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by Russell Bretz (from the Oct. BOE meeting)
Superintendent of North Baltimore Local Schools, Marlene North announced that she will be retiring effective June 30, 2014. Mrs. North has been Superintendent for five years; first as interim Superintendent before being appointed Superintendent in 2010.
Mrs. North completed her undergraduate degree in 1983 with a dual major in Elementary Education as well as certification in Special Education. She worked for nine years as a classroom teacher in the Oregon (Ohio) school district as well as the Evergreen school district and the Monroeville school district in Indianapolis. She completed her Masters degree at Butler University in 1992.
Marlene was hired in 1992 as Principal of Powell Elementary School. She served in that position for 18 years before taking over the Superintendent’s role after former Superintendent, Kyle Clark retired. She was first appointed as interim Superintendent until the School Board hired her as full-time Superintendent in 2010.
Under her leadership as Principal of Powell School, some very innovative programs were put in place. Namely, the Literacy Awareness Program; developed by Marlene and her staff. The Everyday Math Program which teaches students how to solve math problems using skills they have already been taught. The anti-bullying program that teaches students mutual respect and responsibility. The expansion of the Powell Parents Group, and, of course, many other programs.
Under Marlene’s tenure as Superintendent the district has continued to move forward. She was the lead representative for the district in getting the new Middle School/High School Complex completed along with the Larry Woodruff Sports Building. She continued the work started by former Superintendent, Kyle Clark and the Community School Building Committee which had, members of the community at large, as advisors. She was always accessible for community members to discuss problems or concerns and she has forged an important working relationship with business and industry leaders in the area. She was always available to speak at community events and interact with constituents when she was asked.
When she was asked what her future plans are, this was her reply:
“I’m looking forward to some ‘down time’. I want to spend more time with my family and read some of the many books I have accumulated over the years I have never had time to read. I also want to work more in my garden and my flower beds. I also have to help take care of my parents who are getting older and their health is not that good. My time in North Baltimore has been a great ride, but it’s time for me to step aside and turn things over to someone else. I know there are people and things I will miss but I’m confident new opportunities are out there for community and church work which I am looking forward to. I have worked hard since I was 12 years old; first in my parents meat market, the farm we lived on, the chores I had to do, the endless homework, and all that went with it. I’m ready to take time to reflect on things and just relax a little.”
Marlene is married to Chris North, Head Custodian at Powell School. The have four children, three sons, all graduates of North Baltimore High School, and one daughter, a student at Powell School.
The search for a new Superintendent will begin early next year.