark does not have a Ph.D. The West Virginia community is very upset and they are filing a formal protest because there was no involvement on their part.
Ruby Ennis Losh said, "Their positions start tomorrow. I am very disappointed with State Board of Ed process superintendent job position announcement. " You can view her video on facebook: FLASH NEWS.
It is apparent that the Alumni Association was already aware of his appointment prior to it being official because Debbi Williamson wrote an announcement on their facebook page and there was a reference to Mark being a speaker. It said,
"As many of you know, Superintendent Keller is no longer on campus. For now, CFO Mark Gandolfi is in charge at WVSDB and he has already graciously accepted an invitation to speak with us at our welcome meeting on Friday, along with Jamie Vitorio and Christine Lewis."
This is in reference to their reception on June 1, 2018 at their annual reunion.
The West Viriginia community had rallied for a deaf superintendent and had approached the WVDE (West Viriginia Department of Education) to request that they modify their hiring process. Karen Kingrey mentioned to DSTidbit News that she had tried to encourage WVDE to include ASL as a requirement for the position. Dr. Keller was hired as the first deaf superintendent at West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind.
It has also been speculated that Dr. Keller had been impeached on November 17, 2017 due to his unorthodox solution for repairs. He had been searching for "funding" to fix some issues at the school due to an audit deadline that was approaching. Karen Kingrey said, "I think the WVDE did not like what his solution was and that is probably what led to his impeachment." Keller himself blamed the firing on “retaliation” by State School Superintendent Steve Paine, and promised to file a federal complaint. He had no further comment on the advice of his attorney, Christine Glover.
Hayley Jeeter speaks up, "The state board of education continues to show through their actions that Deaf adults are invisible to them regardless of their achievements. Until we have cultural representation on the state board of education their hiring and firing practices will not change. Until then, they will continue to abuse their power with this lack of transparency. We should ask ourselves....what is to fear by the state board by opening up the position so that it may be filled with another fully qualified applicant after a nation wide - competitive hiring process?"