Greenbrier County Board of Education President discusses Jeff Bryant’s return as Superintendent

By Matthew Young, RealWV

LEWISBURG, W.Va. – The Greenbrier County Board of Education, during a Special Meeting Monday, voted unanimously to rehire Jeff Bryant as superintendent of schools. 

In a written statement released Monday, Bryant, who’s retirement took effect exactly 30-days before his rehire, said, “My brief retirement has reaffirmed my desire and commitment to return to work.”

“I left the job unfinished,” Bryant further states. “I am grateful to the Greenbrier County Board of Education for granting me this opportunity to return. I don’t know when I’ve looked so forward to getting back to the office.”

Since Bryants’ retirement became effective on March 29, Doug Clemons has served as the county’s interim superintendent. While Clemons, himself a 36-year veteran of Greenbrier County Schools, was appointed to the position amidst controversy stemming from several reported incidents at and involving students from Greenbrier West High School, both he and the board have stated that Bryant’s retirement was unrelated to those incidents.

“Some have drawn the incorrect conclusion that his (Bryant’s) retirement is related to the recent incidents in the school system,” Clemons said at the time. “However, that is simply not the case.”

Bryant was said to have been discussing retirement privately for a number of months, while Clemons reportedly informed the board in January that he plans to retire at the end of June. 

In the same statement released Monday, Greenbrier County Board of Education President Jeanie Wyatt said of Clemons: “Mr. Clemons has fulfilled those interim duties in the same manner he has served Greenbrier County Schools for the past 36 years, with absolute professionalism and outstanding leadership, fulfilling every expectation. […] We are grateful for his many years of service and the incredible job he has done as interim superintendent.”

While speaking with RealWV on Tuesday, Wyatt echoed Bryant’s reason for canceling his retirement, saying, “Jeff realized he wasn’t very happy being retired.” 

“He felt like he still had a lot to give to Greenbrier County Schools, and he wasn’t sure he made the right decision,” Wyatt continued. “Jeff has been a great superintendent. He’s been so involved, and I think the longer he was at home, the more he missed being a part of it.”

“Jeff sent me a letter, and said that he missed it, he loved doing it, and he’d like to ask the board if he could return,” Wyatt added. “The board was thrilled. It was meant to be. He realized that he still wants to be a part of this, and that’s fine with us.”

According to Wyatt, the board planned to pursue a permanent superintendent in the coming months, after all other necessary personnel transfers and potential staff reductions had been completed. As a superintendent’s salary is determined by each individual county, Wyatt said the board needed to evaluate its financial status after all other staffing decisions had been made.

“We knew we had until July 1 because Doug (Clemons) was retiring,” Wyatt explained. “Doug was thrown into the frying pan because of all the things that were going on at the time, but he has gone above and beyond.”

The board’s financial evaluation, Wyatt added, was scheduled to occur at the end of April, thus allowing a full two months for the selection of a new permanent superintendent. 

“And then we got Jeff’s letter, and here’s where we are,” Wyatt said. 

In consultation with attorney Jason Long, the board effectively reinstated Bryant’s previous contract, which was originally set to expire on June 30, 2025.

“Jeff will have that same contract,” Wyatt said. “No increase in pay – nothing changes until next year. He’s not doing it for an increase in pay or benefits, nothing like that. It’s just like it was before.”

Bryant first became superintendent in 2016, after having served Greenbrier County Schools for 36 years. He will return to the office of superintendent effective May 1. 

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