Martin Keller Jr. named superintendent of West Virginia Schools for Deaf and Blind



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CHARLESTON, West Virginia — Martin Keller Jr. has been named superintendent for the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

The state Board of Education voted unanimously to hire Keller at a special meeting Friday. He was chosen from among 20 applicants.

Keller, 45, is deaf. He'll earn a $110,000 annual salary and will take his new role next month at the Romney school.

He is currently the principal at the Indiana School for the Deaf. He holds numerous degrees, including a doctorate from Lamar University.

"My leadership style has always been student-centered and I look forward to the opportunity to build on the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind's tradition of developing its students into the leaders of tomorrow," Keller said in a news release issued by the state Department of Education.

Keller has worked 14 years in administration, managing student service programs at the elementary and secondary school levels.

"Dr. Keller brings innovative ideas, strong leadership skills and a highly effective management style which I believe will take the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind to the next level," said Gayle Manchin, chair of the state school board's hiring committee and the board's immediate past president. "I am confident in his ability to outline a comprehensive strategic plan that will prepare students for the 21st century world of work."

Keller will replace Lynn Boyer, who announced her retirement earlier this year. Boyer had been appointed superintendent in 2011, a year after the school was cited by the Office of Education Performance Audits for deficiencies in leadership, curriculum, safety and technology.

During Boyer's tenure, the school implemented a policy requiring all staff to be able to communicate with deaf students through sign language. Another policy requires child care worker to obtain an associate's degree, a change that drew protests from workers and parents.

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