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Board of Education Member Gayle Manchin Receives National Public Service Award

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July 09, 2015

Kristen Amundson and Gayle Manchin
Kristen Amundson (left), Executive Director of NASBE, and Gayle Manchin.

Charleston, W.Va. — During the West Virginia Board (WVBE) of Education meeting on Thursday, Kristen Amundson, Executive Director of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) announced that Gayle C. Manchin, president, WVBE has been selected to receive the 2015 Distinguished Service Award. Manchin is a former NASBE president and emeritus board member.

This national award honors state board members who have made exceptional contributions to education, and is given to three outstanding education leaders each year. A state board member from Arkansas and Michigan will also receive the award.

Manchin was nominated by members of the WVBE. The nomination noted that Mrs. Manchin is a longtime advocate for education and has served as a commissioner on the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service, chairwoman of the Governor’s Healthy Lifestyles Coalition and the West Virginia Citizen’s Council on Children and Families, and co-chair on the Governor’s 21st Century Jobs Cabinet and the Intellectual Infrastructure of Vision Shared.

Manchin has been an active volunteer and has long been involved with AmeriCorps and America’s Promise. She was also on the Board of Director’s for Horton’s Kids, a nonprofit serving at-risk children in Washington, DC, and is an emeritus member of the Education Alliance in West Virginia. Former First Lady of West Virginia, Manchin has taught at Fairmont State University and in the Marion County Public Schools. While working at the state’s Office of the Secretary of Education and the Arts she implemented the West Virginia Partnerships to Assure Student Success initiative.

In making the announcement, Amundson said, “Gayle Manchin is one of the people I respect almost more than anyone in state boards of education and I would have walked across broken glass to get here for the announcement today. As a Distinguished Service Award winner she exemplifies the leadership and commitment of state board of education members nationwide. Their service has truly made a difference for children.”

Manchin noted her appreciation to her fellow board members and acknowledged the work of NASBE in bettering the cause of state boards of education across the country. Mrs. Manchin stated, “I am overwhelmed and honored to receive the NASBE Distinguished Service Award. My participation in NASBE has provided me with invaluable state board member training that has enabled me to further my ability to serve and strengthen our board's ability to improve academic achievement for all WV students.”

The Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Mrs. Manchin this October at NASBE’s annual conference in Baltimore, M.D.

For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.

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