News, School News

School board votes 4-1 to hire Banks as new school superintendent

by Kate Evans

The Morgan County School Board formally approved hiring former Morgan County Schools Superintendent David Banks as the new school superintendent at their May 21 meeting. Banks was hired as superintendent for a four-year term beginning July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2028 with an annual term of 261 days.

David Banks

Banks’ superintendent contract stipulates that his first-year salary will be $135,000, second year-$138,000, third year-$140,000 and fourth year-$143,000.

School board president Aaron Close said that Banks’ experience in curriculum and instruction has only grown in the past seven years that he’s been gone from Morgan County Schools.

School board vice-president Pete Gordon said that they had four strong candidates and four strong interviews.  Gordon was happy with everything that current School Superintendent Kristen Tuttle had built in the past five years. Tuttle resigned her superintendent position as of June 30.

“Morgan County Schools is in good hands. I’ll be watching from the sidelines,” Gordon said. Gordon chose not to run for re-election to the school board in the May 14 primary election.

4-1 vote

The school board’s vote to rehire Banks was 4-1, with board member John Rowland voting against it.  Before their vote Rowland said that the board knew his position, but he wanted the public to know he was not voting for Banks as superintendent.

Rowland felt the school board had four strong superintendent candidates.  At least one candidate and possibly two had better interviews that made them seem more attractive candidates, he noted.

Rowland concerns

In a phone interview with the Morgan Messenger on Wednesday, Rowland said one candidate’s interview was superior to Banks’ interview.  That candidate came with plans to address the four areas of deficiencies in Morgan County Schools from day one, which were impressive.  None of the other candidates did that, Rowland said.

One candidate didn’t have to fill out an application, Rowland said.  That candidate was Banks.

“That bothers me,” he said.  “Everyone else was required to have one.”

There were some questions on the application that needed a narrative response.

Rowland said he would usually review applications, comparing specific sections to see which candidate looked better, but he couldn’t do that with the one that was chosen because there was no application.

Rowland is a former longtime principal and the only school board member who is certified by the state to act as a school superintendent.

While Banks was Morgan County Schools Superintendent for 10 years, Rowland said he’s been gone for seven years.  What he’s done in that time outside of Morgan County is important to know.

Rowland also noted that Banks’ years in Berkeley County and Jefferson County were not without some controversy.  He declined to say any specifics but said it’s a matter of public record.

Rowland also had some concerns about the length of Banks’ superintendent contract –four years — and noted that Banks’ salary basically takes over where Superintendent Kristen Tuttle’s salary leaves off.  But neither salary nor term length were much of factors in his vote.

Rowland said it’s nothing against Dave Banks.  Banks has been to his house for runners’ breakfasts with his daughter Alex when she ran.

Rowland said that he hopes that his concerns would be alleviated and that he and Banks “can have a good relationship for the better of Morgan County students.  It’s about helping kids.”


Banks was previously the Morgan County Schools Superintendent for 10 years from 2007-2017.  He became Berkeley County Schools Assistant Superintendent of Special Education in 2017 and Berkeley County Schools Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Instruction in 2019.  Banks then moved to Jefferson Country Schools in 2021 as Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Support.

Banks was named 2017 West Virginia Superintendent of the Year by the West Virginia Association of School Administrators in June 2016.

He will begin his four-year term as Superintendent of Morgan County Schools on July 1.