Author: Jennifer Huggins
Marcus Edge, the newest principal at Clarkton School of Discovery, has a special connection to his A+ middle school in Bladen County—he was a Clarkton student from 1997 to 2000! Marcus has returned to lead his alma mater with hopes of strengthening its arts programs and commitment to the A+ Schools philosophy. He shared with us a little about himself, his background in arts and education, and his vision for Clarkton.
A+ Schools: Tell us about yourself and your background as an educator.
Marcus Edge: I was born and raised in Bladen County and attended Bladen County Schools throughout my elementary and secondary education. I received a B.A. in communications from NC State University and a Masters of Teaching in Arts Education from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. I taught visual arts at West Columbus High School for seven years before pursuing my school administration license. As an administrator, I have served as assistant principal at Bladenboro Primary School, principal at Dublin Primary School, and now principal at Clarkton School of Discovery! In my free time, I enjoy painting, playing the guitar, singing, and traveling with my wife and daughter.
A+ Schools: How did your time as a student at Clarkton impact you?
Marcus Edge: The A+ program at Clarkton School of Discovery had a huge impact on my life and discovering my artistic talents. I was always an artsy kid who enjoyed music and visual arts. The time I spent in visual arts classes under the direction of Theresa Wuebbels at Clarkton School of Discovery taught me the foundational skills I needed to set a path for the rest of my life. I learned so much about the technical aspects of art and how to use them creatively.
A+ Schools: What led you to become principal at Clarkton?
Marcus Edge: The reason I became a school administrator was to impact more people than just the students in my classroom. I did most of my teaching in Columbus County and I was excited to return to Bladen County as an administrator. I know that students in my county need people like me in leadership positions who are passionate about student success and about arts programs. Clarkton was one of the first A+ schools and it is exciting to have the opportunity as principal to revitalize the arts opportunities in our school.
A+ Schools: What changes would you like see at Clarkton and/or what do you hope to accomplish as principal?
Marcus Edge: I would like to see more opportunities for students in the arts. Currently we have visual arts, band, and we just added theatre arts this year. I would love to see dance and chorus at Clarkton and to bring more arts integration into the non-arts classroom setting.
A+ Schools: What are your hopes for the students and staff at Clarkton?
Marcus Edge: Our new mission statement is “Discover potential and ignite excellence”. This is what I hope our students and staff will continue to do each and every day. I want our students to have a passion for learning, enhanced by opportunities to discover talents that may be hidden, like I did. I have a great staff that pours their hearts into our students to help them accomplish this mission.
A+ Schools: How can the A+ network support your goal of reviving arts integration and A+ practice at your school?
Marcus Edge: Building partnerships and networking with other A+ schools and leaders can help us learn how to create a passion for arts integration in both our staff and our students. I hope our staff can see the impact A+ Schools can have to boost student confidence and academics in order to build on the talents of each child in our school.