My leadership philosophy as a superintendent is to always be promoting, communicating, publishing, marketing and celebrating significant highlights of the good that is happening in our schools and the greater community in which I live and serve.
Continuing to build collaborative relationships in our community is key. Opportunity abounds. The school’s success is the city’s success, and vice versa. Together we can continue to make good happen for the people of Marion.
In my eight years as superintendent of Marion Community Schools, we have been intentionally engaged in building up and promoting our Marion brand and our story, the distinctions of excellence that make Marion Community Schools unique and special.
We are really proud of the exciting learning opportunities we are providing to our students and the successes our students have experienced, despite all of the challenges.
My time as superintendent of Marion Community Schools has helped reinforce my understanding that public education has a responsibility to embrace and wisely serve all the children of all the people. (Click here to see some of the great things we have accomplished!)
We intend for all our students to graduate life ready, and to accomplish this we must be intentional to ensure equity and access for every student. We will continue to commit to inclusive excellence, meeting the needs and preferences of all our students and families.
We want every student to become expert at something by the time they graduate. We want our Giants to have a choice in their own future. It is our mission to provide our students the experiences to be college-, career- and life-ready.
To hear from the Class of 2020 about more of their successes in their own words, click here.
We have successfully aligned educational opportunities from preschool through advanced post-secondary education right here in our Marion community.
It has been my privilege to lead the charge in making it a priority to offer the opportunity for our students to earn college credits while still in high school. We have strong partnerships locally with the Marion campus of Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana Wesleyan University, and with other state universities, to provide next level opportunities for all of our students.
At Marion High School we have expanded access to the College Board’s Advanced Placement classes and exams, and our students have consistently surpassed state and global success rates in AP exams. In 2020 we were honored as one of the top AP programs in the state!
We provide relevant hands-on Career and Technical Education through the Marion Regional Career Center, partnering with local and area businesses and pursuing innovative opportunities for our students, including our Aviation Academy, a partnership with the local municipal airport (which won an IDOE Partnership Award), and our award-winning Cybersecurity and IT Academy (which recently earned an AP Diversity Award for Marion High School’s Computer Science program, and has earned numerous other recognitions, including selection as an Amazon Future Engineer school, accreditation as an EC-Council Training Center, an IDOE Excellence Award, and more.)
We have co-created world-class opportunities in the arts for our students, both within our schools (including one of the top music programs in the state) and also through a pre-professional Arts Academy, an exclusive local partnership with Marion Community School of the Arts.
I have included links with further detail and evidence of Marion Community Schools’ innovation and Giant success, should you choose to explore:
- Marion High School Class of 2020’s outstanding achievements
- JROTC (which just won their second national Raiders championship in three years)
- E-sports (which just won their first state championship, in their first full year of competition)
- Black History Club (take a look at this year’s special presentation)
- Health Careers / Grow Nurses (local partnership)
- Athletics and other achievements (video)
- Celebrating our eighth boys basketball state championship (video)
- Check out even more innovations here
What is good for the schools is good for the community, and what is good for the community is good for the schools. Working in collaboration to share and multiply local resources increases ownership, builds relationships and makes better happen for people. All of this makes a community an attractive place for people to live, serve and play.
We have solidified existing partnerships and engaged new partners as well. Schools are the academic and economic engine of the community, but they are also an integral part of the social events of the community. We embrace these roles and seek to build up our entire community through our work within our schools.
We have also engaged our community by leveraging alumni connections and building a productive and profitable relationship with the Marion High School Alumni Association. We also honor notable alumni every year through the Marion High School Hall of Distinction. (The deadline for nominations this year is April 2. Click here for more information.)
During my time in Marion I have found the community is eager to be informed of results worthy of celebration. We have worked to restore community pride in our schools and to spread the word about the increasingly excellent opportunities available through Marion Community Schools.
We have prioritized open and consistent communication with our staff, families and community. We provide weekly updates on the Giant Talk radio program, and there is always a steady stream of updates here on our website.
We consistently strive to place our students and families at the center of our efforts. We will continue to consistently champion Marion Community Schools so everyone understands the good and the compelling why of what is going on. We have seen families drawn to our schools because of this, reversing decades long steep decline in enrollment due to a declining population.
During the past year, easily the most difficult of our collective experience, we have been out front in our community, providing constantly updated and relevant information to our community regarding the pandemic, how the schools were responding, and how we were committed to maintaining learning opportunities for our students throughout.
Meeting the needs of students, staff, and families is our priority, and we will continue to engage our community to gauge the most pressing needs and how we can leverage our resources to meet them. (We’d love to hear from you about how we can continue to build together. Click here to fill out our community survey.)
I am proud of the way our school principals, district leadership, faculty and staff continuously step up to meet needs in our community.
And while this pandemic year has been extraordinary, this has been our philosophy every day: Consistent, truthful communication, focused on the team, day-in, day-out.
Our Class of 2021 continues to raise the bar and is surpassing the amazing success of our past Giants. We will celebrate our seniors and all of our Giant successes throughout April and May (click here to see the calendar).
I consider it essential to cheer on and celebrate our students and staff and help create positive experiences and memories to last a lifetime, inspiring Marion Community Schools Giant Pride 365! I believe our best is yet to come!