The idea for forming an association for school board members in West Virginia began with a meeting held in the Spring of 1952 at Marshall College (now Marshall University). The organization was incorporated in 1954, with individual county boards receiving legislative sanction to join the Association in 1958. For the first several years of its operation, Association offices were located at West Virginia University, with West Virginia School Board Association (WVSBA) eventually moving its headquarters to Charleston in 1968. The relocation was accomplished in order to give the organization greater visibility with state policymakers and lawmakers.
From its inception at the Marshall meeting, the organization has served the purpose of working to promote, in non-partisan means, "the advancement of public education in West Virginia, and to study and seek to attain effectiveness and constructive school board membership..." (WVSBA Constitution, Article II).
Since 1984, the organization has sought to realize these goals through a heightened emphasis on school board member training and development - being one of 14 states which require school board member training - and through a wide-range of training venues and options, including a Fall and Winter Conference. Additionally, the organization works to promote school boards, school board service and the resolution of problems facing school boards, partly through WVSBA's participation as a federation member of the National School Boards Association, located in Alexandria, Virginia.
WVSBA offices are located in Charleston, West Virginia, near the East End historical district of the city, and within 2 blocks of the state Capitol. Beginning in 1994, the organization began a deliberative approach to "out-source" for many of its staffing services, contracting with various persons and agencies. For that reason, the organization leases its unused office space.
WVSBA is governed by elected school board members through an Executive Board comprised of five executive officers, 16 regional officers and past presidents (serving on their local boards). The Executive Director is an ex officio member of the Executive Board.
WVSBA operates in a very inclusive manner through the work of a number of standing and ad hoc committees. One of the organization's most important committees is the Committee on Legislation.
The organization conducts two business meetings annually; an Annual Business Meeting (late Winter) and a Delegate Assembly (September). Executive officers are elected at the Annual Business Meeting. The Association operating budget also is considered at that meeting.