Dr. Deborah Akers Named West Virginia Superintendent of the Year


PRINCETON, WV, June 22, 2017: Mercer County Schools is proud to announce that Dr. Deborah Akers, Superintendent, was named West Virginia Superintendent of the Year this evening at a reception at Stonewall Resort.

Dr. Akers has been Superintendent of Mercer County Schools since 1993. Prior to being named Superintendent, she served as Assistant Superintendent of Mercer County Schools from 1989-1992; Director of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Mercer County Schools from 1983 – 1985; Coordinator of Research, Evaluation/Elementary Supervisor from 1982 – 1983; Coordinator of In-service and Continuing Education/Elementary Supervisor from 1981-1982; and worked as an elementary teacher from 1974 – 1980.


Dr. Akers constantly focuses on implementing programs to meet the needs of Mercer County students. One of her major focuses is to ensure that all students are career and college ready. To ensure student needs are met, Dr. Akers places an emphasis on professional development opportunities for all teachers. Dr. Akers is currently the longest active Superintendent in the State of West of Virginia. As president, she led the West Virginia Association of School Administrators (WVASA) during the 2016-2017 school year. She served on the West Virginia Department of Education Superintendent’s Advisory Council beginning in 2009, is a member of the RESA I Governing Board where she served as Chairperson from 2000 – 2012, and served as Chairperson on the local Governing Board of HSTA from 2004 – 2012. Through her leadership, Mercer County Schools is piloting (beginning its third year) an Innovation Zone Grant entitled Helping Hands which is allowing the school system to hire a Social Worker to target K – 2 students who have been identified as potential dropouts. By working with the West Virginia Supreme Court Judiciary Branch, Dr. Akers supervised the implementation of a truancy program which has resulted in a decrease of the MCS number of students who dropout. Additionally, Mercer County Schools was one of the first counties to implement LDC (Literacy Design Collaborative) and MDC (Math Design Collaborative) in secondary schools. Both of these programs are geared toward providing students with “hands-on” learning experiences.

Dr. Akers philosophy is that public education is the key to unlocking “a world of opportunities and for providing a source of hope” to enable the children of Mercer County to have a better future. She believes it provides opportunity and hope for the children of poverty, for minority children, and for all parents who want a better life for their kids. For these reasons, she has an unwavering loyalty to the foundational principles on which public education in America was based. In the future, she hopes to continue the mission of “advocating for the highest quality public education for all students.”

Paul Hodges, President of the Mercer County Board of Education, says, “It is an honor for Mercer County Schools and for the State of West Virginia to have such an exemplary superintendent to represent us.”