- + bio Honorable Ronnie Musgrove, Presiding
Chair, NAEP 12th Grade Preparedness Commission
Former Governor of Mississippi
The Honorable Ronnie Musgrove was Governor of the State of Mississippi from 2000 through 2004, having served two terms as State Senator and Chairman of the Education Committee. He is an attorney, having joined Copeland, Cook, Taylor & Bush, P.A. in 2004, where he is Of Counsel. He has served as Chairman of the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors, the Southern Regional Education Board, the Southern States Energy Board, and the Southern Growth Policies Board. Governor Musgrove has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Southern Governors Association, the Executive Committee of the Democratic Governors Association, the National Assessment Governing Board, and the National Governors Association. He is a strong proponent of public education and is active in volunteerism, working with both Habitat for Humanity and Stewpot Community Services. He is a graduate of Northwest Mississippi Community College, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Mississippi Law School.
- + bio Honorable Joe Manchin
United States Senator
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was sworn into the United States Senate on November 15, 2010 to fill the seat left vacant by the late Senator Robert C. Byrd. For Senator Manchin, serving as West Virginia’s Senator is truly an honor and a privilege.
Born and raised in the small coal mining town of Farmington, W.Va., Senator Manchin grew up learning the values that all West Virginians share – family, common sense, fairness, and hard work. As a small businessman, he learned firsthand from his grandfather, Papa Joe, who was an Italian immigrant and the town grocer, the importance of serving the public. As a young man, his beloved grandmother, Mama Kay, inspired Senator Manchin’s belief in public service through her unflagging compassion and desire to help those less fortunate. More than anything, it is his family and the values he learned growing up among the hardworking men and women of West Virginia that define who Senator Manchin is and the public servant he strives to be.
From his days as a state legislator to his six years as Governor to his current role, Senator Manchin has always been committed to his philosophy of “retail government”—in other words, connecting with all of his constituents and making service to them his top priority.
Throughout his public life, he has never let politics or ideology stand in the way of commonsense solutions. Instead, he believes that only by putting politics aside and working hard to bring people together can we do what is right for West Virginia and the nation.
He began his tenure as West Virginia’s 34th governor in January 2005. Then-Governor Manchin approved millions of dollars in tax relief for West Virginia’s citizens and businesses, fixed the state’s workers’ compensation system, established the first comprehensive teacher pay package in more than 15 years, and dramatically decreased the state’s debt. In six years, more than $13 billion in business investments were made, and West Virginia was often cited nationally for its strong fiscal management. During his term as Governor, he worked closely with Republicans and Democrats to cut taxes, reduce regulations, attract record investments, create new jobs, and expand vital social services for seniors and the poor, all while leaving the state with budget surpluses every year.
As a Senator, Joe Manchin is committed to bringing this same spirit of bipartisanship to Washington. As he has done throughout his entire life, he remains committed to working with Republicans and Democrats to find commonsense solutions to the problems our country faces and is working hard to usher in a new bipartisan spirit in the Senate and Congress.
Legislatively, job creation is Senator Manchin’s top priority, and he believes that government should act as a partner, not an adversary, in helping to create the environment that produces good American jobs. Senator Manchin also firmly believes that our nation can and must do what he did in West Virginia—put our fiscal house in order. He believes we must find commonsense ways to cut spending while keeping our promises to our seniors and veterans by protecting Social Security and Medicare.
Senator Manchin is strongly committed to developing a national energy plan that utilizes all of our resources and that finally ends our dependence on Middle East oil. He believes that a balanced, commonsense approach that considers the needs of our environment and the demands of our economy can and must be developed if we are to achieve energy independence within this generation.
Senator Manchin currently serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the Senate Special Committee on Aging—three critical committees that tackle the important work of addressing our nation’s energy needs, standing up for the members of the military, and keeping our promises to seniors.
Senator Manchin has served in several leadership capacities on various associations, including: Chairman of the National Governors Association, Chairman of the Southern States Energy Board, President of the Council of State Governments, Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, and Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Association.
Senator Manchin served as Secretary of State from 2000 to 2004, and his office was known for excellent customer service. He was a state legislator from 1982 to 1996, where he earned a reputation for standing up for West Virginians.
Senator Manchin became a successful businessman after attending West Virginia University on a football scholarship.
Senator Manchin is an avid pilot, outdoorsman, hunter, angler and motorcyclist. He has been married for more than four decades to the former Gayle Conelly of Beckley. They have three children: Heather, Joseph IV, and Brooke, and are the proud grandparents of Joseph V, Sophie, Kelsey, Madeline, Chloe, Jack, and Carly.
- + bio Honorable Jay Rockefeller (Via video)
United States Senator
Senator Jay Rockefeller has proudly served the people of West Virginia for over 40 years. Rockefeller first came to West Virginia in 1964 as a 27-year-old VISTA volunteer serving in the small mining community of Emmons. Many of the lessons that Rockefeller learned in Emmons have shaped his public service career and led to his life-long commitment to improving the lives of West Virginians and all Americans.
