Crothersville principal resigns



Soon after starting his 10th year as principal of Crothersville Elementary School, Chris Marshall was faced with a tough situation.

He was offered an opportunity to become Scottsburg Elementary School’s principal and decided to take it.

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While he was excited about the new position, he had to say goodbye to the Crothersville staff members he had developed great relationships with over the years.

“It was very difficult, just a moment of sadness and just a heartfelt goodbye that we were no longer going to be working together,” Marshall said. “It was very traumatizing and very difficult for me, a lot of hugs and tears, just a lot of what families do when you lose a loved one.”

He said the staff had become like family.

“When family leaves, it’s hard, and I’ve always lived my life that everyone around me is a part of my extended family,” he said. “When you grow together, in time, things change, and those relationships are separated. It makes it difficult. I’m a people person, and I value everyone I work around, and I always see me as the servant of all of those I work for.”

The Crothersville staff wasn’t expecting Marshall to leave. He said the Scottsburg job was posted two weeks before that district’s first day of school. He said he and his wife prayed and talked about it, and they both felt it was something he should look into.

Marshall’s last day at Crothersville was Aug. 8, and he started at Scottsburg a couple of days later.

During Monday night’s Crothersville Community School Corp. board of trustees meeting, Superintendent Terry Goodin announced he had appointed Drew Markel as interim principal for the remainder of the school year.

Since Markel already had been serving as an administrator, Goodin said he decided to make an administrative transfer. It didn’t have to be voted on by the school board because of the interim tag.

“I looked at the information I had, and I had to try to make the best decision for the kids,” Goodin said. “I had to make an administrative decision, and that is the choice I made.”

Goodin and the school board will continue to discuss how to handle the principal situations at the junior-senior high and elementary schools for 2018-19, either keeping two principals or having just one for kindergarten through 12th grade. Adam Robinson is in his first year as principal of the junior-senior high school and also is serving in an interim role.

Along with being an administrator, Markel also has been serving as director of technology. His contract was extended to 240 days so he could do technology-related work in the summer. That was approved Monday by the school board 3-1 with Linda Luedeman casting the nay vote.

Goodin said Marshall did a great job as principal.

“We appreciate his dedication and service to the children of Crothersville, and we wish him the best of luck in his new endeavor,” Goodin said.

Marshall graduated from Crothersville High School in 1980. After earning his teaching and administrative degrees, he first taught second grade in Jennings County and then taught fifth grade at Lexington Elementary School.

His first administrator’s role was in alternative education for both school districts in Scott County, and then he became assistant principal at Scottsburg Elementary before being hired at Crothersville Elementary in the summer of 2008.

In 2011, the school earned Four Star status from the Indiana Department of Education.

Also during Marshall’s tenure, the school was recognized a couple of times by Walmart as Elementary School of the Year, the preschool was one of the first programs launched by On My Way Pre-K and the overall standardized test scores increased.

He also helped the elementary school become 1:1, putting technology in the hands of all students, and have interactive whiteboards in all classrooms.

After-school programs through Girls Inc. of Jackson County and the Scott County Family YMCA also were started under Marshall’s leadership, and the school just got involved in the EXCL elementary cross-country league.

“A lot of student enrichment programs and tutoring programs that really make a big difference in kids’ lives. I’m very proud of those accomplishments,” Marshall said.

“I’m just proud of the way that the school climate, the school culture was very family-oriented and a very loving environment for children,” he said. “I worked with some of the best teachers I’ve worked with in my 30-plus years of employment in education. We built a lot of good camaraderie and friendships through the years.”

That’s why leaving Crothersville is bittersweet, Marshall said.

“That’s my home. That’s where I grew up, and I felt like I made a big difference,” he said. “SES is large, almost 500-plus kids here. Sometimes, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. This is where God has put me.”

As Crothersville Elementary moves on with a new leader, Marshall said he hopes the principal continues to collaborate with teachers.

“I hope they would continue to follow the processes and procedures that have been laid out and that teachers would continue to be empowered through teacher leader teams to help make good decisions,” he said. “There needs to be teacher involvement in decision-making and collaboration. I was always meeting with teachers and getting them involved in decisions.”

For the students, he said he hopes the principal will continue the academic programs and advancement in technology and keep high expectations.

“But above all, it should be someone that loves and cares for the people that he serves,” Marshall said. “Crothersville Elementary has an exemplary staff, from the teachers down to the cooks. They are wonderful people there, and I’m very confident they will continue to do great things for the students in Crothersville Community Schools.”

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