Superintendent of Schools resigns

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

At a special meeting Tuesday, the board of education accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Donald Bechtel.

Bechtel came to Pocahontas County in 2013 and finished the 2012-2013 school year as principal at Hillsboro Elementary School. Nine weeks into the 2013-2014 school year, Bechtel was appointed as interim superintendent. From there, the board hired him as superintendent – the position he will vacate June 30.

Addressing the board, Bechtel shared his appreciation for the members support in his two years at the helm of the school system.

“I’m appreciative of your support,” he said. “I feel like in the past two years, collectively, we’ve been able to achieve a lot at each of the five schools. I feel like the morale at the board office – we worked real hard to have opportunities during the past two years to really change the culture here and we’ve been able to do that.”

Board president Emery Grimes thanked Bechtel for his service and wished him well.

“It’s a tough environment, it’s a tough place to be in that chair,” Grimes said. “We hope you succeed at whatever else you may go into or want to do.”

“Pocahontas is a special place and please know that I value the friendships that I’ve made along the way,” Bechtel replied.

In its discussion concerning appointment of an interim superintendent, the board asked Director of Federal Programs and Personnel Director Terrence Beam if he would take the position.

Beam said he would serve as interim superintendent and shared his thoughts on how he would handle the position.

“I’m encouraging more communication, especially from the office up here,” he said. “There needs to be a go-between for the community and the employees and the board of education. I think the more communication you have, the less problems we’ll have on Monday nights.”

Beam said he wants to bring a more positive atmosphere to the board of education meetings.

In a unanimous vote, the board approved appointment of Beam as interim superintendent.

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