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home : education : schools June 25, 2016

9/24/2013 12:29:00 PM
New principal for Sisters Middle School
Principal Marshall Jackson. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
Principal Marshall Jackson. photo provided

By John Griffith

After 15 years in the Bend-La Pine school system, it took a very special opportunity to break Marshall Jackson away from a job he really enjoyed. The chance to work in the Sisters School District and the challenge inherent in running a middle school was that opportunity.

Former Sisters Middle School (SMS) principal Mark Stewart's move to become the principal at Sisters Elementary School created that opening for Jackson - and he took it.

"We were living where we wanted to live, and work was running fine," said Jackson. "It took a very unique challenge to get me to change jobs. That said, I feel really good about the change. It is the most energized I've been in a few years."

Both Marshall and his wife are natives of the Roseburg area. Other than a brief one-year stint in California when Jackson first graduated with his teaching credential, the Jacksons have been in Oregon.

"This is kind of a full circle for me," said Jackson. "Growing up, I had an aunt and uncle that lived in Bend and I visited often. In college my wife, Becky, and I had a five-year goal to live in Central Oregon. While I was at the U of O I saw an article about Sisters passing a bond to build a new high school (now the middle school)."

Jackson continued, "I had just finished grad school at the U of O, so we packed up and moved to Bend with no job. I did substitute work at Sisters Elementary and Sisters Middle School, then a position opened up at Bend High teaching and coaching baseball, and I took it. That was 15 years ago."

Eight years ago Jackson picked up his administrative credential from Lewis & Clark College and was transferred to an administration job at Skyview for two years, and then to High Desert Middle School for six years.

"Coming to Sisters has given me a new perspective," said Jackson. "Coming from a school with 800 kids to a school with only 350 is the biggest change so far, but that is also the appeal. You can actually get to know them all.

"Here, the schools are the center of the community. The community supports them. This is a community where even people that don't have kids in the schools are still involved. I also like the way that the arts are infused into the curriculum."

Jackson concluded, "What I want the parents to know is the same thing that I want the teachers and the kids to know. I got into education 1986 because I like working with kids. It is fun, it keeps me young, every day there is something different. It is a lot of fun to watch the kids grow academically and socially.

"I want to build relationships with kids and with the community. School should still be fun. We are building our future. I'm just as concerned about a kid having good social, relational and citizenship skills as I am concerned if they can get an 'A' on a math test."

The Jacksons live in Bend and they have two children. Anthony, 23, is looking to possibly extend his EMT into a nursing career. Jen, 20, is in her second year at the University of Oregon.

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