As a long-time advocate of accessible and quality healthcare, Rockefeller is recognized as one of the strongest champions for health care reform. He has an extensive and distinguished career of fighting to reduce the number of uninsured children and working families, protecting and improving seniors’ and veterans’ health care, and fighting for the promised health benefits of retired coal miners and steelworkers.
To diversify and expand economic opportunities, Rockefeller has played an instrumental role in attracting new investment and jobs to West Virginia. In addition to bringing a Toyota manufacturing plant to Buffalo, Rockefeller has recruited numerous national and international companies to the Mountain State, resulting in thousands of new jobs. At the same time, Rockefeller maintains a strong focus on strengthening core industries such as steel, coal and chemicals by fighting for fair trade policies and targeted tax relief. He is also working on policies that will allow for energy independence by drawing on West Virginia’s natural resources to produce clean and reliable fuels.
As part of Senator Rockefeller’s effort to strengthen the lives of children and families, he has coauthored legislation to improve educational opportunities for students, promote stability through adoptions and foster care, increase minimum wage for employees, reduce violence and obscenity on television, and help every school and library connect to the Internet. He has also supported numerous targeted tax cuts for working families such as the child tax credit and the earned-income tax credit, and he supported eliminating the marriage penalty.
Rockefeller is also known for his strong national security credentials, support for our nation’s soldiers and veterans, and oversight of the country’s intelligence programs. He has been critical of the nation’s mismanagement of the Iraq war, and continues to press the United States to refocus its mission and resources on al Qaida and global terrorism.
Senator Rockefeller is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. He is also the Chairman of the Health Care Subcommittee on Finance; and a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He also serves on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
Rockefeller graduated from Harvard University in 1961 with a B.A. in Far Eastern Languages and History. In 1964, he came to Emmons, West Virginia, where he began his public service career serving the people of West Virginia. In 1966, he was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates and to the office of West Virginia Secretary of State in 1968. He served as President of West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1973 to 1976. In 1976, Rockefeller was elected Governor of West Virginia, and was re-elected in 1980. In 1984, he was elected to the United States Senate, and re-elected in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008.
Since 1967, Rockefeller has been married to Sharon Percy Rockefeller with whom he has four children: John, Valerie, Charles, and Justin. Jay and Sharon are also the proud grandparents of four granddaughters and two grandsons.
- + bio Charles K. Heinlein
State Superintendent of Schools
Charles K. Heinlein is currently serving as the West Virginia superintendent of schools and most recently served as the deputy state superintendent of schools. Prior to becoming deputy, he served as executive director of the Office of Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership and the residential director for the West Virginia Institute for 21st Century Leadership at the West Virginia Department of Education. He received his bachelor’s degree at West Virginia Institute of Technology in social studies and served as a social studies teacher in the middle and high school levels for 13 years. Heinlein did graduate work in political science at West Virginia University and curriculum and instruction at Salem College. He completed his master’s degree at the University of Dayton and has served in three high schools (Sistersville High School, Tyler Consolidated High School, and St. Mary’s High School) as the principal for 20 years. He has worked as a consultant in 35 counties in West Virginia and worked for the Appalachian Systemic Initiative through Appalachian Regional Comprehensive Center in Leadership Development. Heinlein was recognized as a Milken Educator in 1996 and a Leader of Learning in West Virginia in 2001. He served as a state representative to the National Assessment Governing Board regarding increasing NAEP scores in the senior year of high school.
- + bio Brian O. Hemphill
President, West Virginia State University
Dr. Brian O. Hemphill joined West Virginia State University as its 10th president July 1, 2012. His emphases since arriving on campus are three-fold: to establish a commitment to excellence, to create a culture of accountability and to provide student-centered service in every interaction. He has promoted the development of initiatives to expand recruitment and retention programs and has established a framework to increase academic and social support outside of the classroom. He has kicked off a robust marketing and branding campaign and has appointed a Degree Completion Taskforce.
In October, President Hemphill announced the launch of the University’s new strategic plan entitled Vision 2020: State’s Roadmap to the Future. The plan will provide the charter for his vision in which West Virginia State University will become the most student-centered research and teaching land-grant University in the state of West Virginia and beyond.
Dr. Hemphill has received generous support from community leaders, legislators, and alumni. He secured the largest single donation in the University’s history that will provide $1 million for student scholarships and the lead gift for a new athletic complex to support all West Virginia State University student athletes.
President Hemphill believes that providing students with a holistic learning experience and offering a broad range of services, staff and programs ensures a quality experience from recruitment to graduation. He has a strong background in student advocacy, advancing diversity and equity, and establishing a solid commitment to shared governance on campus.
