New LR principal plans to stay for years to come


Last updated 4/17/2019 at 4:59pm

Kirk Marshlain in the LR library during the Grand Coulee Dam School District's April 8 board meeting. - Jacob Wagner photo

Lake Roosevelt Junior/Senior High School is getting a new principal.

Kirk Marshlain currently teaches English language arts and special education at Foothills Middle School in Wenatchee, and will take on the principalship at LR for the 2019-20 school year.

Marshlain grew up in Lake Chelan, and after graduating from high school there, received a baseball scholarship to Simpson University in Redding, California, where he played baseball and earned a bachelor's in English for teachers in 2010.

"I've worked with students in many different capacities," Marshlain told The Star in an email. "I first started working with kids as a youth leader at a church during college, then at a group home for teens. I worked there for about two years after college as a residential counselor. After that I went on to teaching - mainly in the special-education realm."

Marshlain has been teaching at Foothills for the past seven years, and will officially have his master's degree in educational leadership from Western Governors University, of Salt Lake City, Utah, qualifying him to be an administrator, in May.

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"That involves quite a bit of coursework and a full year of a principal internship," Marshlain said. "The internship involves acting as a principal at the elementary level and secondary level. I also had to pass the Praxis test for administrators in order to fulfill my Masters obligations."

Marshlain found the principal opening at LR online, and can see himself calling the Coulee home for some time, something that was important to students and staff during the interview process.

"I do see myself being here long term and being able to make Coulee a home," Marshlain said. "I love small towns. I grew up in one and have missed the close-knit feel, and I look forward to that again. I absolutely love how beautiful it is. I also like the fact that I am so close to hiking/biking/hunting/fishing spots."

Marshlain's wife, Brooke, is a second-grade teacher in Wenatchee and will be joining him in the move. The couple is expecting their first child, a baby girl, in October. They are looking for a home in the area.

Marshlain spoke a bit about what being a principal means.

"My philosophy as a principal is that principals are the key driver behind improvement of students, as well as guiding teachers towards innovations in their craft," he said. "I also believe that a principal should find ways to involve the community as much as possible in order to create innovative opportunities for students."

"I see education becoming more technology-focused and driven," Marshlain said about the future of education. "I also see a trend that education is moving towards creating more collaborative classrooms where students are being asked to work more cooperatively in order to solve real-world problems. I believe education has been focused more on learning information in the past and now it's shifting towards problem/solution focused. I would like to see schools work more collaboratively with communities."

Marshlain also spoke about rural schools in particular.

"There are two things I think are unique to rural schools," he said. "One challenge is recruiting teachers. It can be difficult to attract new teachers that bring a fresh outlook on the field. I also think adequate and equitable funding is an issue facing most rural schools."

Marshlain attended the April 8 Grand Coulee Dam School District directors' meeting, meeting the school board members, sitting through the agenda, and chatting afterwards about college basketball and books.


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