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.
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 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 where she served as the official hostess of the Governor’s Mansion. In addition, she was appointed by the Governor to serve as a member of the State Board of Education, where she now serves as President. 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 Board, Vision Shared and The Education Alliance.
On the national level, Gayle is a Past-President of the National State Boards of Education (NASBE). She was appointed by Sec. of Education, Arne Duncan to the FIPSE (Federal Improvement for Post-Secondary Education) Board in 2010, serves as Corresponding Secretary for the US Senate Spouses, the First Lady Luncheon Committee, and is a member of the International III Club. 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.
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 46 years and have three children and eight grandchildren.