As the end of the fall semester nears Nicky Marshall is settling in to his new role as the Prentiss County School District’s assistant superintendent.

The former Hills Chapel Elementary principal stepped in to the newly created position at the start of the current school year with a goal of helping superintendent Jeff Palmer in any way possible and making sure every teacher in the district has the support they need to be successful.

Marshall, who also carries the title of district curriculum coordinator, said much like his previous job as principal the most important part of his new position is a willingness to get involved and help wherever needed.

“Whatever needs to be done, you just jump in and do it,” he said.

The administrator said he’s gaining a new perspective every day as he acclimates to the shift from principal to a district-level leader. As a principal he was focused tightly on what was going on at his school, but in his new role he’s had the chance to see the positive things happening throughout the district.

“Each community is different and there are great things in each community. That’s the great thing that I get to do.

“It’s really neat to get to go to the schools and work in those communities and work with the teachers. There’s great things going on at every school and in every community,” he said.

One of his biggest learning curves has been studying and learning policy on the district level. As a principal he understood the policies related specifically to his school setting but as assistant superintendent he’s focused on learning and understanding all the policies the district operates under as a whole and how those policies impact each campus and student.

He said he makes a point to spend as much time as possible out of the office at the district’s campuses, working and meeting with teachers and learning how to assist them in achieving their goals.

“Our teachers do an incredible job. My focus and what keeps me up at night is asking ‘how do we make things better for our kids and better for our teachers. How do we make their job enjoyable while giving them what they need for their kids,” he said.

The past two years have brought unprecedented changes to education due to the pandemic and Marshall said teachers across the district have stepped up and given of themselves to adjust to those constant changes and continue to provide a top quality education.

“It’s been a huge adjustment for them. Supporting them is my number one priority,” he said.

Marshall said he learned first hand the value of listening to veteran teachers and learning from their experience as a young principal. After serving as a teacher and baseball coach at Hills Chapel, he became principal at the age of 26 and found himself facing a major learning curve.

“The people there in the community were so good to me. Those veteran teachers, they helped and coached me,” he said.

His wife, Marla, serves as counselor at New Site High School. Marshall said he’s blessed to be married to a fellow educator who understands the demands of the job and gives him a resource to share ideas and help work through problems. Even more important is the fact she’s a fellow parent and they have two kids in the district which keeps them both focused on what’s most important – making sure every child has the best education possible.

Banner Independent Editor

Managing editor of the Daily Corinthian’s sister newspaper, Booneville’s Banner-Independent, Brant Sappington has been a member of the Daily Corinthian family since 2001.

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