The West Virginia Senate on Saturday confirmed all 257 of Gov. Jim Justice’s recently requested appointments to various boards.
Those included Stan Maynard to the West Virginia Board of Education, the state’s top K-12 education policy and oversight organization, and former Senate Education Committee chairman Kenny Mann to the state School Building Authority, which provides school districts money for school construction and major renovations.
Senators also confirmed appointments to the boards of governors of numerous colleges and universities. Those were West Virginia, West Virginia State, Marshall, Fairmont State and West Liberty universities; the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine; Bluefield State and Glenville State colleges; and BridgeValley, New River, Southern, Northern and WVU-Parkersburg community colleges.
Also confirmed were numerous non-education-focused appointments, including Brig. Gen. Bill Crane as the West Virginia National Guard’s top administrator, the adjutant general. Crane has been serving in that role since Jan. 4.
Senators didn’t publicly discuss any of the appointments before confirming them in a 33-0 vote. Mark Maynard, R-Wayne, was the only senator absent.
Members of the state Board of Education serve nine-year terms. Once confirmed by the Senate, they cannot be removed from office over policy disagreements, even by the governor.
Maynard, the board’s newest member, previously was a professor for 35 years in Marshall University’s College of Education.
He is the executive director of the June Harless Center for Rural Education Research and Development, where his wife serves as chief of staff.
For the last five fiscal years, the center received the majority of its annual funding from the major agency that the board oversees: the state Department of Education.
Maynard said he and his wife, Barbara, are retiring from the center June 30. Barbara Maynard currently receives $13,000 annually from the department to lead the center’s responsibilities in an early literacy and free book distribution partnership with the department.
The state Board of Education’s members routinely start serving and voting on the board, as Maynard has, in the interim between their appointment and their Senate confirmation or rejection.
Maynard has said that, since joining the board in November, he hasn’t used his position to procure further funding for the center, nor has current or past funding influenced his votes.