When Delwood principal and superintendent Todd Hawley mentored Marty Marshall in his administrative education, Hawley never thought he was effectively already training his replacement.
“Who would have thought that this was where we’d be?” Marshall recalls Hawley saying the day Marshall signed on to be Delwood’s next principal.
This fall, Hawley will become a shared superintendent between Delwood and Midland Community School District. Marshall will take up the reins as principal of the K-6 school in Delmar.
“There are very, very few jobs I would leave this P.E. position for,” said Marshall, who is the physical education teacher at Maquoketa Middle school. “I never thought this opportunity would come up.”
Marshall doesn’t need to learn the hallways or endless student names. He lives in the Delwood district with his wife Ashley and their sons, up-and-coming second grader Kenny and preschooler Noah.
In fact, Marshall grew up in the Delwood and Midland school districts, and he graduated from Maquoketa High School. His father Mike still farms in the Delmar area.
Marshall graduated from the University of Dubuque with a business degree, then returned for teaching and pursued his administrative education at Dordt University.
He has worked as a physical education teacher at Maquoketa Middle School for three years, before which he worked for a year as a teacher for students with behavioral disabilities.
Marshall said he’s looking forward to working with the “awesome staff” in his new position. He said he’s least familiar with the academic side of the early elementary grades, though he student-taught with younger students.
Marshall says he wants to be visible and approachable to families and staff.
“I want teachers to be able to approach me if they have a concern,” he said. “And I’ll have their back.”
In Delmar and throughout Delwood’s district, the community’s focal point is youth. The community boasts parks and just successfully fundraised for a splash pad, but it lacks some of the institutions and businesses that would otherwise bring adults together, some community members said.
“It’s good that we have a community that cares that much about the school,” Marshall said. “I know there’s a lot of community involvement since I live in that community.”
While Hawley and Marshall will have to separate who does what, the fact that they’ve already worked together will help keep that transition smooth.
“I’m excited that the school district has given me the opportunity to still be leading them in the right path,” Marshall said.