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Board fires West Virginia Schools Superintendent Jorea M. Marple
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on November 16, 2012 @ 11:17AM
Created on November 15, 2012 @ 1:51PM
 
Photo: West Virginia Department of Education Jorea M. Marple 
 
The State Board of Education has voted to fire West Virginia Schools Superintendent Jorea Marple. The board chose Deputy Superintendent Charles Heinlein to manage the department until a new superintendent is named.
 
Just before noon Thursday at a board meeting in Charleston, the state Board of Education voted 5-2 on to terminate Marple's contract.  The board did not make a public announcement as to why it had decided to fire Marple. 
 
The two board members who opposed the decision, Jenny Phillips and Priscilla Haden, announced they will resign from the board, effective Dec. 31.
 
Marple said she was surprised by the decision. She says she had received only encouragement, and she hopes to continue to be an advocate for children and teachers. Groups representing teachers and school workers praised Marple. They say they're dismayed by her firing and the two resignations.
 
West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee says he's appalled by Marple's firing and the way it was handled without warning. He says students, teachers and service personnel are losing a strong advocate. Lee told Metronews that this was a politically motivated decision. He also said this is terrible timing because the board is supposed to respond to a recent public education audit. 
 
Board President Wade Linger said that's why a change in leadership is needed, but Lee disagrees. That recent audit showed a low-performing education system rigidly controlled by a state-level bureaucracy and a thick stack of policy-directing laws.
 
Marple has 35 years of experience in education and had served as the state's schools chief since March 1, 2011.
 
Stay with 5 News for the latest updates.
 
Friday on 5 News we'll talk with local education leaders to find out how this will affect them and even our students.
 
More Information: Statement from West Virginia Board of Education President Wade Linger:
 
The West Virginia Board of Education has appointed Deputy State Superintendent Chuck Heinlein as the new state superintendent of schools until the board is able to hire a longer-term individual to serve in that position. 
 
State law does not allow the position to remain vacant. 
 
Board President Wade Linger has indicated that at a special meeting called for Wed. Nov. 21 he will recommend the board hire Dr. James Phares to fill the position. Phares is currently the superintendent of Randolph County Schools.

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Comments (2)
Nov 20, 2012 at 1:15 PM
Maybe it had to do with her very first speech about how she thinks 'homeschooling' is a bad thing. Even with all the statistics that 'prove' homeschooled children earn higher grades and achieve more retainable knowledge. Their reading skills are above their actual age/schooling along with spelling and english and math. I'd say maybe public schools need to LEARN from instead of bashing homeschoolers. It's obvious all those MILLIONS of dollars do nothing.
Nov 15, 2012 at 6:22 PM
When you don't perform your job correctly that's what usually happens.
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