7-8-13 New boss on job at troubled school district

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KINGWOOD, W.Va. (AP) — The new leader of a struggling West Virginia school district says he’s ready to tackle its $2 million deficit and poor student performance.

Preston County Superintendent Rick Hicks says he likes a challenge.

The state school board took over Preston schools in March 2009 after discovering problems with finances, facilities, personnel and other areas. It tapped Hicks to replace Larry Parsons, who retired last week.

Hicks had been executive director for the West Virginia Association of School Administrators.

He says student achievement is a critical problem.

Tunnelton-Denver Elementary has been labeled a “priority” school, meaning it’s in the lowest-achieving 5 percent of schools statewide.

Six other others of concern are: Bruceton School, Central Preston Middle, South Preston Middle, West Preston Middle, Kingwood Elementary and Valley Elementary.

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