Before assuming the presidency at West Virginia State, Dr. Hemphill served for eight years as vice president for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management and as associate professor at Northern Illinois University (NIU), where he was responsible for all aspects of student life and enrollment management.
Prior to joining NIU, he served as an associate vice chancellor and dean of students at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, associate dean of students at University of North Carolina-Wilmington, assistant dean of students at Cornell College, and coordinator of minority recruitment and retention at Iowa State University. Dr. Hemphill served as a member of the Board of Trustees for St. Augustine’s College in North Carolina and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Greenlee School of Journalism at Iowa State University.
Throughout his career, he has pioneered initiatives to enhance living-learning communities, including multicultural awareness programs, student leadership curricula, and collaborative residential education. He has contributed to numerous journal articles and professional presentations in the areas of leadership, crisis management, ethics, and diversity. Most recently, Dr. Hemphill was the editor of the monograph, Enough is Enough: A Student Affairs Perspective on Preparedness and Response to a Campus Shooting. He has fulfilled various leadership roles within the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), which named him a Pillar of the Profession in 2009.
Dr. Hemphill earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Iowa, a Master of Science degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University of Science and Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communication from St. Augustine’s College.
- + bio Paul L. Hill
Chancellor, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
Dr. Paul L. Hill was named Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission on May 18, 2012. He previously served as Interim Chancellor beginning in January 2012 and as Vice Chancellor for Science and Research beginning in 2007. As Vice Chancellor for Science and Research, Dr. Hill oversaw the receipt and administration of more than $50 million in federal research funding and $76 million in state research investments. He served as Executive Director of the West Virginia Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (WVEPSCoR), a state infrastructure program of the National Science Foundation (NSF), and helped create and manage a number of competitive research programs with academic institutions throughout the state, including: the West Virginia Research Trust Fund, commonly known as “Bucks for Brains”; the West Virginia Research Challenge Fund; and West Virginia Eminent Scholars initiative. He formerly held a position at West Virginia University in Research and Economic Development and served as an adjunct faculty member in biology at the University of Charleston. Before joining WVEPSCoR in 2001, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, appointed by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Dr. Hill has more than 25 years of experience in academic research, grant administration, public policy, and management, and has held CEO positions in state, federal, and private organizations. In addition, Dr. Hill is active in numerous state and federal committees, boards, and commissions, including the West Virginia Science and Research Council (chairman); West Virginia Regional Technology Park Corporation Board of Directors (chairman); West Virginia Commission on International Education; EPSCoR Program Directors Council (past chairman); national EPSCoR/IDeA Foundation Board (chairman); EPSCoR 2030 Workshop (project chair); Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research, and Innovation Center (MATRIC) Board of Directors; Hawaii EPSCoR State Committee; Iowa EPSCoR State Committee; Hawaii EPSCoR Monitoring and Assessment Panel (past chairman); A Vision Shared-West Virginia Technology-Based Economic Development (TBED) Council; Marshall University Research Corporation; West Virginia Commission on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Graduate Education; and West Virginia University College of Engineering Visiting Committee (2004-2007). Most recently, Dr. Hill was appointed as a member of Higher Education Executive Officers’ (SHEEO) Federal Relations Committee.
He has been a U.S. delegate to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Europe and served on both the New York City Environmental Protection Council and the U.S. EPA's Council on the Clean Air Act. Dr. Hill was an invited participant in the development of the NSF EPSCoR 2020 Report and has provided congressional testimony on science and technology policy on numerous occasions. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), and the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS).
A native West Virginian, Dr. Hill holds degrees from Marshall University (B.S. and M.S.) and the University of Louisville (Ph.D.) in biology and chemistry. He studied at the University of Louisville's Systems Science Institute, where his research emphasis was environmental chemistry and ecological systems.
- + bio Lloyd G. Jackson II
Member, West Virginia State Board of Education
Chair, NAEP Business Policy Task Force
Lloyd Jackson is an attorney and the President of Jackson Gas Company. From 1995 to 2003, Mr. Jackson served as chair of the West Virginia Senate Education Committee, chair of the Finance Subcommittee on Education Funding, and co-chair of the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability. Mr. Jackson was the principal author of legislation creating the P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Scholarship and West Virginia’s four-year-old early childhood initiative. He was an active member of the Southern Regional Education Board where he sat on both the Executive Committee and the Finance Committee, and chaired the Legislative Advisory Council. In 2011, Mr. Jackson was appointed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to a nine-year term on the West Virginia Board of Education.
Mr. Jackson serves as a Trustee of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and West Virginia Wesleyan College, as a Director of the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, and as Chair of the NAEP Business Policy Task Force. He and his family reside in Hamlin, West Virginia where he operates his family’s natural gas production business, an industry his family has participated in for over a century.
