Kanawha County Board of Education

The Kanawha County Board of Education establishes educational policies to be executed by the Superintendent of Schools, whose primary responsibility is to provide creative and effective administrative leadership. The Board is composed of members elected on a nonpartisan basis for four-year terms. No more than two members may be elected from any one magisterial district.

The Superintendent is appointed by the Board. Board officers include the President and President pro tem, who presides in the President’s absence. The President presides at all meetings, signs legal documents on behalf of the Board, serves as official spokesman for the Board, and performs other similar duties as prescribed by law. Officers are elected biannually. The Kanawha County Board of Education members receive $160.00 dollars per meeting up to fifty (50) meetings per year. After fifty (50) meetings the Board members receive no pay.

Board Members

Jim Joseph Crawford, Sr., Board President

Mr. Jim Crawford was elected to the Board of Education in July, 2000. Jim Joseph Crawford Sr., son of the late Dorothy Crawford McClaskey, was born in Winfield, West Virginia, Nov. 25, 1936. His father was the late John Joseph Crawford. Jim graduated from Winfield High School and from West Virginia State College where he played varsity football and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. He received his MA Degree in Education from West Virginia University. He and his wife Marilyn, are the parents of one son, Jim Crawford Jr., who is a teacher in the Kanawha County School system. Jim Sr. is a retired teacher/coach from St. Albans High School having been a teacher for thirty-nine years and served as an assistant in football, head wrestling coach, head girls track coach, and Athletic Director. Jim is the Director of the Gazette Track and Field Meet, which is held in Charleston, West Virginia.

Email: Jim Crawford

Becky Jones Jordon

Becky Jones Jordon is a lifelong resident of Charleston. She is a graduate of Stonewall Jackson High School, received a bachelors in Social Work in from West Virginia University and a Masters in Social Work from WVU. Becky has been employed as a Psychiatric Social Worker with Thomas Memorial Hospital, a Substance Abuse Counselor with the Department of Corrections, a Rehabilitation Specialist and a Child Protective Services worker with the Department of Health and Human Resources. Mrs. Jordon has been a very active parent volunteer in Kanawha County Schools for many years. Becky resides in Charleston with her husband Andrew, stepdaughters Stephanie and Emily, and children Tyler and Ann Dickinson.

Email: Becky Jordon

Ryan White

Ryan White was elected to the board of education for a four year term beginning July 1, 2014.  He is currently the President Pro-Tempore of the board and serves on the advisory board of RESA III.  Ryan is also the current financial officer of the School Board Association of West Virginia.  He and his wife Kate have two boys, Jackson and Cameron.  He runs a law firm with his father, Steve White and Mark Matkovich, known as White Law Offices, PLLC which is a boutique transactional firm that focuses on public finance law and government relations.  Ryan’s prior public service include serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Judge Joseph Robert Goodwin in 2005-2006, counsel to the West Virginia Senate Finance and Economic Development Committees in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 legislative session and serving on Governor Tomblin’s Natural Gas Vehicle Task Force in 2012-2013 .  Ryan graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Political Science in 2001 and graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law with a J.D. in 2005.  Ryan has been very active in the Kanawha Community serving as Co-Chair of Generation Charleston, President of the East End Community Association, as a board member of Kids Chance of West Virginia, and the Childhood Language Center.

Email: Ryan White

Ric Cavender

Mr. Ric Cavender was elected for his first term on the Kanawha County Board of Education in 2016. Ric is the Executive Director of Charleston Main Streets, a non-profit organization housing two Nationally Certified Main Street districts on the West Side and East End of Charleston, focusing on economic development, community development, business district marketing, and public space improvements. Since the programs' inceptions, the districts have experienced public and private investments totaling over $420 million. He has a combined 16 years of nonprofit and business development experience in Kanawha County. A 2000 graduate of Sissonville High School and 2005 graduate of West Virginia State University (Business Administration - Management & Marketing), Ric sits on the Boards of Directors of several organizations throughout the valley, including the YMCA of Kanawha Valley and the West Virginia State University Foundation. He is a 2015 graduate of Leadership West Virginia, was appointed by Governor Jim Justice to serve on the West Virginia Broadband Council, and serves on the Marketing Committees for the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau and FestivALL Charleston, as well as the Economic Development Committee of the Regional Intergovernmental Council.  Ric resides on the East End of Charleston with his wife Beth, a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse at CAMC, and their sons Silas (3rd grade) and Zeke (Kindergarten), who both attend Piedmont Elementary. Email: Ric Cavender

Betty C. Spencer

Betty Cardwell Spencer was sworn in as a member of the Kanawha County Board of Education on February 7, 2018, for the vacancy left by the death of long-term member Pete Thaw. She grew up in Institute, WV, the daughter of Mark H. Cardwell, Sr. and Jennie Williams Cardwell. Her formal education began at Institute Elementary School on the campus of West Virginia State College (University) and continued in Kanawha County Schools until she graduated from Dunbar High School in 1963. Betty attended WV State where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. She attained her master’s degree in education from West Virginia University in 1970 and has many additional hours from WV College of Graduate Studies.

After teaching at Shawnee Elementary School, Mrs. Spencer’s first administrative job was a vice-principal at Cross Lanes Elementary. The next year’s assignment was at two schools – Littlepage Elementary and Edgewood Acres Elementary, and then moved to Ford Elementary in Dunbar for many years. She also served as director of elementary and secondary school in 1989-90. When the Dunbar schools consolidated, she was the principal at the new Dunbar Intermediate School. After retirement, Betty continued to work at several schools on temporary assignments as a principal and evaluated for the early childhood department of Kanawha County Schools.

In 2016, Mrs. Spencer became the director of a preschool center and enjoys traveling and taking her grandchild, Kennedi, on fun activities. She is married to James W. Spencer and they are the parents of two daughters, Lea Spencer Ford and Staci Marie Spencer (deceased).

Email: Betty Spencer

Ron Duerring, Superintendent

Ron Duerring became Superintendent of Kanawha County Schools on Sept. 21, 1998. He came to Kanawha County Schools in 1975 as a teacher at Spring Hill Elementary and has since served as a consultant, principal, and assistant superintendent. When Dr. Duerring served as Principal at Grandview Elementary, Grandview was selected by the WV State Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School. While serving as principal, he was selected by the Kanawha County PTA Council as Principal of the Year in 1996 and Superintendent of the Year in 2000 by the West Virginia Music Educator Association. He recently was awarded membership into the International Who's Who of Professionals. Dr. Duerring is married and the father of one child, and lives in Charleston.

Email: Ron Duerring, Superintendent