Meet Your Neighbor is a feature of the Independent that introduces readers to a community member. To receive a profile form or to nominate a neighbor, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Marcus Berkshire is principal for Combs Traditional Academy.
Name: Marcus Berkshire
School: Combs Traditional Academy
How long I have worked in education: 16 years
Why I chose to work for this school: It was an opportunity to open a new school and love the district.
What I like most about what I do: Getting to know the kids. The school is still small enough that I get to know each and every one of them by name.
Where I came from: I’m originally from Anchorage, Alaska.
What degree(s) I hold and from what institution: Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from Arizona State (go Devils), Master of Arts in education from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and Master of Education in administration and supervision from the University of Phoenix. I’m working on my Doctor of Education in educational leadership at NAU.
If I had picked a different occupation, it might have been: Well, I originally wanted to be an archaeologist, but sometimes I think it would have been fun to work with urban design or as a lawyer.
What I’m looking forward to the most this school year: Celebrating our fifth year of a tradition of excellence.
My vision for the school: That students will develop the essential skills to become higher-level thinkers that will empower them to become respectful, self-disciplined, conscientious and self-motivated leaders of society.
My top priority for the school this upcoming year: Providing a rigorous academic focus for all students in an environment that emphasizes responsibility and respect.
Favorite community cause & why: Habitat for Humanity – I think home ownership is so important to who we are and providing people with an opportunity to participate in building their own home is so empowering.
My interests and hobbies: I spend my spare time with my kids but I also enjoy running, reading, movies and playing board games.
The best and/or worst time in my life: The best times in my life were the births of my two sons.
The trait(s) I admire in others: Positivity and perseverance.
People who inspired me (and how): Mr. Ennis, my high school physics teacher. He showed me what it means to be a truly great educator. He pushed us to excel but also showed that he cared about us as individuals.
My guiding philosophy: Never give up.
How I think students can achieve their potential: By never giving up and continuously pushing themselves to excel at whatever they choose to do.
My advice to today’s youth: Don’t be afraid to ask, “why?”
One thing I want students to know about me: I play a mean game of kickball.
One thing I want parents to know about me: I care about your kids and their success.
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