CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Fourteen days after Jorea Marple was fired as state superintendent, it's still all she can think about.
"I think it's safe to say that I was stunned and remain stunned, and I'm trying to work on basic things like being able to eat and sleep again," Marple said Wednesday in a phone interview.
She said she's tried not to think about the state Board of Education's decision, but that has proven impossible.
It's proven impossible for many others across the state as well, including board members.
The board is slated to reconsider its decision to fire Marple in a 10 a.m. meeting today, following accusations of acting illegally and in secrecy.
On Nov. 15, board members voted 5-2 to dismiss Marple from the position she had occupied since March 2011. The vote blindsided many in the education community, including Marple, and caused dissenting board members Priscilla Haden and Jenny Phillips to announce their intentions to resign in protest.
Minutes after her firing, Marple told the Daily Mail she had no idea why she was removed. She suggested the vote could have been political or a reaction to her stance on the current funding model for public education.
Others have speculated it could have had something to do with her stance on the recommendations of an audit of the state's public school system.
On Wednesday, she said she still had no idea why she was fired.
"I think I stated it from the very first time I saw you, they gave me no reason, other than I guess what I read in the paper, that they want to change the direction," Marple said.
She hasn't spoken with any of the board members who voted to fire her since Nov. 15. Haden and Phillips called her briefly to see how she was doing, a gesture Marple said she appreciated.
Haden confirmed she spoke with Marple on Saturday.
"She said she thought her national reputation has been ruined, and certainly her state reputation," Haden said. "That's a terrible thing to happen to anybody."
Marple said she has heard from "hundreds of people" and she appreciates their kindness and support. Her children and other family members came to Charleston for the Thanksgiving holiday, but she didn't elaborate on what else she has done since she was fired.
She is still not ready to discuss her plans for the future.
"No, I just, no, I'm not there. My life has been about children, and about teachers. I want for all kids in West Virginia what I've been able to provide for my children, and that's what everybody wants," Marple said.
The decision to reconsider came after some questioned whether Marple's firing was legal. The item was not listed on the Nov. 15 meeting agenda, but board member William White told the Daily Mail the board discussed Marple's position during a lengthy closed-door session that day.
Members of the public will be able to comment this time around.
Marple said she knew there was a meeting scheduled for this morning, but she does not plan to attend. She didn't want to talk about it.
Theresa Kirk, head of the state Ethics Commission, has not said whether the board violated the Open Meetings Act. However, she previously told the Daily Mail public boards are generally not allowed to add new items to an agenda during the middle of a meeting.
A lawsuit filed Nov. 21 with the state Supreme Court alleges the board knowingly violated the law.
Filed on the behalf of two parents by Mountain State Justice, a Charleston-based public interest law firm, the lawsuit states board President Wade Linger was advised by an attorney that the board's actions were illegal. After speaking with the attorney, Linger said he would take his chances, according to the lawsuit.