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Former teacher Dennis Davis appointed to Kanawha school board

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Former educator, administrator and state official Dennis Davis was appointed to the Kanawha County Board of Education Tuesday to fill the former seat of longtime board member Bill Raglin.

His appointment was approved by the board 4-0, and he was sworn in immediately. His term will expire June 30.

Davis is a native of Institute. He's worked in private industry and as a teacher and assistant superintendent for Kanawha County Schools. He spent four years working in the governor's office as the executive director of workforce development for the state.

He has a degree from West Virginia State University and a master's degree from Marshall. He also served as a member of the United States Army.

Davis was also a friend of Raglin, whose seat he is filling. Raglin died last month after more than two decades serving on the school board.

Davis said he wanted to carry on Raglin's vision for the board.

"Mr. Raglin, he never met a topic he would not discuss, not one, and he never met an argument that he would not engage in," Davis said. "He was passionate about these things, as were members of this board, which is as it should be. But the thing about Mr. Raglin was that once he finished, he'd go right back to being as he was, to being your friend."

Davis said he would try to do the same and to channel Raglin's spirit as he filled his term.

"I am quite proud you have selected me this morning to take his place," he said. "I am not Mr. Raglin, but I can assure you I will give it a Raglin try."

Davis said after the morning meeting that he is "only here to fill Mr. Raglin's seat" and wouldn't speak to the possibility of his running for re-election when his seat becomes vacant in June.

He also declined to identify his priorities for his time on the board, saying he wouldn't identify his positions until he met with the board as a whole. His first meeting is Thursday.

He praised the work of the school board and school system administrators, though, especially Superintendent Ron Duerring, who he said leaves the school system "in very capable hands."

"The policies of this board are critical to the successful operation of the school system ... and I understand the need to weigh fully the implications of changes to any existing policies or new policies," Davis said.

"I pledge to work with all of you as we work to make this a vibrant, functioning, responsive system that meets the needs of all students and employees."

The school board chose Davis from a field of around a dozen people who expressed interest in Raglin's seat after his death.

Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.maunz@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4886.


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