Many supporters of fired state superintendent Jorea Marple rallied Tuesday evening in Charleston demanding an explanation to Marple’s firing and looking for answers.

The West Virginia Education Association organized a candlelight vigil in front of it’s Quarrier Street headquarters giving supporters an opportunity to voice their opinion.

“I think the way that she was fired is horrible,” said Charleston resident Ann Garcelon. “I think the fact that it appears that she was not really given any opportunity for due process and I think the children in West Virginia will suffer.”

Garcelon said she had heard nothing but good things regarding Dr. Marple’s performance as state superintendent.

Brent Bragg drove all the way from Beckley to show his support and he also believes Dr. Marple did a good job.

“Most educators that I know have been very pleased with the direction that the state education system is going,” said Bragg. “They’ve had very positive rapport with her and it seems like this is just a slap in the face for education.”

About 150 Marple supporters carried candles and rallied at the vigil following the state board’s abrupt decision to fire the superintendent last week.

Earlier in the day before the vigil started education board President Wade Linger released a statement saying the board will schedule a special meeting for next week to re-fire Marple to make sure the action complied with the law.

“I have been advised by counsel that there may be concerns over the Open Meetings Act and we want to be responsive,” said Linger. “I remain committed to my actions and recommendations regarding a new direction for education in our state but believe it is important to address this concern”

Garcelon said the scheduling of this special meeting shows that the board realizes the firing of Dr. Marple was not properly handled.

“What they’ve done is improper, the public is not willing to accept this kind of an action and probably there are issues of legality,” said Garcelon.

Bragg said this is a way to cover their tracks for the mistakes they have made and the wrongs that were created that may not be right.

The meeting next week has been set for November 29 at 10 a.m. Board members plan to revisit the recommendation regarding the state superintendent and possibly decide who will be Dr. Marple’s replacement.

The focus of Wednesday’s meeting will be entirely on the audit.

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