CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gayle Manchin will serve as the next president of the state Board of Education as Attorney General Patrick Morrisey steps in to advise the board in its search for a new state superintendent of schools.
The board voted to appoint Manchin as president during a regular meeting Wednesday and to make board member Mike Greene the next vice president. Both will serve two-year terms.
Manchin will be at the helm of the school board as it embarks on a national search for a new state superintendent of schools -- a position held in the short term by Jim Phares since the board voted in November to oust then-Superintendent Jorea Marple.
At that time, board members said they would soon conduct a more comprehensive nationwide search for a long-term superintendent. That search began gearing up this week, more than six months after Phares took over.
The process will begin in Morrisey's office. The board requested help from Morrisey's office to help parse legal issues related to the extensive search process.
A representative for the Attorney General's Office said Wednesday that the office will be "providing legal counsel to the board, but the board will be making all of the substantive decisions related to who they choose to be the new superintendent."
The representative would not comment on any potential financial relationship between Morrisey's office and the board.
At Wednesday's meeting, Morrisey described the relationship as "a collaboration."
"The key part of our office is to just help you with the legal issues so it allows you to focus on the substantive point of who should be the next superintendent," he said.
Potential potholes include issues related to setting up public bidding policies, he said, as well as finding a balance between confidentiality issues and open meetings laws.