That consulting firm forgot that state law required the superintendent to have a master's degree in education administration and five years of "public school work," and recommended someone without that degree, which pointed the board in the wrong direction.
That state-regulated criteria came up again this time, with school board members urging legislators that the requirements were too strict and would minimize the pool of candidates for superintendent.
In March, those requirements were stripped as part of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's education reform bill. Now, state code only requires the superintendent to have a master's degree in any subject, not just education administration.
In addition, the bill removed the state superintendent's $175,000 salary cap, at the school board's request.
"We got what we were hoping for," Linger said. "And now we are moving forward."
Linger praised Phares' stint as superintendent so far, and said the board has worked diligently on tackling the recommendations found in Tomblin's sweeping audit of the state school system.
"We've done a lot," he said. "In fact, at each board meeting, we send a letter to the governor reporting on our progress."
Phares said through a spokeswoman Tuesday that he's been honored to serve as superintendent so far, and supports the board's decision to conduct a search for a more long-term candidate.
"The board is doing the right thing. Months ago they said they would move forward with a national search, and they are," he said. "In the meantime, there is still a lot of work to do."
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.