New State Education Department Head Fires Four Employees

CHARLESTON– Newly appointed secretary of the Department of Education and the Arts Gayle Manchin has fired one-third of the department’s central office staff in a sweeping reorganization.

Missy Phalen, Manchin’s executive assistant, confirmed Monday to the Charleston Gazette-Mail ( that the positions that have been terminated are chief financial officer, special assistant to the secretary, special projects coordinator and accounting technician.

There are now eight employees at the department’s office.

When asked for comment, Phalen issued a statement that read in part, “Under the governor’s direction 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.”

Gov. Jim Justice appointed Manchin to the position on Jan. 13.

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