3 assume new roles with school board

By Kyle Lovern

July 25, 2014

By Kyle Lovern


Three changes have been made in leadership roles for the Mingo County Board of Education.

Paula Hinkle Brown was named assistant superintendent, Dr. Richard Duncan was named director of human resources and Leisa Sammons is the new coordinator of guidance and testing.

Brown moves into the position held by Dr. Robert Bobbera, who was promoted to the superintendent’s role after the retirement of Randy Keathley.

Brown had been serving as principal of Williamson Pre-K 8. Before that she was principal at Delbarton Elementary.

Brown is a 1981 graduate of Belfry High School and began teaching in 1991. She has her master’s degree in leadership and special education.

She also worked with the state Department of Education as an RTI specialist and was responsible for working with six counties served by RESA 2. Brown was awarded the 2011 Principal’s Leadership Academy Distinguished Scholar Award, which recognizes administrators who participated in PLA for new principals and illustrated exemplary work and participation.

She also coordinated the merger of Riverside Elementary with Williamson Middle School into Williamson PreK-8.

Brown, who moved to Williamson in 1980, is married to John Brown and has two stepdaughters and one granddaughter.

Duncan, a Williamson native, takes the place of Nell Hatfield, who recently retired.

Duncan most recently served as the STEM director and also maintained the Mingo County Schools website.

He attended the old Williamson Elementary, Mingo Christian, Sacred Heart and Williamson Middle School. He was a 2001 graduate of Belfry High School. Duncan is a graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology (B.S. in aerospace engineering, M.S. in finance, Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering). In past years with Mingo County Schools, he served as a RESA 2 substitute teacher, STEM Program Coordinator, math teacher at Mingo Centra High Schooll, and led a CTE pilot program at Burch Middle School.

He was also the co-principal investigator on a $1.5 million NSF grant with Carnegie Mellon, Marshall University, West Liberty, and a Pennsylvania school district to expand middle school robotics in Mingo County.

Duncan is the son of Gary and Gina Duncan of Belfry, Kentucky.

Sammons most recently served as a counselor at Mingo Central High School. Before that she served as a teacher, then counselor at Matewan. She takes the place of Karen Canterbury, who also retired at the end of the school year.

Sammons is a graduate of Matewan High School and Marshall University. She is married to Billy Sammons and has two sons, Dr. Shawn Sammons, who is an optometrist in Williamson with Wilson Eyecare and Josh Sammons, who is currently teaching and coaching at Mingo Central.

Brown, Duncan and Sammons started work July 1.

Kyle Lovern is sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at klovern@civitasmedia.com or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277, or on Twitter @KyleLovern.