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HEBRON ESTATES - North Bullitt High School students should be prepared for the Marshall Plan when school begins.
The school-based decision making council selected Jeffrey Marshall as its newest principal.
The Okolona resident brings seven years of experience as assistant principal, six at Doss High in Louisville and the past year with Fern Creek.
Marshall said he first became aware of what the Bullitt County Public Schools system had to offer while visiting North Bullitt during a SACS evaluation in 2008.
“I really got a good feel for it then,” said Marshall. “I listened to my heart and it was my calling to come here. I thought it would be a great place to be a principal. I love the educational side here.”
Marshall kept his eye on the Bullitt system, speaking often with a fellow colleague, Bernheim Middle principal Willie Foster.
Marshall hopes to build on an enthusiasm the school displayed since his initial 2008 visit.
“The people here have the enthusiasm, and the kids I met in ‘08 were so sharp,” he said. “People here care about this school, and even more with the (updated) facilities completed.”
Marshall wants to instill a safe environment in all North Bullitt classrooms, where students can be encouraged to think freely and take risks.
“Students should not have a fear of a wrong answer,” he said. “They should be able to take risks. If they don’t, then they don’t know if they’re correct or on track. All students learn differently. We should be constructive, not destructive.”
Marshall will spend his first few weeks inviting teachers to his office as an opportunity to meet and let teachers’ voices be heard.
“I’m a great listener, it’s one of my strengths,’ he said. I’m a big believer in collaboration, expanding learning communities, it’s group efficiency. Teachers used to close the door and teach, but if we can tap into one another we can become better teachers.”
Marshall also hopes to maintain a positive atmosphere throughout the school for both administrators and students.
“Bad things happen, but a bad thing is an opportunity to make a positive,” he said.
Marshall is a DeSales High School graduate. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Louisville, hoping at the time to attend medical school and become a doctor.
“I wanted to serve people,” Marshall said. “But I learned I could teach as well.”
While at U of L Marshall had an opportunity to teach at Doss. He soon changed his career plans, earning a Master’s in teaching through Spalding University.
“I’ve acquired everything but my dissertation,” he said. “That’s because I was too busy focusing on my career.”
Marshall worked in the classroom at Doss for six years prior to his role as assistant principal.
As North Bullitt’s new head, Marshall proposed a “30-60-90 plan” that included a staggered set of goals involving teacher and parent input.
“We’ll find out what we want this year, and then also develop a five-year plan,” he said. If we don’t think down the road, we’ll get frustrated quickly.”
Marshall wants to work with North Bullitt parents, referring to them as an additional service to students.
“I want to think of the parents as givers rather than takers,” he added.