Persinger, an attorney from Williamson, has served on the State Board since October 2000. He began his public service in education when he was first elected to the Mingo County Board of Education in 1977. When he was re-elected to the Mingo County Board in 1998, he was selected to serve as president until his appointment to the State Board of Education.
A 1959 graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina, Persinger went on to serve in the United States Army until 1961. After completing his full-time military service, he enrolled at the University of Virginia Law School where he received his law degree in 1964.
Persinger is a member of the West Virginia State Bar Association and was elected to serve as its president in 2000. He also has served as a member of the West Virginia State Bar Ethics Committee, 1986-1987; its Board of Governors, 1987-1990; and its Character Committee, 1995-2000.
Persinger is married Jeanne Chafin and together they have three children: Howard III, Holly and Courtney.