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Jorea Marple


Jorea Marple was West Virginia’s first female superintendent of schools. Selected by the Board of Education, Marple was sworn in as the state’s 27th superintendent on March 1, 2011, and served until November 15, 2012.

Marple was born on January 16, 1949, in Sutton. After graduating from Sutton High School, she attended Fairmont State College (now university) where she received her bachelor’s degree. She also earned a master’s degree and doctorate from West Virginia University.

She spent her entire career working in education in West Virginia as a teacher and administrator. Her first job was as an elementary teacher in Monongalia County. In 1971, she moved to Kanawha County, where she worked as a teacher, reading specialist, and principal. She was superintendent of Kanawha County schools from 1993 to 1998. Marple served as assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent at the Department of Education before being named superintendent. She helped create “Global 21,” a statewide effort that aims to help students compete internationally by promoting critical thinking, communication skills, and the use of technology. Marple was also involved in work related to pre-kindergarten programs, school technology, leadership development, reading initiatives, and teacher quality.

Marple and her husband, Darrell McGraw, live in Charleston. They are the parents of two grown children.