MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A first of its kind charter school set for the Eastern Panhandle got its approval Wednesday.

Mark Fuhrmann is Board Chair and President of the Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy, which he says will offer “an enriched learning environment; a comprehensive system of supporting the needs of the whole child.”

As for staff, Fuhrmann touts “the commitment and the cross section of experience. No single educational approach. Our teachers won’t be subject to bureaucratic oversight. We’ll be accessible and accountable. We’ll be responsive.”

The K-12 charter school could open as soon as August of 2022. Fuhrman isn’t sure where exactly it will be located yet.

Fuhrmann says they are looking for a location that is centrally located in the Panhandle that is convenient to allow the new charter school to serve the entire Eastern Panhandle.

Members of the West Virginia Professional Charter Schools Board approved three “brick and mortar” schools –West Virginia Academy in the Morgantown area, Eastern Panhandle Preparatory Academy and Nitro Preparatory Academy.

West Virginia has had no charter schools until now, after passing a state law allowing them in 2019. Charter schools would receive financial support from the state’s public education system and would be given greater operational latitude in exchange for the possibility of losing their right to operate if they fail.

Fuhrmann was a guest on MetroNews Talkline, heard weekday mornings on The Panhandle News Network beginning at 10:00.