- + bio J. Thomas Jones
President and CEO, West Virginia United Health System
Tom Jones is President and CEO of the West Virginia United Health System. The system consists of West Virginia University Hospitals, United Hospital Center, West Virginia University Hospitals – East (City Hospital and Jefferson Memorial Hospital), Camden Clark Medical Center, United Physicians Care, and Health Partners Network. He has served in this position since 2002.
Prior to serving in this role, Mr. Jones functioned as CEO of the Genesis Hospital System Inc. (2000–2002) and Executive Director/CEO of St. Mary’s Medical Center (1990–2000), both located in Huntington, West Virginia.
Mr. Jones was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Leaders in West Virginia in 2008 by West Virginia Executive magazine. He has served on the board of the American Hospital Association and as Chair of the American Hospital Association Region III Policy Board, Chair of the West Virginia Roundtable, and Chair of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. He currently serves as Chair of the West Virginia State Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and on the boards of the West Virginia Hospital Association, Premier Inc., and Arch Coal Inc.
Mr. Jones received his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a major in accounting from West Virginia University. He obtained a master’s degree in hospital administration from the University of Minnesota and a certificate in the CEO Program for Healthcare Leadership from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
- + bio Honorable Robert H. "Bob" Plymale
Chairman, West Virginia Senate Education Committee
As CEO and director of the Rahall Transportation Institute (RTI), Bob Plymale leads a dynamic team of business, academic, and research professionals working to enhance safety and economic development opportunities through transportation. Under his leadership, RTI has received two U.S. patents, developed the National Maritime Enhancement Institute at RTI, and produced the award-winning Electronic Commercial Driver’s Licensing (eCDL) program.
In addition to managing the day-to-day operations at RTI, Plymale is a highly effective and well-regarded public servant. He is currently serving his fifth term in the West Virginia State Senate, District 5. He is chairman of the Senate Education Committee and serves on the Budget Conferees, Rules, Finance, Pensions, Confirmations, Health and Human Resources, and Transportation and Infrastructure committees respectively.
In 2003, Plymale was appointed by Governor Bob Wise to the Board of Control for the Southern Regional Education Board. He was reappointed by Governor Joe Manchin in 2006 and now serves on the executive committee. In 2004, Plymale was named to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) National Task Force on No Child Left Behind, and from 2005 to 2006 he was Chairman of the NCSL Education Committee and a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education. In 2008, the Marshall Community and Technical College awarded him the Community College Champion Award, and in 2009 he was awarded the West Virginia Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Legislator of the Year for outstanding service to those with speech and hearing impairments. In 2009–10, Plymale co-chaired the NCSL Federal Education Policy Task Force, which report was completed on February 1, 2010, and presented at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In 2012, he was selected to serve on the NCSL Executive Committee, having previously served from 2008 to 2010 in this capacity.
He is the recipient of the Presidential Citation from Glenville State College, a Distinguished Service Award from the West Virginia Athletic Directors Association, and the Michael Prestera Award of Excellence in recognition of his efforts to improve the lives of individuals living with behavioral health issues. In 2005, Plymale received the Distinguished Service to the Community Award from Marshall University. More recently, he was named co-President of the Keith Albee Theater Performing Arts Center Inc., and has been instrumental in reviving and maintaining this Huntington landmark as a performing arts and community center. In March 2010 he received the Legislative Leadership for Arts in Education Award in addition to the American Trails award for Public Service, as a testament of his significant and consistent support of trail planning, design, and implementation through strong leadership and legislative efforts. Plymale is a graduate of Marshall University.
- + bio Honorable Mary Poling
Chair, West Virginia House Committee on Education
Since 2000, the Honorable Mary M. Poling has served in the West Virginia House of Delegates, representing District 40. Delegate Poling chairs the Education Committee and serves on the Agriculture, Finance, and House Rules committees.
Delegate Poling serves as commissioner of the Education Commission of the States. She is a member of the Barbour County and Tucker County chambers of commerce; Barbour County Development Authority; Barbour County Education Association and Association of Retired School Employees; Barbour County Farm Bureau; and West Virginia 4-H All Stars.
A retired teacher, Delegate Poling received her B.A. and M.S. from West Virginia University.
- + bio Mark Musick, Panel Moderator
Advisor, NAEP 12th Grade Preparedness Commission
James H. Quillen Chair of Excellence in Education and Teaching
East Tennessee State University
Mark Musick holds the James H. Quillen Chair of Excellence in Education and Teaching at East Tennessee State University and is president emeritus of the Southern Regional Education Board, America's first interstate compact for education. Mr. Musick was appointed by three U.S. Secretaries of Education to chair the National Assessment Governing Board. He is a charter member of the new board of ACT, Inc., serving as lead director of the ACT board and as a member of the ACT executive committee. Mr. Musick was elected in 2006 to the board of directors of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment.