Michael J. Farrell, Esq., Chair
Michael J. Farrell is the Founding Member of Farrell, White & Legg, PLLC, a Huntington law firm. He graduated from Marshall University in 1969 with a B.S. He graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence in 1974. He served as Interim President of Marshall University in 2005. Cumulatively, he served eleven years as a member of the Marshall University Board of Governors and its predecessor, Marshall University Advisory Board.
At Marshall, he also served as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. As a Marshall student, he was Student Body President, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, a Distinguished Military Graduate and the First Student Member of the President’s Cabinet. He also served as MARCO, the school mascot. At the WVU College of Law, he served two terms on the Visiting Committee including a year as Chairman. As a law student, he was an oralist on the 1973 National and World Champion, Jessup International Law Moot Court Team. He was Senior Class President, a member of law review and served as Chief Justice of the Moot Court Board as well as Captain of both the National and International Moot Court Teams. He is a member of Mountain, WVU’s Ranking Men’s Honorary.
Dr. Bruce Berry
Bruce Berry, M.D., of Morgantown, recently retired as the medical director at Colombo & Stuhr, P.L.L.C. where he oversaw risk management and quality assurance. For nearly thirty years, Dr. Berry practiced medicine at a private practice in Charleston. Dr. Berry also served as a clinical instructor, clinical assistant professor, and clinical associate professor at West Virginia University’s School of Medicine campus at the Charleston Area Medical Center. In addition to his work with WVU, Dr. Berry served as a clinical associate professor with the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Berry graduated with an A.B. in biology, M.S. in embryology, and a M.D. from West Virginia University.
Jenny is the Chief Operating Officer at SkyTruth, a technology-based environmental nonprofit based in Shepherdstown that uses satellite imagery and remote sensing data to map and monitor threats to the planet such as oil spills, fracking, mountaintop removal mining, and overfishing of the oceans. As a leader of the Create campaign for Shepherd University, Jenny helped the institution raise $26 million in its first comprehensive fundraising initiative. She also served as a trustee for nine years and president for four of the Contemporary American Theater Festival as well as on numerous other boards, including the New York based playwright service organization New Dramatists. Jenny has participated in panels for the Theatre Communications Group and for the National Endowment for the Arts. She earned a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., an M.A. from the University of Georgia, and an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management at Georgetown University.
Bob Brown who is employed in the Office of the President for the American Federation of Teachers, resides in Charleston, WV. Mr. Brown is Senior Vice President of the WV AFL-CIO; Chair of the WV Public Employee Grievance Board; a member of the WV Higher Education Policy Commission; a member of the WV Workforce Investment Council; a member of the Teachers Retirement System Committee of the WV Investment Management Board; a Commissioner for the Malden Public Service District; and a member of the WV Attorney General’s Citizen Advisory Committee. Bob Brown is a Marine Corps veteran of the Viet Nam war and was educated in Kanawha County public schools, West Virginia Institute of Technology, and West Virginia University.
Kathy G. Eddy, Secretary
Kathy G. Eddy, CPA is a shareholder in McDonough, Eddy, Parsons & Baylous, A.C., located in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Ms. Eddy joined the firm in 1974 and became a shareholder in 1981. She is a graduate of Marshall University with B.A. in accounting. She became a Certified Public Accountant in 1978. She has been active in her profession at the national level, serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the 340,000 member professional organization, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). She was awarded the AICPA Gold Medal for Distinguished Service.
In addition to her service to her profession at the national level she has served the accounting profession in West Virginia including the West Virginia Society of CPAs and the West Virginia Board of Accountancy by holding all offices, including President of both organizations. Until her recent appointment to the Higher Education Policy Commission she was a member of Marshall University’s Lewis College of Business Board of Advisors and the Accounting Curriculum and Accreditation Committee. She is the recipient of the Marshall Distinguished Alumni Award and a member of the Lewis College of Business Hall of Fame. She has been involved in many community organizations and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of Camden Clark Memorial Hospital.
Dr. John Leon
John Leon, M.D., is the president of Radiological Physician Associates (RPA) headquartered in Fairmont. RPA is one of the largest radiology groups in West Virginia with 19 radiologists providing professional services to more than 30 hospitals and clinics across West Virginia. Dr. Leon joined RPA in 1988 and became president of the group in 2002. He also has served terms as president of the West Virginia Radiological Society, the Marion County Medical Association, and the Fairmont Field Club over the past 25 years. He currently is serving as secretary for the Fairmont Regional Medical Center Community Foundation. He was appointed to the Higher Education Policy Commission in January 2009 by then-Governor Joe Manchin.
Dr Leon is originally from Wellsburg and graduated from Brooke High School in 1976, Notre Dame University in 1980, West Virginia University Medical School in 1984, and completed a radiology residency at WVU in 1988. John and his wife Marcy live in Fairmont and have been married for 30 years. They have 4 children; Johnny, Camille, Isabella, and Joseph. Camille and Isabella are currently students at WVU. Johnny works at Mylan Pharmaceuticals and Joseph attends Fairmont Senior High School.
Gayle Manchin, Ex-Officio
Gayle Conelly Manchin attended West Virginia University, where she attained her Bachelor of Arts in Language Arts and Education and a Master of Arts in Reading, and a second master’s specialization in Educational Technology Leadership from Salem International University. She was recently appointed by Governor Jim Justice to serve as Cabinet Secretary for the Office of Education and the Arts within his administration.
As an educator, Gayle worked in Marion County Schools at the secondary level, served on the faculty of Fairmont State University in Developmental Education and was the Director of the university’s first Community Service Learning Program. From 2000-2004, she directed the AmeriCorps Promise Fellows in WV and through the Secretary of Education and the Arts, implemented a statewide initiative, WVPASS (WV Partnerships to Assure Student Success).
From January 2005 until November 2010, Gayle served as West Virginia’s First Lady and the official hostess of the Governor’s Mansion where she was an advocate for West Virginia children and families. In addition, she was appointed by the Governor to serve as a member of the State Board of Education, where she completed her tenure in 2015 after serving as President for her last two years. She is the Chair of the Board for Reconnecting McDowell, an AFT initiative serving rural WV, is a past president of the Vandalia Rotary Club of Charleston, and currently serves on the Clay Center Advisory Board, Vision Shared and as an Emeritus Member of The Education Alliance. In addition, she serves on the REL Appalachia Governing Board.
On the national level, Gayle is a Past-President of the National State Boards of Education (NASBE). She served by appointment of Sec. of Education, Arne Duncan to the FIPSE (Federal Improvement for Post-Secondary Education) Board from 2010-2014, and is a current member of the International Friendship Club and the Senate Spouses Organization in Washington, DC. Gayle is also a member of the Board of Director’s for Horton’s Kids, a non-profit organization serving at-risk youth in Washington, DC. She has spoken both at a state and national level on challenges of rural education, poverty, and our responsibility to intersect economic development with education through collaboration with the Gov’s STEM and STEAM initiatives.
While at WVU, Gayle met and married Joe Manchin, III, elected as US Senator from West Virginia, to fill the unexpired term of Senator Robert C Byrd in 2010, and re-elected in 2012 for a full term. Joe and Gayle have been married for 48 years and have three children and ten grandchildren.
Dr. Steven L. Paine, Ed.D., Ex-Officio
State Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Steven L. Paine began serving as West Virginia’s 31st Superintendent of Schools in March 2017. He previously served as West Virginia’s 25th Superintendent of Schools from 2005-2011.
Under his leadership, West Virginia was internationally and nationally recognized for its 21st century learning program. The state was also singled out for its work with pre-K programs, school technology implementation, school leadership development programs, reading initiatives and teacher quality efforts.
Paine was active in national education policy discussions as president of the Council of Chief State School Officers and as a member of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) Board of Directors and the National Assessment Governing Board. As part of the governing board, Paine helped lead its work to set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as The Nation’s Report Card.
Paine joined the West Virginia Department of Education in 2003 as deputy state superintendent of Schools after serving as Morgan County superintendent. He also has served as principal, assistant principal, teacher and curriculum director in school systems in Upshur and Harrison counties.
During his tenure as principal, Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School was named a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School and a U.S. Department of Education Safe, Disciplined, Drug-free School, one of approximately 10 schools in the nation to earn both awards. As a result of his work as a principal, he was named a recipient of the prestigious Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award.
Paine earned his undergraduate degree from Fairmont State College, in Fairmont, W.Va. He furthered his education by attending West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va., where he received his master’s in educational administration and his doctorate in educational leadership.
Andrew A. “Drew” Payne III
Andrew Payne has worked in the financial industry for the past 30 years. He attended public school in Charleston, WV and graduated from George Washington High School in 1976. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1980 from Hampden Sydney College, and his MBA from George Washington University in 1985. Mr. Payne was a member of the Board of Governors at West Virginia University for nine years, serving three years as Vice Chairman and two years as Chairman.