Paul Hodges

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Paul Hodges

Mr. Paul Hodges has served on the Mercer County Board of Education since July 2012 and is currently serving as the Board’s president.  Mr. Hodges holds a Bachelor of Science in Education with fields in Art and Social Studies from Concord College/University, a Master of Arts in Social Studies Education from Marshall University, and 45 hours post-Master’s degree work with credit from a variety of institutions. 

Mr. Hodges began teaching in 1964 at Sissonville High School.  He taught at Athens High School from 1974-1994, then at PikeView High School from 1995 until he retired in 2008.  After retirement, he continued as a substitute teacher from 2008-2012. 

Mr. Hodges and his wife, Nancy, have one daughter, Tracy, and two grandsons, Tyler and Thomas.  His prior public service includes Athens Town Council from 2001-2012 and Mercer County Board of Health.  He currently serves as a member of the Concord Alumni Association Executive Council, Criminal Justice Board, and Athens Lions Club.

 Mary Alice Kaufman

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Mary Alice Kaufman

Mary Alice Kaufman was elected to the Mercer County Board in 2004.  She lives in Bluefield with her husband Jack. They have two daughters, Pam Browning and Betsey Shaw, both teach at the Mercer County Technical Center.  A family of educators, her granddaughter Emily teaches at Memorial Elementary and her son-in-law, Todd is the assistant superintendent of Mercer County Schools. She boasts five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Mrs. Kaufman is a graduate of Radford University and West Virginia College of Graduate Studies (now Marshall University). She retired from Mercer County Schools after serving as teacher and principal for more than 30 years. Immediately after retiring she was chosen by the West Virginia Board of Ed. as a Distinguish Educator and worked with low performing schools for 3 years.  She served as principal of Mercer School for 16 years. It was the first school in Southern WV to become a School of Excellence.  In 1988 she was chosen West Virginia’s Principal of the Year by the WV Education Fund.  Loving the “world of education”, while working she served on many committees at the state level and made many presentations through out the state.  Before going to Mercer, she was vice principal at Glenwood School, interim principal at Ramsey and teacher at Memorial Elementary.

Traveling is a passion with this Board Member.  She has traveled to all 50 states and more than a dozen countries. (Something you don’t know about Mrs. K – She was Director of Dance for the “Allegheny Highlanders” as they traveled through Europe in 1977)!!

Mrs. Kaufman is a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, where she serves as Sunday School Teacher and Chairman of the Education Committee.

 Jacinda Santon Smith

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Jacinda Santon Smith

Jacinda Santon Smith was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Mercer County Board of Education in March 2016 and subsequently elected to the position in November of that year.  She is a lifelong resident of Mercer County and attended Mercer Elementary School as well as Princeton Junior and Senior High Schools.  She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Business from Wake Forest University.  Jacinda has served as the Administrator of Blue Ridge Internal Medicine since 2000.  

As a dedicated supporter of our students and staff, Jacinda’s goal is to visit at least one classroom each day of the school year.  

In addition to her active involvement with Mercer County Schools, Ms. Smith serves on the Board of Governors for the Chuck Mathena Center, the Board of Directors for the Jonathan Powell Hope Foundation, and the Board of Directors for Read Aloud Mercer County.  She lives in Princeton with her husband, Dr. Todd Smith, and their daughter, Kate. 

 Greg Prudich

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Greg Prudich

Mr. Gregory Prudich is a member of the Mercer County Board of Education.  He was first elected in 1998.  He has served as its past-president for the 9 years and past vice-president for 4 years.  Greg is the current executive board member of the WV School Board Association and is a past board member of the WV Secondary Schools Activities Commission.  Greg is a native of Mercer County, graduating valedictorian from Montcalm High School.  He graduated with Honors with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Concord University and attained his Doctor of Jurisprudence from South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas in 1985. 

Greg has spent most of his adult life working on education issues and has been involved in many aspects of the local education system as a parent, citizen and board member.  Prior to becoming a member of the local school board, Greg served on his local LSIC, the County PASS Committee, the County Safe Schools Committee, the County School to Work Committee, as well as various athletic and co-curricular booster clubs.  Since being elected, he has given much attention to Technical Education, in adding new programs, in developing embedded credit and in working to further strengthen vocational technical education program.  Greg has served on various boards and local entities, including CASE of Southern West Virginia, the Mercer County Fire Service Board, and the Southern Regional Community Corrections Board.  One of his proudest associations is having guided the local Little League Baseball program to state prominence. 

He currently practices law at the Law Offices of Gregory S. Prudich, located in Princeton, WV.  Greg resides in Princeton with his wife Penny.  They have four wonderful children, one grandchild and have been married for 37 wonderful years.

 Gilbert "Gene" Bailey

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Gilbert "Gene" Bailey