They can be relieved that former Dublin High Principal and Interim Superintendent David Marken has signed on to serve two more years. He stepped into the interim role this spring after former Superintendent Leslie Boozer and the district abruptly parted ways. That came with the teachers’ union threatening a walkout and the school board down to three members. The past year has been a challenging one for the district.
Marken applied a steady hand through the remainder of the school year. He worked as an assistant superintendent in Dublin from 2007-20111 before taking the top job in Newark from 2011-2018 when he retired. His willingness to step out of retirement to stabilize Dublin speaks to his commitment to get the district running smoothly again.
The day-to-day leadership will allow plenty of time the school board to get back to full strength at five members (Gabrielle Blackman will be seated in July once the special election is certified and there will be a special election in November for the other seat). The full board then can work with Marken and others to decide what qualities and experience they are looking for in a leader.
It also will allow work on the second high school to proceed without worrying about a potential change of direction with a new superintendent. In two years, details should be set.
Bottom line: generous offer Marken to volunteer for two years of heavy lifting and good call by the school trustees to accept. He’ll benefit in the long run because his $330,000 salary will boost his retirement compensation when he steps down again in two years. The contract calls for no benefits, vacation pay or other compensation beyond the cash for 225 days of service annually.