Longtime Putnam County superintendent to retire

By Chris Lawrence in News
WINFIELD, W.Va. — For 43 years Chuck Hatfield has served the Putnam County School system in some capacity. He’ll retire at the end of the school year.

“It’s just time,” he said. “Forty-three years is a long time. It’s kind of flown by, but I had a great run and have been very blessed to be part of a great organization and fine people, but it’s just time to turn it over.”

Hatfield presided over a major overhaul of the county’s school buildings after voters approved a bond issue in 2009. It was the first school construction bond passed in the county in 33 years.

“It really took about five years to complete and at one time we had 13 projects going on at once,” he said. “We’ve just about rebuilt the entire county.”

The project accomplished Hatfield’s goals of getting all of the county students out of mobile units and into a traditional classroom.

“The mobile units are a thing of the past and hopefully they’ll never come back,” he said.

The building program and improved facilities are one of Hatfield’s proudest accomplishments, but he said they aren’t at the top of the list.

“Those are the accomplishments everybody can see,” he said. “But the bigger accomplishment has been that we were able to hire some great people in this school system, especially in our classrooms and in our schools. That’s where it really counts and where it happens. The board has been very supportive in keeping the pay at an attractive level and we’ve been blessed to just get great people.”

Hatfield started his career in 1973 as a teacher at Hurricane Elementary School. He’s held numerous positions over the years moving up through the ranks of assistant principal, principal, and various titles in the Board of Education Central Office. He became Superintendent in 2004. He was named West Virginia’s Superintendent of the Year in 2008.

Hatfield’s tenure will end June 30th. The Putnam County School Board has already been searching for his replacement and believed they’ll be ready to hire Hatfield’s successor possibly before he leaves the job.