Kay Goodwin of Charleston, Kanawha County, was appointed Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Education and the Arts in 2001 by Governor Bob Wise and reappointed by Governor Joe Manchin III and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. She serves on the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, the West Virginia Film Commission, the Prepaid Tuition Fund Board of Trustees and the Advanced Placement Advisory Council. She is co-chairman of the Center for Professional Development Board, is chairman of the West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, and is the Governor’s designee to the Educational Broadcasting Authority. She is a member of the WV Humanities Council, the Workforce Planning Council, is a lifetime member of the Governor’s Honors Schools Advisory Council, is chairman of the Early Childhood Advisory Council and serves on the HB 3009 Workforce Development Initiative Committee. She is the former Chairman of the EPSCoR Advisory Council and is a current member of the Science and Research Council.
Secretary Goodwin is the former chairman of the University of West Virginia System Board of Trustees, the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, The PROMISE Scholarship Board of Advisors, and the Financial Aid Coordinating Council. She has served on WVU’s Board of Advisors and as Chairman and member of the WVU College of Creative Arts Board of Visitors. A former member of the Arts Education Advisory Board for the National Endowment for the Arts, she was appointed in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush to serve on the Independent Commission to Review the Grantmaking Procedures of the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a former member of the West Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees, the United Health Systems Board, and the West Virginia University Hospitals Board of Directors.
Named a Distinguished West Virginian, WVU’s Outstanding Alumna, and recipient of the WVU President’s Distinguished Service Award, she was inducted into the WVU College of Human Resources and Education Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2005, the West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities Inc. (WCICU), a consortium of the ten private colleges and universities in the state, recognized the Secretary's lifelong dedication and service to strengthening higher education throughout the state. Secretary Goodwin has been recognized as Daughter of the Year by the West Virginia Society of Washington, D.C. In 2004, Secretary Goodwin was designated one of only four recipients of the National Public Service Award. She was recently named The WVU Foundation's Most Loyal West Virginian during WVU Mountaineer Week.
Mrs. Goodwin is a past president of the Junior League of Charleston, the West Virginia University Alumni Association, Keep a Child in School, the Ripley High School Parent Advisory Committee, and the Epworth Methodist Church Administrative Board. She also served on the National Assessment of Educational Progress Arts Steering Committee, the National Advisory Committee to Study Arts Education in the United States, and has testified before Congress on arts and education initiatives on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. She was a member of the Bradley Foundation’s Commission to Hear and Review Arts Funding in Milwaukee. She is a former member of the United Bankshares Community Advisory Board, the Jackson County Foundation Performing Arts Fund, the West Virginia Artists’ and Craftsmen’s Guild Board of Directors, the West Virginia Public Radio Advisory Committee as well as the West Virginia Symphony Women’s Committee, and the University of Charleston Builders. Mrs. Goodwin was, for over twenty years, privileged to direct community and high school musical theatre in Jackson County, in addition to staging opera performances and inaugural events in other state venues. Secretary Goodwin was honored by both the National Educational Theatre Association and the West Virginia Thespian Conference for her support and advancement of student theatre in West Virginia and the nation. In 2010, Mrs. Goodwin was named one of The Charleston YWCA’s Women of Achievement in addition to being honored with her husband, Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, by the West Virginia Education Alliance.
Holding a masters degree in drama, she has served on both WVU and West Virginia State University faculties. Secretary Goodwin has received seven honorary doctoral degrees.