BUCKHANNON, W.Va. (WBOY) — While Upshur County public schools remain under state control, the new superintendent appointed by the state is getting ready for the new school year.

The West Virginia Board of Education intervened this summer after questions arose about the spending of federal COVID money in Upshur County. Christy Miller was selected by the state board of education for the role of superintendent amid the investigation.

12 News spoke with Christy Miller about why the community, school staff and students should remain positive about the upcoming year.

“I want the community to understand that I’m here with you. What has happened has happened and we have to put that in the past. It’s no longer a barrier, but it is an opportunity to right the ship and steer it in the right direction. Working together, we will be able to do that. And I think that this school year is going to be one that’s going to be very successful, not only for the students and staff, but for the community,” Miller said.

The two key areas that Miller and staff in Upshur County schools plan to focus on within the next 90 days are personnel and finance.

An updated policy manual will also be provided to staff and teachers of Upshur County with updated contracts upon the beginning of the school year, as Miller found that staff of Upshur County schools had not signed contracts previously.

Much like most school districts in the nation, one of the biggest challenges that the Upshur County Board of Education is facing is finding and maintaining the proper staff for teaching, transportation, and aide positions. Although through it all, Miller remains positive.

“I’d like for you to be a hero. First, I’d like you to be a hero to a student in your classroom or a student in your school, because all students belong to all of us. Then once you’ve established that relationship of a hero to your student, reach out to a colleague and become a hero with them. Because it takes all of us to be able to make a school system operate and work in a positive way that we can support everyone to become who they deserve to be,” Miller said.

During her interview with 12 News, Christy Miller mentioned the incorporation of a superintended advisory council with personnel within the county. Faculty senates within the county will be asked to nominate a professional person and a service person to meet with Miller once a month to better understand what’s happening outside of an administrator’s perspective.

In addition, a community group will be created. Next month, Miller and the board plan on deciding who will serve in the group and will plan to meet once a month.

With the election upcoming in May where the community can vote on the approval of an excess levy for the public county schools, Miller is set on proving that Upshur County’s new Board of Education will never make mistakes that contributed to its current position.