Kanawha school board’s newest member sworn in

KENNY KEMP | Gazette Ryan White is sworn in as the newest member of the Kanawha County school board

Ryan White, a Charleston attorney, was sworn in as the newest member of the Kanawha County Board of Education on Monday, along with incumbents Pete Thaw and Becky Jordon.

Also on Monday, board member Robin Rector was named school board president, replacing Thaw, who will continue to serve as a member.

Jordon was elected as President Pro Tem.

This is Rector’s first stint as president. She has served on the board for seven years and is the director of health education and research at Charleston Area Medical Center.

White, 35, of Charleston’s East End, received the most votes of any of the seven candidates that ran in May’s election in his first bid for office, and also raised a record amount during his campaign, collecting nearly $90,000 in contributions.

“I’m very honored to have been elected and to serve with everybody on the board. It’s going to be great to work with everybody that has so much experience, and I look forward to learning from everybody and working with everybody to uphold our state constitution, which is to provide a thorough and efficient education system in the state,” White said Monday, after being sworn in by his father, Steve White, also an attorney.

White has said he will focus on garnering more parent involvement in the school system and paying extra attention to early childhood efforts.

In addition to co-owning White Law Offices, he has served as counsel for the Senate Finance Committee.

White’s two sons — both under the age of 2 — were also present at Monday’s meeting, and will attend Piedmont Elementary School.

Thaw, 83, who has served on the board for 16 years, and Jordon, 53, who has served 12 years, will both serve another four-year term.

The board also celebrated Dennis Davis, who served his last meeting as a board member on Monday. Davis signed on for an interim position after Bill Raglin died in November. White is officially replacing Raglin.

“I certainly enjoyed each and every one of you,” Davis said, who was a close friend of Raglin’s and specialized in career and technical education. “I’ve always enjoyed working with [Superintendent Ron Duerring]... I think our children of Kanawha County are better suited because you are exactly where you are.”

The Kanawha County Board of Education will meet again in regular session on July 17.

Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.mays@wvgazette.com or at 304-348-4814.

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