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Robert Kittle says goodbye; Sumpter-Cain takes the helm

by Franny White

STAFF WRITER

Robert E. Kittle's 15-year career as the superintendent of Harrison County Schools ended in his last Board of Education meeting Monday, which lasted 5 minutes and 50 seconds.

"I think that's a record," said Norma Taylor, president of the Harrison County Education Association, from the audience.

But Kittle hopes his legacy will last in Harrison County schools a little longer.

"I think I'm leaving it better than I found it," Kittle said.

After 40-plus years in education, Kittle said he was sad to say goodbye.

"I have mixed emotions," Kittle said.

"The friends you make, the people you work with, the children, the people in the business community have made an impact on my life.

"There's some nostalgia here."

Kittle counted teachers' strikes and laying off 147 employees in 1987 as the darkest moments as superintendent, but said his reign has been fairly harmonious otherwise.

Now the largest worry of Kittle's is finding something else to do.

He plans to take a month off to consider new career paths and opportunities, but said he would probably stay in education.

"Education is my life," Kittle said. "And I'm too young to retire."

But as he was leaving, he said he took comfort in the in-coming superintendent, Pamela Sumpter-Cain, whom he said would "lead the board into the future." Sumpter-Cain was sworn into the position today in Harrison County Circuit Judge Thomas Bedell's courtroom at the Harrison County Courthouse.

At the meeting's onset, Taylor presented Kittle with an appreciation plaque on behalf of the Harrison County Education Association.

As far as the meeting's actual business, the board accepted Allegheny Power's $55,000 bid to rewire and light Robert C. Byrd High School's soccer field.

Staff writer Franny White can be reached at 626-1442.

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