- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The president and vice president of the West Virginia Board of Education resigned Tuesday night, effective immediately.

The state Department of Education issued a release that included statements from departing President Michael Green and Vice President Lloyd Jackson.

Green said although he does not have a background in education, he felt his seven years on the board allowed him to “hold my own” in handling education issues. He said he leaves “with a heavy heart” and hopes Gov. Jim Justice and the legislature will make the best decisions for the state.

Jackson, who served on the board five years, said it’s apparent Justice wants to pursue a different course.

Michael Martirano, the West Virginia superintendent of schools, has previously announced he will step down at the end of the school year. The board hasn’t begun a search for his successor.

Last week, newly appointed Education and Arts Secretary Gayle Manchin fired a third of the department’s central office staff, leaving eight employees at the office.

“Under the governor’s director as his cabinet secretary, Secretary Manchin is focused on re-structuring and re-purposing the staff in the cabinet office to work more effectively and efficiently,” Manchin executive assistant Missy Phalen said when asked for comment on the firings.

Justice appointed Manchin to the position Jan. 13.

Justice later announced three appointments to openings on the state Board of Education. They are to be sworn in at the next meeting.

They are Miller Hall, Barbara Whitecotton and Chuck Hatfield, all educators.

Justice said then that the state’s politicians and bureaucrats “have failed to listen to our teachers, so I appointed three educators with significant classroom experience.”

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